[IC] Traveller: Scoundrels, Rogues, Nobles and Worse

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Templum Domini

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"Pleased to meet you all; just call me Bishop. If you see the captain, give him this," the young man said, handing Ascot a plastichrome card. Activated by the teen's body heat, it began playing a short video - with the sound muted - followed by the prospective crewman's contact info. "Let him know he's got my arm and gun for security if he wants it. I'll be back after I've grabbed my gear."

Before either Octia or Ascot could get a word out, Bishop hit the accelerator and the grav car quietly rushed away.

What is Ascot's response to this turn of events?

"Be back soon!" Ascot shouted after him. "I don't like doing things for free!"

Nevertheless, the boy held the plastichrome card for later; he was going to do what Bishop wanted no matter how much it got in the way of his own pitch to the Captain once he arrived.
 

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Joss considered the fact that she would have to make use of a terminal. Putting her info out on the network was risky. She obviously couldn't use her name and bonafides. Neither Silbi nor Mother Shom got to where they were by not having their people in key places - police, government, even TAS. A ping in the TAS system would be like a beacon to Silbi's organization. Likewise, lying on a TAS application would not get her anywhere. The TAS was pretty stringent on insuring people using their services were legitimate. If the fact-checkers did their jobs, she would be blackballed, and that would leave her stuck on Alell. Maybe I'd be better off taking the direct approach with this one, she thought.

N Necrozius , what is Joss' decision/action?

Meanwhile, Aaron and Bryce were engrossed in sorting out their own situations. "You know," the young noble quipped, "I'm not quite sure what I would actually do on a free trader. It's not like they would be always working in the upper strata of society. While I'm sure being a steward has it's own administrative requirements, I would think there would be some who would find it the perfect opportunity to, shall we way, vent their discontent with the nobility were they to find out my origins."

The former marine rolled his eyes mentally. Having been a ranking officer, he knew exactly how to handle his new acquaintance's understandable - and perhaps wanton - trepidation. "Look, I assume you were an administrator of some sort - a lot of nobles are, after all. You wouldn't necessarily just be taking care of passengers and cargo - someone has to help make sure the books are in order. A free trader isn't necessarily a jack-of-all-trades. Even merchants with ties to the megacorps have need of administrative assistants. Just look at it as another administrative post. You take reports from the captain, steward, engineer, and other crew and make sure everything is documented, ordered, and so forth. That frees up everyone to do their jobs more efficiently and makes the operation run smoother."

The young noble thought about it. Could he do the same job as Anne? Could he do as good a job as Anne? I guess there's only one way to find out, Bryce said to himself, hitting the "Enter" key. With that single keystroke, he saved his credentials and qualifications, applied for work aboard the Honneamise, and sealed his fate all in one fell swoop.

Seeing that his fellow had taken the plunge, Aaron followed suit. In for an ounce, in for a pound, as they say, he thought, throwing his lot in with Bryce aboard the Honneamise. "I guess now all we can do now is wait and see if the ship's master bites," he chuckled.

"Indeed," smiled Bryce. "I just hope he's not a Vargr - and if he is, hopefully he's had all his shots."

As the two men stood to leave, Joss backed away from the front desk. "Hey," she said, catching the scout's attention, "would either of you happen to know the way to docking berth 25?"

"If you're looking to sign onto a free trader, sure," Aaron replied. "What's your specialization?"

"Let's just say I'm a jack of all trades. How about yourself?"

"Likewise," Aaron said with a smirk. "Seems to be a trend on free traders as of late."

"I'll grab us a ride," Bryce chimed in. The trio left as Hieakhayes exited her office.

Hirran slumped in his chair, visibly tired from being uptight all day. "What... What just happened here, boss?"

"I'm not entirely sure, but I think they'll be just fine," the Aslan replied, a mischievous glint in her eye.
 

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"Be back soon!" Ascot shouted after him. "I don't like doing things for free!"

Nevertheless, the boy held the plastichrome card for later; he was going to do what Bishop wanted no matter how much it got in the way of his own pitch to the Captain once he arrived.

As Ascot placed the card in his vest pocket, his comm pinged. The message displayed was simple and to the point.

[***AutoKey Response*** FROM Captain, Honneamise - TO A.C. Underfoot - TAS highly recommends your services; Application received and accepted. Will return to ship shortly. When can we meet in person?]

Cassie peered over Ascot's shoulder from her vantage point on Moose's back and giggled. "Way to go, Ascot. Now I'm officially jealous." Moose barked deeply in agreement.

"Good news, I take it," grinned Octia. "I hope he shows up soon. Waiting around this joint was old five minutes ago."

As if summoned by her statement of boredom, a set of yellow lights began to strobe throughout the docking berth. A number of panels in the floor of the berth's floor opened and mechanical clamps rose up and grasped the free trader's landing gear, clanking firmly as they locked in place. "Attention, Captain," a pre-recorded announcement came over the loudspeakers, "by order of the Port Warden's Office, your ship has been landlocked for non-payment of berthing fees. This lock may be released by paying the required fees and acquiring an official exit visa from the Port Warden."

"Wow," was all Cassie could say at the automated ruckus. Moose whined quietly, unnerved by the giant metal grapplers.

"Me and my big mouth," Octia said, the strobes reflecting in her glasses.

What is Ascot's response to turn change of events?
 
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Templum Domini

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What is Ascot's response to turn change of events?

"We wait for the Captain to arrive. If he doesn't come here in ten minutes, we leave and find another job, after making it clear that this whole predicament is his fault. But to be honest, this is actually a mini-adventure for me, a challenge." A smirk.

"One worthy of my skills, even."
 

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As the two released their grip on the handshake, Lebeau's comm pinged several times. Pulling the small handset from his pocket, he tapped the screen and smiled. "Looks like you won't be alone, Chief - you don't mind me addressing you by your title and not your former rank, do you? It looks as though we've got a couple others interested in working with us. I'll walk with you back to the Honneamise."

The walk from Camden Lock to the edge of the docking berths was quick. As they walked past the first of the berths, Zeph could hear the raspy, barking conversation of her former crewmates on the Aztheung. She made a point of not paying any attention to the noise, letting it instead blend in with the PA and ship traffic. Lebeau did the same, knowing it would be imprudent to comment on his chief engineer's former employer. What neither one counted on was being noticed by the Vargr.

The conversation in the docking berth quickly died out. Two of the canids walked down the entry ramp of the berth and called out to Zeph in rough Galanglic.

"Khai, pinkskin! You work fast!" mocked the taller of the two, his black fur shining in the sun.

The other leered at Zeph, a patch covering his left eye and a newly made notch showing in his right ear. "What he paying you? Maybe captain let you come back, give you more rations?!"

"Khai Dark Sky of the Chosen to each their own, no loss am I. Better for all not forced to enjoy my scent." answered Zeph in singsong.

Then she headed to her new ship trying to keep from laughing. At the bottom of the ramp she pulled her comm and texted a message to TAS asking her pack be delivered.

Once aboard she wasted no time heading to Engineering and began an inspection of her new Bailiwick; it was in the better range of her hope's but still needed her attention as the former CEO hadn't done a final.
 

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"Khai Dark Sky of the Chosen to each their own, no loss am I. Better for all not forced to enjoy my scent." answered Zeph in singsong.

Then she headed to her new ship trying to keep from laughing. At the bottom of the ramp she pulled her comm and texted a message to TAS asking her pack be delivered.

Once aboard she wasted no time heading to Engineering and began an inspection of her new Bailiwick; it was in the better range of her hope's but still needed her attention as the former CEO hadn't done a final.

Hackles up, the pair of Vargr called after Zeph and Lebeau, howling curses. As Lebeau and Zeph continued on their way, they were met by a young man in a grav car. He glanced at the pair as he passed by, his blonde hair lightly tousled by the wind. Zeph turned around briefly to watch him leave the docks. Hitting the accelerator, he moved on, executing a perfect 7-10 split between the two Vargr, forcing them to dodge to either side of the grav car. Upset over the disruption of their game, the Vargr quickly rose, barking invectives at the young man as he left.

Figuring it was best to move on as quickly as possible, Lebeau hailed a cab. The Bwap driver greeted them in his own bubbling to tongue. "Where to?" he queried.

"Docking berth 25 as fast as possible," Lebeau sighed.

"You got it, folks."

The ride to the docking berth was mercifully quick and the Bwap was an adept pilot in many ways, keeping his mouth shut, ducking red lights, and dodging traffic. As Lebeau and Zeph disembarked, the free trader handed the driver the fare and cursed as he saw the yellow strobes.

"Quan jahai chassah! It figures this place's overgrown bureaucracy would up its fees once I paid."

Undeterred by the captain's sudden invectives, Ascot stepped forward and offered his hand in friendship. "Ascot Crusher - "

"Sorry to be a curmudgeon, Mr. Underfoot," Lebeau interrupted, "but it appears the Port Warden has thrown a spanner into the works. If you'll all come aboard, we'll get down to brass tacks, if you'll pardon the Old Earth jargon." Lebeau tapped a couple of keys on his commpack and the Honneamise's aft cargo ramp lowered to admit them.

Before the quartet could board, a second cab whooshed to a halt, stirring up a small cloud of dust. "Hope we're not late," Bryce said, swiping his credcard through the driver's pay terminal. "Do we have time to have any additional gear transferred?"

"You're fine, mister..." Lebeau trailed off, not knowing how to address his newest crewmember.

"You can call me Bryce, or Mr. Mackenzie, whichever works," Bryce said with a smile. "Given the circumstances I'm just going with the drift."

"Very well, Mr. Mackenzie. As you can see we're landlocked, but that's the least our our worries. Let's get aboard, and we'll introduce ourselves."
 

Templum Domini

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"Quan jahai chassah! It figures this place's overgrown bureaucracy would up its fees once I paid."

Undeterred by the captain's sudden invectives, Ascot stepped forward and offered his hand in friendship. "Ascot Crusher - "

"Sorry to be a curmudgeon, Mr. Underfoot," Lebeau interrupted, "but it appears the Port Warden has thrown a spanner into the works. If you'll all come aboard, we'll get down to brass tacks, if you'll pardon the Old Earth jargon." Lebeau tapped a couple of keys on his commpack and the Honneamise's aft cargo ramp lowered to admit them.

Before the quartet could board, a second cab whooshed to a halt, stirring up a small cloud of dust. "Hope we're not late," Bryce said, swiping his credcard through the driver's pay terminal. "Do we have time to have any additional gear transferred?"

"You're fine, mister..." Lebeau trailed off, not knowing how to address his newest crewmember.

"You can call me Bryce, or Mr. Mackenzie, whichever works," Bryce said with a smile. "Given the circumstances I'm just going with the drift."

"Very well, Mr. Mackenzie. As you can see we're landlocked, but that's the least our our worries. Let's get aboard, and we'll introduce ourselves."

Ascot spoke, "I will. Note though that a young man - blonde hair, riding a speeder - wanted to join your crew but had to go to collect his gear." He handed over Bishop's holotape to the captain as he entered the ship. "That man seemed like a fine man, although eccentric."
 

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Ascot spoke, "I will. Note though that a young man - blonde hair, riding a speeder - wanted to join your crew but had to go to collect his gear." He handed over Bishop's holotape to the captain as he entered the ship. "That man seemed like a fine man, although eccentric."

"Ah, yes," Lebeau replied, pocketing the business card with a smile. "The Chief and I met him on our way in. Can't say the Vargr who were harassing us cared for his driving though."

As the group boarded the small freighter, it was obvious from the lower cargo bay's state that while it wasn't a disaster area, it certainly wouldn't get high marks from a corporate inspector. A few small supply crates were scattered throughout the bay. One bore markings for medical supplies, but the contents - bottles of Aramanxi brandy - were not quite the medicinal items one would normally find inside. A couple of access panels were left open with tools scattered nearby, evidence of some attempt to maintain the ship before the prior crew made their exodus. Inside one, a pair of circuit plates flickered intermittently as power to them cut in and out.

The captain cleared his throat, shuffled nervously for a second, and then began his introduction. "My apologies for the disarray. My previous crew departed rather abruptly. I am Captain Jamison Lebeau and this is the free trader Honneamise. The ship is registered out of Rhylanor, but we pretty much fly anywhere there's profit to be made. I run a reasonably tight ship to insure safety and profits, but as anyone can tell you, the cost of being a free trader is higher than that of a subsidized one. Occasionally we may find ourselves taking shortcuts in more than one way to keep flying."

Lebeau crossed over to a set of larger containers arranged in a circle and took a seat on one. "Before we get acquainted, or even attached, so to speak, I have a confession to make. If, after hearing my story, you decide you want no part of this ship, you are free to leave."

"Fair enough," noted Aaron. "So what got your crew so uptight that they couldn't stand by their captain?"

Lebeau sighed. "We were strapped for cash and payment on the ship was coming due. I lined us up a cargo run to Feri carrying what we thought were relief supplies for a refugee camp there. Unfortunately things went south." The captain's face took on a mournful aspect as he continued. "Neither the cargo nor the recipients were what they were said to be. There was a misunderstanding at the spaceport and... well, we made a rather abrupt departure."

"Feri? That's not a very friendly place right now what with a worldwide war going on,"
Bryce interjected, shaking his head.

"True, but I had hoped that a goodwill mission would engender some good karma with both the natives and my creditors. When we landed here my crew told me in no uncertain terms they were not willing to be bound by law for their captain's naivete and incompetence," Lebeau frowned. "I can't blame them either, but what's a man to do? The ship payment's due and if we don't get a cargo and an exit visa in six days, we'll be stuck here."

Joss looked around at her compatriots. It was obvious their pasts were wildly different from one another, but that could easily be a solution and not a problem. She gauged them - a couple of kids and a dog, a rich dilettante, a medic, and two with obvious military experience. Added to her own, they might be able to get off Alell and into the black long before the week was up. "I think, captain," she interrupted, "that you'll find while we come from a variety of backgrounds, our combined talents - and maybe even pooled funds - will aid in our leaving the ground sooner rather than later."

"I hope so," said Lebeau, his countenance lightening a bit.

"So do I," she added, as she observed the rich playboy trying vainly to make eyes at the medic.

"Never throw money alone at a problem, especially when talking about 'Plan A'," smirked Bryce. "While greasing palms certainly never hurt an enterprise, there are some things that a few choice words can solve easier than money."

"If there's anything I learned from my soldiering days, it's that 'Plan A' rarely survives first contact with the enemy," Aaron noted. "This is going to take effort from everyone - not just one or two people. We need a cargo in addition to the exit visa, otherwise we'll be back at square one when we land again."

"So what say you? Are we a crew or not?" announced the captain.

What are Zeph and Ascot's responses to all this?
 

Templum Domini

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Lebeau sighed. "We were strapped for cash and payment on the ship was coming due. I lined us up a cargo run to Feri carrying what we thought were relief supplies for a refugee camp there. Unfortunately things went south." The captain's face took on a mournful aspect as he continued. "Neither the cargo nor the recipients were what they were said to be. There was a misunderstanding at the spaceport and... well, we made a rather abrupt departure."


Ascot interjected, "Not to sound over-imaginative, but that sounds like you're implying you were asked to trade 'illegal live cargo'."

Aka slaves, as slavery was still illegal in the Empire but like all illegal things had people who did it anyway despite the penalties.

"Feri? That's not a very friendly place right now what with a worldwide war going on,"
Bryce interjected, shaking his head.

"Or illegal war materiel," the boy continued, "although I am not as brushed up on what weapons are considered illegal in these parts of the Empire..."

"True, but I had hoped that a goodwill mission would engender some good karma with both the natives and my creditors. When we landed here my crew told me in no uncertain terms they were not willing to be bound by law for their captain's naivete and incompetence,"
Lebeau frowned. "I can't blame them either, but what's a man to do? The ship payment's due and if we don't get a cargo and an exit visa in six days, we'll be stuck here."

Joss looked around at her compatriots. It was obvious their pasts were wildly different from one another, but that could easily be a solution and not a problem. She gauged them - a couple of kids and a dog, a rich dilettante, a medic, and two with obvious military experience. Added to her own, they might be able to get off Alell and into the black long before the week was up. "I think, captain," she interrupted, "that you'll find while we come from a variety of backgrounds, our combined talents - and maybe even pooled funds - will aid in our leaving the ground sooner rather than later."


Ascot would nod, "You are all lucky I am a bleeding heart; I have 1000 credits from the time I mustered out of Imperiallines I can lend. Note, lend, not gift."

"I hope so," said Lebeau, his countenance lightening a bit.

"So do I," she added, as she observed the rich playboy trying vainly to make eyes at the medic.

"Never throw money alone at a problem, especially when talking about 'Plan A'," smirked Bryce. "While greasing palms certainly never hurt an enterprise, there are some things that a few choice words can solve easier than money."

"If there's anything I learned from my soldiering days, it's that 'Plan A' rarely survives first contact with the enemy," Aaron noted. "This is going to take effort from everyone - not just one or two people. We need a cargo in addition to the exit visa, otherwise we'll be back at square one when we land again."

"So what say you? Are we a crew or not?" announced the captain.

What are Zeph and Ascot's responses to all this?

"We are a crew," Ascot said. "But you're lucky I am a sap; very lucky. Now, as for a cargo, this is an industrial and trading planet frequented by huge amounts of tourists; there must be something produed at a surplus."
 

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Ascot interjected, "Not to sound over-imaginative, but that sounds like you're implying you were asked to trade 'illegal live cargo'."

Aka slaves, as slavery was still illegal in the Empire but like all illegal things had people who did it anyway despite the penalties.



"Or illegal war materiel," the boy continued, "although I am not as brushed up on what weapons are considered illegal in these parts of the Empire..."



Ascot would nod, "You are all lucky I am a bleeding heart; I have 1000 credits from the time I mustered out of Imperiallines I can lend. Note, lend, not gift."



"We are a crew," Ascot said. "But you're lucky I am a sap; very lucky. Now, as for a cargo, this is an industrial and trading planet frequented by huge amounts of tourists; there must be something produced at a surplus."

The captain visibly tensed at Ascot's mention of the slave trade. "Under no circumstances would I ever trade in sentient lives - knowingly or unknowingly," he said in a chastening tone. "As I said, the cargo was supposed to be relief for a refugee camp - medical supplies and rations. However, when we delivered the supplies, we found out that the cargo was a shipment of weapons meant for an Ine Givar cell that was giving aid to anti-Imperial partisans. Needless to say, we left rather hastily after finding out the truth."

"The Ine Givar... Didn't see that one coming," Bryce said, exhaling sharply. "I can't speak for anyone else here, but you're just as down on your luck as I am, so I'm willing to let the past be the past. I'm more than willing to follow Ascot's lead and make an investment - which I intend to see a profit on for all of us, if everybody else sticks around, that is."

Octia stepped forward, setting down her medi-kit to offer her hand. "I'm in. The name's Octia and I'll be the ship's medic and steward."

"Welcome aboard, Octia," Lebeau said, shaking her hand in acceptance.

"Joss," the tattooed woman offered. "You can count on me for a wide variety - security, steward, cargo. Just as long as I get paid."

"Thank you."

Bryce stepped up next. "Bryce Mackenzie, late administrator of Yori. I'm versed in trade, diplomacy and administration. If you need a faceman beyond the ship as well as someone to keep the books straight, I'm your man."

Lebeau was flabbergasted at Mackenzie's introduction. "My apologies for the rough nature of my ship, Lord Mackenzie. I was unaware of your station - "

"No worries. I've accepted my current lot, though I intend to reclaim my name and birthright, however dull it might be at times," the young noble chuckled.

"Aaron Larson, Marine Force Commander and IISS scout, retired. Like Joss I'll be covering the jack-of-all-trades post," the graying veteran said proudly.

"It's nice to be working alongside a fellow veteran, Commander," Zeph said. "Zeph Erlass. I was a Commander in the Imperial Navy's engineering division before I left the service. Hopefully I won't have to vacuum hairballs out of the engineering consoles - unlike my previous passage."

"No worries on that, Chief," Lebeau laughed. "The crew on my last run was humans only, though I do welcome any species as long as they can do the job."

Without warning, a younger voice piped up. "I'm Cassie, and this is Moose," the little girl said enthusiastically. She sat back on Moose with a satisfied look on her face. Maybe now she could be part of the action. Moose panted happily and looked around at all the new faces, visions of treats and belly rubs dancing in his head.

"Erm, yes," Lebeau said uncertainly. "Little one, do your parents know you're here?"

Cassie scrunched up her face, wrinkling her nose so her freckles stood out a bit. "Weeeeeelllllll," she said with trepidation.

What are Zeph and Ascot's responses to Cassie's predicament?
 

Templum Domini

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Without warning, a younger voice piped up. "I'm Cassie, and this is Moose," the little girl said enthusiastically. She sat back on Moose with a satisfied look on her face. Maybe now she could be part of the action. Moose panted happily and looked around at all the new faces, visions of treats and belly rubs dancing in his head.

"Erm, yes," Lebeau said uncertainly. "Little one, do your parents know you're here?"

Cassie scrunched up her face, wrinkling her nose so her freckles stood out a bit. "Weeeeeelllllll," she said with trepidation.

What are Zeph and Ascot's responses to Cassie's predicament?

"She's with me," Ascot responded loyally. "Cassie here is a courier who has done jobs for the Traveller's Aid Society long ago. Despite being technically a minor, she's proven herself dependable more than once. That and I presume that someone very young would make an unobtrusive messenger should we ever need to be unobtrusive. Nevertheless, she, the dog, and I come as an ensemble."
 

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"She's with me," Ascot responded loyally. "Cassie here is a courier who has done jobs for the Traveller's Aid Society long ago. Despite being technically a minor, she's proven herself dependable more than once. That and I presume that someone very young would make an unobtrusive messenger should we ever need to be unobtrusive. Nevertheless, she, the dog, and I come as an ensemble."
Lebeau chuckled at Ascot's chutzpah. "An ensemble? Okay; we had best start planning and working, then. Ascot, you and I will work to find a cargo. We'll go through the TAS and spaceport systems first. If we don't find anything affordable, we'll have to branch out and look for cargo outside of town. Chief, Octia, I'll need a rundown of ship's system and supplies. Bryce, Aaron, and Joss, we'll need you three to sort out our exit visa issue. If any of you have favors or pull, you may want to look into cashing them in."

"What about me?!" Cassie piped up.

"You, young lady, will learn the ways of being a free trader crewman. You have a choice. You can help Octia or you can look over our shoulders as we delve into the trade aspects of the job."

Cassie thought for a moment. Her parents had been free traders and at the time she hadn't given a thought to her future. Her life was a blur of interesting worlds and people. As an orphan, all that was gone and she was forced to think of her future - where she was going to sleep, whether or not she was going to eat, who her friends and enemies were. She had nobody beyond Moose and Ascot then. Now maybe she had a family and a home, odd as they may be. "Okay. I'll help Octia. Moose and I can go get the stuff we need," she said cheerfully. Moose sat up and took notice; his chances of getting some treats and a belly rub just got a lot better.

"Well, Ascot, where do you want to start," Lebeau queried his new student.

What are Ascot and Zeph's responses to the plan?
 

Templum Domini

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Lebeau chuckled at Ascot's chutzpah. "An ensemble? Okay; we had best start planning and working, then. Ascot, you and I will work to find a cargo. We'll go through the TAS and spaceport systems first. If we don't find anything affordable, we'll have to branch out and look for cargo outside of town. Chief, Octia, I'll need a rundown of ship's system and supplies. Bryce, Aaron, and Joss, we'll need you three to sort out our exit visa issue. If any of you have favors or pull, you may want to look into cashing them in."

"What about me?!" Cassie piped up.

"You, young lady, will learn the ways of being a free trader crewman. You have a choice. You can help Octia or you can look over our shoulders as we delve into the trade aspects of the job."

Cassie thought for a moment. Her parents had been free traders and at the time she hadn't given a thought to her future. Her life was a blur of interesting worlds and people. As an orphan, all that was gone and she was forced to think of her future - where she was going to sleep, whether or not she was going to eat, who her friends and enemies were. She had nobody beyond Moose and Ascot then. Now maybe she had a family and a home, odd as they may be. "Okay. I'll help Octia. Moose and I can go get the stuff we need," she said cheerfully. Moose sat up and took notice; his chances of getting some treats and a belly rub just got a lot better.

"Well, Ascot, where do you want to start," Lebeau queried his new student.

What are Ascot and Zeph's responses to the plan?

"The TAS system would be a good start," Ascot said.
 

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"The TAS system would be a good start," Ascot said.
"Right, then," Lebeau said. "Have a seat at the terminal and we'll start. Do you want to have a go at it first and then let me do the same and compare results or do you want me to just look over your shoulder and help out when you need it?"

There are two TAS recommended trading houses which merchants can broker deals with for speculative trade, as well as numerous other trading houses around the area. Accessing their sites on the network is an Easy (+4) Computers (EDU or INT) task that takes just a few minutes. Likewise, the TAS has info on all outbound freight in need of a hauler. The task for that is the same as accessing the trading house sites.

As Ascot is untrained in the Broker skill, he incurs a -3 DM on the roll. Lebeau's skill in this (Broker-1, plus a +2 INT mod for +3) would give Ascot a +1 DM to his roll (GM's ruling).
 

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"Right, then," Lebeau said. "Have a seat at the terminal and we'll start. Do you want to have a go at it first and then let me do the same and compare results or do you want me to just look over your shoulder and help out when you need it?"

There are two TAS recommended trading houses which merchants can broker deals with for speculative trade, as well as numerous other trading houses around the area. Accessing their sites on the network is an Easy (+4) Computers (EDU or INT) task that takes just a few minutes. Likewise, the TAS has info on all outbound freight in need of a hauler. The task for that is the same as accessing the trading house sites.

As Ascot is untrained in the Broker skill, he incurs a -3 DM on the roll. Lebeau's skill in this (Broker-1, plus a +2 INT mod for +3) would give Ascot a +1 DM to his roll (GM's ruling).

Ascot looks at Leabeau and says, "Help me out; I'm a genius, not omnipotent."

He would then check out the terminal; he had basic knowledge, but this was his first time professionally brokering. Thankfully, his own prenatural intelligence would allow him to do what's needed...hopefully.

OOC: 2d6+Int Modifier+Easy+Leabeau's Skill minus untrained.
 

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Lebeau watched Ascot's progress through the system. "Good. You've got the basics of the system down. Now we need to apply some parameters. Remember that the Honneamise has an 80-ton cargo cap and a range of one parsec. We can easily refuel in any system with a gas giant, but we'll need to keep a weather eye on our scopes because if it's one thing pirates and patrols like, it's hiding in the clouds of a gas giant. We also need to be wary of any place with a Navy or Scout base - moreso the Navy. I'm sure by now word is spreading through their networks, so we may very well want to stay away from Efate. With the Scouts it's a crapshoot. Even though they're known to share information, whether or not they act on it depends on the location and whether or not they can. Sometimes you get lucky and they let you slide for any kind of reason, but don't count on it."

Ascot mulled over the tips his captain had given him. "One more thing," Lebeau added to the mix. "We probably don't want to do any kind of speculative trading. That's risky as it is, but even riskier now because of the time it takes to broker a deal. Hauling freight is our best bet for making money to keep flying. As long as we get it there in one piece and on time, we're golden. Now that you've got that to consider, what do you estimate we should haul and where?"

Reference: Search results from the Traveller's Aid Society Merchant Indices

What does Ascot recommend for a course of action?
 
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Lebeau watched Ascot's progress through the system. "Good. You've got the basics of the system down. Now we need to apply some parameters. Remember that the Honneamise has an 80-ton cargo cap and a range of two parsecs - not short legs, but not the long legs of the subsidized liners and merchants. We can easily refuel in any system with a gas giant, but we'll need to keep a weather eye on our scopes because if it's one thing pirates and patrols like, it's hiding in the clouds of a gas giant. We also need to be wary of any place with a Navy or Scout base - moreso the Navy. I'm sure by now word is spreading through their networks, so we may very well want to stay away from Efate. With the Scouts it's a crapshoot. Even though they're known to share information, whether or not they act on it depends on the location and whether or not they can. Sometimes you get lucky and they let you slide for any kind of reason, but don't count on it."

Ascot mulled over the tips his captain had given him. "One more thing," Lebeau added to the mix. "We probably don't want to do any kind of speculative trading. That's risky as it is, but even riskier now because of the time it takes to broker a deal. Hauling freight is our best bet for making money to keep flying. As long as we get it there in one piece and on time, we're golden. Now that you've got that to consider, what do you estimate we should haul and where?"

Reference: Search results from the Traveller's Aid Society Merchant Indices

What does Ascot recommend for a course of action?

"I think we should go for something moderate; nothing too adventurous and nothing too boring. Ukaye seems to have an economy revolving around Industry and the consumption of raw materials, as well as a burgeoning Luxury Trade. In fact, I would suggest Luxury Goods as our cargo, as those can be bought cheaply here in increments of 20, 15, and 10, and those pay immensely once sold on the planet. Note that Luxury Goods would make us a bigger target for pirates, but that risk can be decreased by the relative shortness of the route to Ukaye, as well as having the larger part of the cargo - 60% - be more 'mundane materials' like wheeled components or Biodiesel.

"Assuming we can afford those, of course," Ascot finally finished.
 

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Zeph listened to it all considering her options and signed as a tired smile graced her lips; {"Just my luck "} was her primary thought as she heard the story of woe. She had heard many such stories and read quite a few journals of Far Traders, Gypsy, and other such faint or damming a title having such troubles.

It was an old problem which would outlive them all.

She had her rank and the base skill for dealing with the local bureaucracy gleaned over the years she'd spent surrounded by heavy degrees authority, it was a common talent among those raised in an Arcology. Queue, fill in the blanks careful to fill out the proper forms..... and then there was her rank.

It would require shaking out her uniform and personally presenting herself before the local Baron who might be coaxed into granting the ship its needed papers but then there was her present condition to be considered, she was broke. It was not an uncommon condition among Nobility anymore than it was the lower classes just more damaging if other nobles discovered it and as a papered rank Zeph's a bit more flammable. Most would have remedied her condition by borrowing from friends or family and Zeph had neither this far from her home world. She could offer her member passes from TAS over the next fiscal period as exchange but she'd be lucky to get 40% of their actual value.

Then she shook off thinking so foolishly, she was a ship's Chief and even if it was a small one should be her only concern and judging by the lack of funding mildly distressing. Had corners been cut, maintenance not done for lack of the proper sealant, lubrication, or other little thing.

"I believe I should leave the discussion of finance and clearance up to those better suited than myself, I am the Chief of this Boat and before we lift off I'd like to make sure the small and or overlooked detail doesn't make us look like Vagabonds when our Jump Drive doesn't engage for want of a fuse"

Smiling Zeph Bows gracefully to those still hanging about and heads into Engineering prepared to give it a class- A from inventory to final inspection.
 

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"I think we should go for something moderate; nothing too adventurous and nothing too boring. Ukaye seems to have an economy revolving around Industry and the consumption of raw materials, as well as a burgeoning Luxury Trade. In fact, I would suggest Luxury Goods as our cargo, as those can be bought cheaply here in increments of 20, 15, and 10, and those pay immensely once sold on the planet. Note that Luxury Goods would make us a bigger target for pirates, but that risk can be decreased by the relative shortness of the route to Ukaye, as well as having the larger part of the cargo - 60% - be more 'mundane materials' like wheeled components or Biodiesel.

"Assuming we can afford those, of course," Ascot finally finished.

A veteran free trader, Lebeau could tell Ascot showed promise, "I've got a budget of 40,000 credits plus whatever you're willing to invest in the venture. The remaining 40,000 will go for expenses to get us off this red-tape covered rock. Let me make a call or two and we'll see what kind of a deal we can get through the TAS recommended trade houses. Sound good?"
 

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A veteran free trader, Lebeau could tell Ascot showed promise, "I've got a budget of 40,000 credits plus whatever you're willing to invest in the venture. The remaining 40,000 will go for expenses to get us off this red-tape covered rock. Let me make a call or two and we'll see what kind of a deal we can get through the TAS recommended trade houses. Sound good?"

Ascot smiled, "It does! And my own funds are 1000 only, but I am willing to give it all as a loan. And thank you, thank you for the encouragement."
 

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Zeph listened to it all considering her options and signed as a tired smile graced her lips; {"Just my luck "} was her primary thought as she heard the story of woe. She had heard many such stories and read quite a few journals of Far Traders, Gypsy, and other such faint or damming a title having such troubles.

It was an old problem which would outlive them all.

She had her rank and the base skill for dealing with the local bureaucracy gleaned over the years she'd spent surrounded by heavy degrees authority, it was a common talent among those raised in an Arcology. Queue, fill in the blanks careful to fill out the proper forms..... and then there was her rank.

It would require shaking out her uniform and personally presenting herself before the local Baron who might be coaxed into granting the ship its needed papers but then there was her present condition to be considered, she was broke. It was not an uncommon condition among Nobility anymore than it was the lower classes just more damaging if other nobles discovered it and as a papered rank Zeph's a bit more flammable. Most would have remedied her condition by borrowing from friends or family and Zeph had neither this far from her home world. She could offer her member passes from TAS over the next fiscal period as exchange but she'd be lucky to get 40% of their actual value.

Then she shook off thinking so foolishly, she was a ship's Chief and even if it was a small one should be her only concern and judging by the lack of funding mildly distressing. Had corners been cut, maintenance not done for lack of the proper sealant, lubrication, or other little thing.

"I believe I should leave the discussion of finance and clearance up to those better suited than myself, I am the Chief of this Boat and before we lift off I'd like to make sure the small and or overlooked detail doesn't make us look like Vagabonds when our Jump Drive doesn't engage for want of a fuse"

Smiling Zeph Bows gracefully to those still hanging about and heads into Engineering prepared to give it a class- A from inventory to final inspection.
"Have at it, Chief," Lebeau said as he and Ascot moved to the computer compartment at the front of the ship. "We'll be in the computer bay sorting out what can be done to make a profit. I expect a report from both you and Octia as to our supply needs by the end of the hour."

Entering the engine room, Zeph could see there would be challenges. Not as many as presented in the Aztheung's engine room, but still enough to make things interesting. The engineer's station was dominated by several binders and notebooks in which notes and entries were scrawled in near-illegible writing. Casting a quick glance at the equations and calculations, it was obvious the previous engineer was a bit green and harried with his work. No doubt he was eager to get the bullseye off his back and yet dedicated to his work.

Zeph quietly folded the books shut and set them aside before accessing the main console.

[LINK ACTIVE] >> Systems Status Query - General Overview
[WORKING...]
[WORKING...]
[SYSTEM OVERVIEW]
>> LIFE SUPPORT -- STATUS
AMBER >> Life support currently at 25%. Change air
>> scrubber units before departure. Change water purification filters before
>> departure. Flush and decontaminate waste storage tanks before departure.
>>
>> FUEL SUPPLY -- STATUS
RED >> Fuel supply at 20% 4.4 of 22 tons remaining;
>> insufficient for jump operations or long term interplanetary operations.
>>
>> WEAPON AND DEFENSE SYSTEMS -- STATUS
AMBER >> Laser capacitors nearing end
>> life cycle. Will require replacement within next ten (10) uses. Sandcaster
>> ammo depleted. Sandcaster #2 (ventral) requires recalibration of targeting
>> sensors.
>>
>> COMPUTER/SENSORS/COMMS -- STATUS
BLUE >> Program updates are available
>> through Alell Portmaster network.
>>
>> JUMP DRIVE - STATUS GREEN >> Minor wear on jump grid on outer hull. Fully
>> functional.
>>
>> MANEUVER DRIVE - STATUS GREEN >> Fully functional.


Reference: System Status Ratings
Unlike Solomani culture, which has the standard green-yellow-red ratings for the function of shipboard systems, Vilani culture adds the color blue to indicate optimal performance. The scale is as follows:
STATUS BLUE - Optimal performance. System will function as it would if it were just newly installed out of the box. No maintenance needed at this time. The availability of software and firmware upgrades and updates does not cause systems at this level to drop to Status Green so long as the system in question is well-maintained and calibrated.

STATUS GREEN - Not quite out-of-the-box/newly installed, but fully functional. Very minor maintenance/upkeep/calibration required to maintain at this level. To get the system up to Status Blue might require such things as removing a component and cleaning it thoroughly or running the ship's computer through a routine diagnostic to fully organize memory and file storage allocation, for example.

STATUS AMBER - System is showing needs of maintenance/upkeep, but will function. Systems at this level are in need of routine maintenance soon in order to continue functioning. The system in question may also develop faults at this level, causing inefficient or unreliable performance.

STATUS RED - The system in question is either in need of major maintenance or even repair or replacement. In some cases, a system may be locked down by the main computer's safety subroutines. Such safeties can be overridden or command pathways rerouted to bring a system back online, but it is not advisable. This status most commonly pops up when life support and fuel resources are nearing depletion or are otherwise insufficient for normal operations.

So what is Zeph's first course of action?
 

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Zeph leaned back in her chair which creaked and thus was added to the todo list. Fuel locally was cheap and she could use her discount as a former Naval officer if she could find a sympathetic Engineer which lucky for her more common than you might think. It was a shared love of machines she supposed along with the fat state of an A class starport, where like fat and full Potentates who could be convinced to part with the simple things like filters; hell she might even coax those out gratis.


The Laser capacitors might be difficult, the service really liked their weapons and didn’t part from a part if they could help it; they could wait till a less paranoid supply. So all and all on the things that cost credits she was good just a bit of elbow and attention to details such as balancing, bracing, and modifying. She’d never be better than in the best in her class but the ship would eventually surrender to her program.


Writing up the report was child’s play for a woman who was used to running a ship that needed a squadron of Engineers just to keep the ship’s boats running. Then once that little chore was done she headed out and checked out the area of the Lanthanum grid knowing that there were reports that said what were once considered minor grid issues might if placed in a harmonic line cause critical variations in the Jump Field and contribute to miss jumps.

 

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* * * INTERLUDE * * *
Octia, Cassie, and Moose stared at the contents of the ship's locker, scattered and stacked as they were in the passageway.

Reference: Contents of the Ship's Locker
The ship's locker aboard the Honneamise contains the following:
Eight (8) vacc suits, each with oxygen tanks for eight (8) hours and short range communicators
Four (4) shotguns, each with ten (10) loaded magazines
Two (2) automatic pistols, each with ten (10) loaded magazines
Four (4) cutlasses, each with a belt scabbard
One (1) lockpick kit
Eight (8) sets of cloth armor
One (1) pair of image-intensifier goggles
One (1) radiation detector
One (1) grav belt
One (1) long range communicator​
“So what will we do for food in space,” inquired Cassie. “I didn't see any hydroponics or refrigeration units on the lower deck.”

“Free traders aren't known for luxury and comfort. They're built for trading and passengers – and even then the trips have to be a series of short hops between worlds,” Octia replied, snapping the last of the firearms back into the storage rack. “On ships like these we'll most likely be eating prepackaged rations and meals.”

“Bleah,” exclaimed the little girl. “I'd sooner eat plankton wafers and algae dip like my folks had on their ship...”

Aaron stuck his head through the open bridge door. “Don't worry about it, short stuff. The mealpacks aren't bad at all. They're certainly better than what spacefarers had to eat three-and-a-half millennia ago. I can remember my great uncle talking about one of my ancestors, a space traveler everybody called Buzz. The stuff he and his crewmates had to eat when they left Earth was way worse than what we'll have.”

“How bad was it,” Octia said, deadpan while rolling her eyes.

“If it wasn't freeze-dried, it was reconstituted as a paste and stuffed in a tube.”

Cassie grimaced at the thought, fighting the urge to gag. “Ewww.”

Moose just looked at Cassie's expression and Aaron's amused response, a bit of worry wrinkling his canine brow. It was looking more and more like the treats he hoped for weren't going to materialize.

Octia wrinkled her nose at Aaron's exalted ancestry. “And they flew uphill both ways, barefoot through a meteor swarm, right?”

“How'd you guess? Now you know why I survived both the marines and scouts. What he went through is business as usual for either branch,” Aaron winked at the pair as he scratched behind Moose's ears.

Octia helped Cassie stow the last two vacc suit helmets. “Okay half-pint, let's go to the upper cargo deck and check on our ration situation. On the way I'll tell you about your duties as a steward.”

“Okay,” Cassie chirruped. Aaron and Octia both marveled at the girl's demeanor. Any other terrestrial child her age would be whining from boredom by now, but not Cassie. It was obvious her parents and their profession had impressed upon her the importance of hard work.

The medic, junior steward trainee, and ship's unofficial mascot vacated the bridge, standing aside briefly to allow Joss and Bryce access through the passageway. Joss quickly sealed the bridge behind her and they each took a seat to discuss their own tasks.

Joss cut to the chase.“So how should we go about getting the necessary permits and paying the bills for departure? We obviously can't forge a visa and any fees the Honneamise has racked up would put us in debt forever.”

Both men looked at one another, each knowing from experience that their meager resources could probably help, but at a cost in days, if not weeks, of time. “Even though I've lost the bulk of my administrative resources, I do have some recourse. I have a safari ship I'm leasing out with a third-party crew. I might be able to have my assistant get a funds transfer underway, but that's going to take time, possibly time we don't have.”

“Don't look at me,” Aaron said, raising his hands in surrender. “I might have access to a scout ship as part of my retirement, but any kind of cargo runs or prospecting would be pointless. The only thing I could possibly do would be make mail runs and that's a two-week round trip at the very least. I'd probably come back to find everybody in a work farm or something.”

Joss sighed heavily. “Well, we obviously can't try to forge a visa. Even the toilet paper here has notary public imprints in triplicate.”

“If there's one thing I've learned about bureaucracies – especially complex ones – it's that the left hand often doesn't know what the right is doing. If you want the wheels to move more freely, you need to give them some grease.”

Joss leaned forward. The noble might be speaking her language now, but she remained skeptical of their changes for success. “And just how do we go about pulling off this con job, your lordship?”

“Not a con job. Trying to deceive the bureaucrats here is too risky. Some of them are over-dedicated zealots. One discussion or call between the wrong people could unravel everything for us,” Bryce said, stroking his chin. “No, what we've got to do is just dance along the line – grease a few palms, do a few favors – that sort of thing.”

The former Imperial marine looked first at Joss, then Bryce. He couldn't believe he was actually considering going along with this idea. “Okay, so I guess we start off with the Port Warden's office...”
 

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Ascot smiled, "It does! And my own funds are 1000 only, but I am willing to give it all as a loan. And thank you, thank you for the encouragement."

With a flurry of keystrokes, Lebeau dashed off a missive requesting quotations from the TAS-aligned tradehouses in triplicate. Within only a few minutes three responses piled into the comm system mailbox. A few more keystrokes pulled the relevant data together into a cohesive report.

"There you have it, lad. We have a budget of 41,000 credits and a cargo capacity of 88 tons. What's your recommendation?"

What is Ascot's recommendation?

=====================
Desired Goods - Uakye
=====================

Basic Machine Parts*
Basic Manufactured Goods*
Basic Ore*

Polymers
Precious Metals
Radioactives
Robots
Uncommon Ore
Uncommon Raw Materials
Vehicles

==================================================
Trade Goods - Alell - Tradehouse Ravn-Winther, LIC
==================================================
=================================================================
Type----------------------------Tons---Base Price---Current Price
=================================================================
Advanced Machine Parts-----------21------75,000----------75,000
Advanced Vehicles----------------17-----180,000---------162,000
Basic Consumables----------------36-------2,000-----------1,100

Basic Machine Parts*-------------43------10,000-----------8,000
Basic Manufactured Goods*--------36------10,000-----------5,500
Basic Ore*-----------------------29-------1,000-------------750

Basic Raw Materials--------------36-------5,000-----------4,500
Electronics----------------------26------10,000----------10,500
Medical Supplies-----------------26------50,000----------47,500
Pharmaceuticals-------------------5-----100,000----------90,000
Spices---------------------------25-------6,000-----------6,300

================================================
Trade Goods - Alell - Clan Khefafye Tradepost 71
================================================
===================================================================
Type---------------------------Tons----Base Price-----Current Price
===================================================================
Advanced Manufactured Goods-----16------100,000----------95,000
Advanced Vehicles---------------16------180,000---------171,000
Basic Consumables---------------29--------2,000-----------1,100

Basic Machine Parts*------------30-------10,000-----------7,000
Basic Manufactured Goods*-------36-------10,000-----------7,000
Basic Ore*----------------------29--------1,000-------------850

Basic Raw Materials-------------41--------5,000-----------3,250
Electronics---------------------25-------10,000-----------7,000
Spices--------------------------18--------6,000-----------5,400
Textiles------------------------28--------3,000-----------2,700

===================================================
Trade Goods - Alell - Aengkurrsu-Oghkoor Trade Pack
===================================================
=============================================================
Type---------------------Tons----Base Price-----Current Price
=============================================================
Basic Consumables---------33-------2,000------------1,500

Basic Machine Parts*------38------10,000-----------11,000
Basic Manufactured Goods*-34------10,000------------7,000
Basic Ore*----------------33-------1,000------------1,000

Basic Raw Materials-------35-------5,000------------5,000
Cybernetics----------------2-----250,000----------300,000
Electronics---------------32------10,000------------9,000
Precious Metals------------5------50,000-----------37,500
Textiles------------------40-------3,000------------1,650

=====================================
Outbound Freight - Destination: Uakye
=====================================
======================================================================
Tons---Payment------Value-------Contents------------------------------
======================================================================
60------60,000-----900,000------Wheeled Components
60------60,000-----900,000------Wheeled Components
60------60,000--60,000,000------Medical Isotopes/Reactor-Grade Uranium
50------50,000---5,000,000------Biodiesel/Cooking Compounds
40------40,000-----280,000------Gold/Silver/Limenite Ores
30------24,030-----270,000------Kevlar/Teflon
30------30,000------90,000------Insulation/Polyurethane Foam
30------30,000---2,250,000------Fusion Conduits/Power Plant Shells
30------30,000---7,500,000------VR Electronic Entertainment Devices
25------20,025---1,250,000------General Medical Equipment
25------20,025------50,000------Furniture-Grade Timber/Rare Grades
20------16,020-----700,000------Stellite/Tombac
20------16,020-----100,000------Refined Kerosine/Purified Oil
20------16,020--15,000,000------Industrial Isotopes
20------16,020------20,000------Bauxite/Coltan/Wolframite
20------16,020------30,000------Acanthite/Cobaltite/Magnetite
20------20,000------40,000------Animal-based Fabrics
20------20,000-----300,000------Wheeled Components
20------20,000---7,000,000------Cosmetic Prosthetics
20------20,000-----500,000------Circuitry Bundle
15------12,015------30,000------Furniture-Grade Timber/Rare Grades
15------12,015-----150,000------Trained Riding Animals/Common Pets
10-------8,010------50,000------Untrained Riding Animals
10-------8,010---1,000,000------Survival Equipment/Colonization Kits
10------10,000------50,000------Nickel/Sodium/Tungsten Ores
10------10,000-----500,000------Ethanol/Fructose Syrup
10------10,000-----500,000------Exotic Desserts/Exotic Liquor
6-------4,806---3,000,000------Psi-Related Drugs/Viral Therapy Doses
5-------4,005---1,500,000------Industrial Drones/Personal Drones
5-------4,005------50,000------Engine Components
5-------4,005------25,000------Untrained Riding Animals
5-------4,005------35,000------Gold/Silver/Limenite Ores
5-------4,005------50,000------Trained Riding Animals/Common Pets
4-------3,204---1,600,000------Combat Drones/Guardian Drones
4-------3,204------40,000------Engine Components
3-------2,403-----300,000------Prescription Medications/Surgical
3-------2,403------15,000------Untrained Riding Animals
 
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With a flurry of keystrokes, Lebeau dashed off a missive requesting quotations from the TAS-aligned tradehouses in triplicate. Within only a few minutes three responses piled into the comm system mailbox. A few more keystrokes pulled the relevant data together into a cohesive report.

"There you have it, lad. We have a budget of 41,000 credits and a cargo capacity of 88 tons. What's your recommendation?"

What is Ascot's recommendation?

=====================
Desired Goods - Uakye
=====================

Basic Machine Parts*
Basic Manufactured Goods*
Basic Ore*

Polymers
Precious Metals
Radioactives
Robots
Uncommon Ore
Uncommon Raw Materials
Vehicles

==================================================
Trade Goods - Alell - Tradehouse Ravn-Winther, LIC
==================================================
=================================================================
Type----------------------------Tons---Base Price---Current Price
=================================================================
Advanced Machine Parts-----------21------75,000----------75,000
Advanced Vehicles----------------17-----180,000---------162,000
Basic Consumables----------------36-------2,000-----------1,100

Basic Machine Parts*-------------43------10,000-----------8,000
Basic Manufactured Goods*--------36------10,000-----------5,500
Basic Ore*-----------------------29-------1,000-------------750

Basic Raw Materials--------------36-------5,000-----------4,500
Electronics----------------------26------10,000----------10,500
Medical Supplies-----------------26------50,000----------47,500
Pharmaceuticals-------------------5-----100,000----------90,000
Spices---------------------------25-------6,000-----------6,300

================================================
Trade Goods - Alell - Clan Khefafye Tradepost 71
================================================
===================================================================
Type---------------------------Tons----Base Price-----Current Price
===================================================================
Advanced Manufactured Goods-----16------100,000----------95,000
Advanced Vehicles---------------16------180,000---------171,000
Basic Consumables---------------29--------2,000-----------1,100

Basic Machine Parts*------------30-------10,000-----------7,000
Basic Manufactured Goods*-------36-------10,000-----------7,000
Basic Ore*----------------------29--------1,000-------------850

Basic Raw Materials-------------41--------5,000-----------3,250
Electronics---------------------25-------10,000-----------7,000
Spices--------------------------18--------6,000-----------5,400
Textiles------------------------28--------3,000-----------2,700

===================================================
Trade Goods - Alell - Aengkurrsu-Oghkoor Trade Pack
===================================================
=============================================================
Type---------------------Tons----Base Price-----Current Price
=============================================================
Basic Consumables---------33-------2,000------------1,500

Basic Machine Parts*------38------10,000-----------11,000
Basic Manufactured Goods*-34------10,000------------7,000
Basic Ore*----------------33-------1,000------------1,000

Basic Raw Materials-------35-------5,000------------5,000
Cybernetics----------------2-----250,000----------300,000
Electronics---------------32------10,000------------9,000
Precious Metals------------5------50,000-----------37,500
Textiles------------------40-------3,000------------1,650

=====================================
Outbound Freight - Destination: Uakye
=====================================
======================================================================
Tons---Payment------Value-------Contents------------------------------
======================================================================
60------60,000-----900,000------Wheeled Components
60------60,000-----900,000------Wheeled Components
60------60,000--60,000,000------Medical Isotopes/Reactor-Grade Uranium
50------50,000---5,000,000------Biodiesel/Cooking Compounds
40------40,000-----280,000------Gold/Silver/Limenite Ores
30------24,030-----270,000------Kevlar/Teflon
30------30,000------90,000------Insulation/Polyurethane Foam
30------30,000---2,250,000------Fusion Conduits/Power Plant Shells
30------30,000---7,500,000------VR Electronic Entertainment Devices
25------20,025---1,250,000------General Medical Equipment
25------20,025------50,000------Furniture-Grade Timber/Rare Grades
20------16,020-----700,000------Stellite/Tombac
20------16,020-----100,000------Refined Kerosine/Purified Oil
20------16,020--15,000,000------Industrial Isotopes
20------16,020------20,000------Bauxite/Coltan/Wolframite
20------16,020------30,000------Acanthite/Cobaltite/Magnetite
20------20,000------40,000------Animal-based Fabrics
20------20,000-----300,000------Wheeled Components
20------20,000---7,000,000------Cosmetic Prosthetics
20------20,000-----500,000------Circuitry Bundle
15------12,015------30,000------Furniture-Grade Timber/Rare Grades
15------12,015-----150,000------Trained Riding Animals/Common Pets
10-------8,010------50,000------Untrained Riding Animals
10-------8,010---1,000,000------Survival Equipment/Colonization Kits
10------10,000------50,000------Nickel/Sodium/Tungsten Ores
10------10,000-----500,000------Ethanol/Fructose Syrup
10------10,000-----500,000------Exotic Desserts/Exotic Liquor
6-------4,806---3,000,000------Psi-Related Drugs/Viral Therapy Doses
5-------4,005---1,500,000------Industrial Drones/Personal Drones
5-------4,005------50,000------Engine Components
5-------4,005------25,000------Untrained Riding Animals
5-------4,005------35,000------Gold/Silver/Limenite Ores
5-------4,005------50,000------Trained Riding Animals/Common Pets
4-------3,204---1,600,000------Combat Drones/Guardian Drones
4-------3,204------40,000------Engine Components
3-------2,403-----300,000------Prescription Medications/Surgical
3-------2,403------15,000------Untrained Riding Animals

Ascot would say, "The majority - 20,000 Credits' worth - should be Basic Manufactured Goods, which would be 68 Tons. That leaves us with 20 tons left for Cosmetic Prostethics, which we can use the remaining 20,000 Credits' for. Does that sound good?"
 
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Harl Quinn

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Zeph leaned back in her chair which creaked and thus was added to the todo list. Fuel locally was cheap and she could use her discount as a former Naval officer if she could find a sympathetic Engineer which lucky for her more common than you might think. It was a shared love of machines she supposed along with the fat state of an A class starport, where like fat and full Potentates who could be convinced to part with the simple things like filters; hell she might even coax those out gratis.


The Laser capacitors might be difficult, the service really liked their weapons and didn’t part from a part if they could help it; they could wait till a less paranoid supply. So all and all on the things that cost credits she was good just a bit of elbow and attention to details such as balancing, bracing, and modifying. She’d never be better than in the best in her class but the ship would eventually surrender to her program.


Writing up the report was child’s play for a woman who was used to running a ship that needed a squadron of Engineers just to keep the ship’s boats running. Then once that little chore was done she headed out and checked out the area of the Lanthanum grid knowing that there were reports that said what were once considered minor grid issues might if placed in a harmonic line cause critical variations in the Jump Field and contribute to miss jumps.
Leaving behind the confines of the engine room, Zeph made her way to the cargo lift to begin her inspection of the ship's lanthanum jump grid. The task was simple enough. With minor wear, the repairs would only require some lanthanum quickgel to repair.

Task: Inspect lanthanum jump grid; INT (+2 DM) Engineer-1; Routine (+2 DM); roll 2d6+5.

Reference: Modified Beowulf-class Type A Free Trader Specifications
Registry: Free Trader Honneamise
Hull: Type 2, streamlined (Hull 4, Structure 4)
Armor: Crystaliron (4 pts)
Jump Drive: Type A (Jump-1)
Maneuver Drive: Type A (Thrust 1G)
Power Plant: Type A (fuel requirement 2 tons fuel/2 weeks)
Computer: Model 1 (Rating 5)
Electronics: Civilian Sensors (-2 DM)
Weapons:
Turret #1 - Double Turret - 1 beam laser, 1 sandcaster
Turret #2 - Double Turret - 1 beam laser, 1 sandcaster​
Fuel: 22 tons (one Jump-1 and two weeks of operation)
Cargo: 80 tons
10 Staterooms
20 Low Berths
Extras
Fuel Scoop
Fuel Processor
Ship's Locker​
Maintenance Cost (Monthly): Cr.3,048
Life Support Cost (Monthly): Cr.22,000
Reference: Free Trader Honneamise Deckplan
ff09082ffcb3a1361dcf9e8e859efe65.jpg
 

Daniel Martinez

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Joss cut to the chase.“So how should we go about getting the necsary permits and paying the bills for departure? We obviously can't forge a visa and any fees the Honneamise has racked up would put us in debt forever.”

Both men looked at one another, each knowing from experience that their meager resources could probably help, but at a cost in days, if not weeks, of time. “Even though I've lost the bulk of my administrative resources, I do have some recourse. I have a safari ship I'm leasing out with a third-party crew. I might be able to have my assistant get a funds transfer underway, but that's going to take time, possibly time we don't have.”

“Don't look at me,” Aaron said, raising his hands in surrender. “I might have access to a scout ship as part of my retirement, but any kind of cargo runs or prospecting would be pointless. The only thing I could possibly do would be make mail runs and that's a two-week round trip at the very least. I'd probably come back to find everybody in a work farm or something.”

Joss sighed heavily. “Well, we obviously can't try to forge a visa. Even the toilet paper here has notary public imprints in triplicate.”

“If there's one thing I've learned about bureaucracies – especially complex ones – it's that the left hand often doesn't know what the right is doing. If you want the wheels to move more freely, you need to give them some grease.”

Joss leaned forward. The noble might be speaking her language now, but she remained skeptical of their changes for success. “And just how do we go about pulling off this con job, your lordship?”

“Not a con job. Trying to deceive the bureaucrats here is too risky. Some of them are over-dedicated zealots. One discussion or call between the wrong people could unravel everything for us,” Bryce said, stroking his chin. “No, what we've got to do is just dance along the line – grease a few palms, do a few favors – that sort of thing.”

The former Imperial marine looked first at Joss, then Bryce. He couldn't believe he was actually considering going along with this idea. “Okay, so I guess we start off with the Port Warden's office...”

"Grease? Palm? Favors?" Aaron says, hands on hips, weighing his head in thought. "Well, never let it said you're plans aren't always...interesting, Mr. McKenzie." Aaron goes to stow his gear, but brings along his stealth dagger, just in case, and secures around 2000 credits in bills and rejoins the party.
 
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Trish Moon

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Getting to work Zeph locates the area's of wear and can't help but smile as she begins to apply the gel( Engineering roll +5: 2d6 5) thinking how she's back to square one because of the position she holds in her own society.

She in the beginning of her career believed in her people's traditions and accepted her fate as Elph (bastard)but her scores on the Lal Emparte (Graduation test) at a 4.7 placing her in the top 5% of her generation; equal at least in knowledge and application to the highest born despite the sad condition of her schooling compared to those worthies.

He wasn't bad to look at but even the most streamlined of craft can conceal a wallowing poorly machined Zel (Lemon) and even his family name Shiishuginsa one of great power couldn't make up for the way he looked at her when they met. He was a creature of lust who'd married a barren woman that even science couldn't help who saw the chance in her condition of building a Harem of concubines for himself without the stigma of lust being attached.

Sighing Zeph wondered why of all the other women he had choice of back home to act willingly as he and his wife's Syph, to bare the children he and she so desperately needed before their marriage be thought cursed it has her that he so wanted. Was it because of her score and performance which had helped her rise thro......?

{"Not worth worrying about"} she thought. Out of uniform she was free from their demands as an Imperial citizen and former officer of command rank....a broke officer on a ship smaller than the assault landers of her former command she was free.

Finishing Zeph climbed down and held back tears by reminding herself she'd already made peace with her decision. This was her new life and who knew where it might lead.

"A new beginning" she said with a sigh as she pulled out her pad and began making a few inquiries searching for the materials and parts she needed.
 
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Harl Quinn

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Getting to work Zeph locates the area's of wear and can't help but smile as she begins to apply the gel( Engineering roll +5: 2d6 5) thinking how she's back to square one because of the position she holds in her own society.

She in the beginning of her career believed in her people's traditions and accepted her fate as Elph (bastard)but her scores on the Lal Emparte (Graduation test) at a 4.7 placing her in the top 5% of her generation; equal at least in knowledge and application to the highest born despite the sad condition of her schooling compared to those worthies.

He wasn't bad to look at but even the most streamlined of craft can conceal a wallowing poorly machined Zel (Lemon) and even his family name Shiishuginsa one of great power couldn't make up for the way he looked at her when they met. He was a creature of lust who'd married a barren woman that even science couldn't help who saw the chance in her condition of building a Harem of concubines for himself without the stigma of lust being attached.

Sighing Zeph wondered why of all the other women he had choice of back home to act willingly as he and his wife's Syph, to bare the children he and she so desperately needed before their marriage be thought cursed it has her that he so wanted. Was it because of her score and performance which had helped her rise thro......?

{"Not worth worrying about"} she thought. Out of uniform she was free from their demands as an Imperial citizen and former officer of command rank....a broke officer on a ship smaller than the assault landers of her former command she was free.

Finishing Zeph climbed down and held back tears by reminding herself she'd already made peace with her decision. This was her new life and who knew where it might lead.

"A new beginning" she said with a sigh as she pulled out her pad and began making a few inquiries searching for the materials and parts she needed.

Stowing the quickgel dispenser in its case, Zeph quickly returned to her computer station and opened a link to the provisions section of the Amherst Downs Shipyards. A slightly familiar face greeted her on the screen as the link was quickly answered.

"Shipyard Provisioners," the young man answered crisply. "How can I help you - " he quickly straightened his posture and tried to wipe the surprise from his face. " - Commander?"

"No need to stand on protocol, er," Zeph replied, trying to connect the junior officer's face to a name.

He quickly filled in the blank. "Agaaniishi. I was an engineer's mate. Dehaani te! It's good to see you, ma'am. How can I help you?"

Reference: Aawalti Vilani terms
"Dehaani te" is a common Aawalti greeting in their dialect of Vilani. It is the Vilani equivalent of the Hawaiian word "aloha", meaning both hello and goodbye.

Zeph quickly rattled off the Honneamise's litany of needs. "I'm chief engineer aboard a free trader - the Honneamise - and we're in need of a number of items to get us offworld. Mostly fuel, air and water filters, and some laser capacitors and sand canisters if you can spare them."

"Okay, let me see what we've got in stock." The young clerk's expression turned from concentration to puzzlement after a couple of keystrokes. "Hate to tell you this, Commander, but your ship is landlocked. I can get you the air and water filters, but the fuel, sand, and laser capacitors are on hold until things get cleared up between the Starport Authority and your skipper. I'll be sure to put a veteran's discount to lessen the sting."

Zeph sat back and let out a deep sigh of disappointment. It looked like things were going to get more complicated before they got simpler. "I'll let my captain know. Hopefully we can get this all sorted out before we go bankrupt just sitting here," she nodded. "When can we expect delivery on the scrubbers and filters?"

"It shouldn't be longer than a day. We've got a major call for supplies from our highport office. Someone wasn't filing their requests regularly and they got backed up. Now we're having to shoulder the load."

"When it rains, it pours. No sense crying about it now," Zeph smirked. "Keep your head down and your shoulder low. You'll be fine. Dehaani te, and take care."

"Dehaani te, Commander, and safe flight." The link snapped shut.

Zeph smiled inwardly. It was good to see a somewhat familiar face, even if it was someone she didn't recognize at first. She thought back briefly through her mental files. She remembered Engineer's Mate Agaaniishi as a crewman with a mind like a steel trap. It was rather unfortunate that his fine motor skills didn't follow through with his mental skills. Despite that shortcoming, Agaaniishi acquitted himself well during their days aboard the Heni Las Mador. If a task required some heavy lifting - either mentally or physically, he was ready, willing, and able.

Shuffling those memories aside, the engineer quickly grabbed a toolkit and prepared to finish up the rest of her work for the time being. The ventral sandcaster wasn't going to recalibrate itself, nor would waste storage purge and purify itself, no matter how much any engineer wished it away.

Dropping into the ventral turret's control chair, Zeph plugged the minicomp into the targeting system and toggled the power on both the turret controls and the computer. The screens sprang to life with a brief test pattern, indicating they were synchronized with the minicomp's software. Hanging the minicomp from the main screen, she tapped a couple of commands in and began the process of resetting the controls. The turret responded obediently as Zeph targeted various objects in the Honneamise's berth.

Then she caught sight of something out of place. A figure casually walking through the entryway. Holding the turret still so as to not spook the intruder, she watched as he came closer. She recognized him as the young man driving the air raft that sent her the Aztheung's crewmen packing. Grabbing the headset, she held it to her ear, toggling the internal link. "Captain, we've got company on the ground."

"Right, I've got him on the ventral camera. I'll see what he wants," came the response.

Stifling a childish giggle and smirk, Zeph worked the controls and brought the turret to bear in the interloper's general direction.

Catching the movement, the unwitting target jumped lithely to the side with a shout. "Whoa! Friendly! Friendly! Don't shoot!"

"What's your business, mister?" Captain Lebeau's voice rang through the ship's external speakers.

Zeph had to give him credit. He had good control of his motor skills and nerve. Any other person might have panicked and ran in circles while howling in fear.

He looked up at the ventral camera with big-eyed wistfulness. "The name's Bishop. I was looking for work as a steward or merchant marine. I left my CV with one of your crew. Permission to come aboard?"

"Granted, Mr. Bishop. I'll meet you in the lower cargo bay."

Zeph switched the comlink off and turned her attention back to recalibrating the sandcaster's targeting sensors. The task went relatively smoothly and practically completed itself. The only issue was a nagging sensation in the back of the engineer's mind. While it was more than likely just a coincidence, Zeph couldn't escape the thought that she had definitely seen the newcomer before.

Roll 2d6+INT modifier to jog Zeph's memory.
 

Trish Moon

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Memory: 2d6 8


Zeph’s mind so used to multi tasking continued sifting through the faces stored there just as it would the machine parts and engineering schematics she daily dealt with as she moved on to her next task.


Honed by being raised in an arcology of the Valani her sector containing nearly 75,000 people in the equivalent of a sq. kilometer so she could know if who wasn’t from her block.
 

Harl Quinn

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"Grease? Palm? Favors?" Aaron says, hands on hips, weighing his head in thought. "Well, never let it said you're plans aren't always...interesting, Mr. McKenzie." Aaron goes to stow his gear, but brings along his stealth dagger, just in case, and secures around 2000 credits in bills and rejoins the party.
"Well, then, let's get to it. We'll start at the Starport Warden's office and hopefully that's as far as we'll need to go," Joss said with a small inflection of hope in her voice and a roguish grin. She quickly checked her own weapon and stowed it securely in a pocket where starport security would hopefully not notice it.

M Mike - What does Bryce do to prep for this little endeavor?
 

Harl Quinn

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Ascot would say, "The majority - 20,000 Credits' worth - should be Basic Manufactured Goods, which would be 68 Tons. That leaves us with 20 tons left for Cosmetic Prostethics, which we can use the remaining 20,000 Credits' for. Does that sound good?"

Switching off the external comlink, Lebeau turned to Ascot. "Go ahead and make the arrangements, Ascot. I'm going to meet with Mr. Bishop in the lower cargo bay and discuss the possible terms of his employment. After that, I'm going to go to the Port Warden's office to try and get this fee situation resolved. Hopefully they'll see reason and we'll be able to get our exit visa sooner rather than later."

As the captain exited the computer room, he was greeted by Joss, Bryce, and Aaron. "And where are you three off to?" he inquired.

"Port Warden's office," Joss replied matter-of-factly, arms on hips. "We're going to try and get this exit visa business sorted out so we can dust off this rockball."

"Hold up for a bit. I've got a potential last-minute addition to the crew to interview in the lower cargo bay. Once we're through with that, I'll go with you."

Joss looked to Bryce and Aaron. "Works for me - how about you two?"

"No complaints here. Maybe the more voices we have the better chances we'll have at getting the visa," Aaron shrugged.

Lebeau shifted from talk to walk. "Right. Let's go meet our prospective crewmate and get on with this."

Ascot felt a twinge of curiosity about Bishop, but yet his sense of duty remained strong...

If Ascot holds true to his sense of duty, who does he contact for the cargo? If he decides to give into his curiosity, what does he do?
 

Templum Domini

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Switching off the external comlink, Lebeau turned to Ascot. "Go ahead and make the arrangements, Ascot. I'm going to meet with Mr. Bishop in the lower cargo bay and discuss the possible terms of his employment. After that, I'm going to go to the Port Warden's office to try and get this fee situation resolved. Hopefully they'll see reason and we'll be able to get our exit visa sooner rather than later."

As the captain exited the computer room, he was greeted by Joss, Bryce, and Aaron. "And where are you three off to?" he inquired.

"Port Warden's office," Joss replied matter-of-factly, arms on hips. "We're going to try and get this exit visa business sorted out so we can dust off this rockball."

"Hold up for a bit. I've got a potential last-minute addition to the crew to interview in the lower cargo bay. Once we're through with that, I'll go with you."

Joss looked to Bryce and Aaron. "Works for me - how about you two?"

"No complaints here. Maybe the more voices we have the better chances we'll have at getting the visa," Aaron shrugged.

Lebeau shifted from talk to walk. "Right. Let's go meet our prospective crewmate and get on with this."

Ascot felt a twinge of curiosity about Bishop, but yet his sense of duty remained strong...

If Ascot holds true to his sense of duty, who does he contact for the cargo? If he decides to give into his curiosity, what does he do?

Bishop could wait; it was time to contact the Aengkurrsu-Oghkoor Trade Pack first, then the Outbound Freight traders. Going to the communications suite, the boy would begin contacting the Trade Pack and Outbound Frieght; he was going to do so via text so as to conceal his true age...
 

Harl Quinn

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Memory: 2d6 8


Zeph’s mind so used to multi tasking continued sifting through the faces stored there just as it would the machine parts and engineering schematics she daily dealt with as she moved on to her next task.


Honed by being raised in an arcology of the Valani her sector containing nearly 75,000 people in the equivalent of a sq. kilometer so she could know if who wasn’t from her block.
Zeph thought back to her days on the Heni Las Mador. When the ship was last in port at the Efate Naval Station several new bridge crew embarked, including a young pilot who managed to crash into her at a corridor intersection. Zeph chuckled to herself as she recalled the mayhem that collision caused. Tools and equipment clattered and ricocheted off the bulkheads. Being a junior officer, he quickly admitted his fault and scrambled to help her pick up the scattered components. Their hands touched briefly when they both reached for the same spanner, causing him to draw his hand back as if bitten. In her mind's eye, she could clearly see his face and the name tag on his uniform - "Bishop".

With this information at hand, what does Zeph do? Does she let Captain Lebeau know right away or does she continue with her maintenance work?
 

Harl Quinn

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Bishop could wait; it was time to contact the Aengkurrsu-Oghkoor Trade Pack first, then the Outbound Freight traders. Going to the communications suite, the boy would begin contacting the Trade Pack and Outbound Frieght; he was going to do so via text so as to conceal his true age...

Ascot opened a link between the Honneamise and the Aengkurrsu-Oghkoor Trade Pack. The link showed the standard "connecting - busy" screen for a few seconds before a furry face appeared on the screen. Looking up the nose of the Vargr receptionist gave Ascot brief feeling of deja vu and he missed the receptionist's greeting entirely.

<Azzu! Kabra dvokedh Aengkurrsu-Oghkoor!>

Ascot blinked a couple of times and then snapped back to reality in time to hear the Vargr greet him again in Vuakedh. <Azzu? Bhranda kghfe zhdaetso?>

Not knowing any of the Vargr languages, Ascot's confused expression caused the receptionist to jump slightly. "Kae! Hooman! Sorry, I not speak the Galanglic well. Aengkurrsu-Oghkoor Tradepack! How I help you?"

"I'm looking to purchase trade goods per my captain's orders," Ascot piped up.

"Kae, kakh tsakha! You hoomans start young on trade routes. You tell captain call back hisself, then we talk." The receptionist made to break the link.

How does Ascot respond to this slight? What does he say or do? Any persuasion or bargaining rolls are made as though he has a SOC 2 (-2 DM).

Reference: Human-Vargr Interactions
Based on rules presented in Vilani & Vargr: The Coreward Races, only a few humans can impress Vargr using their own force of personality. Naturally, humans lack the innate charisma all Vargr have to some small extent. A human's basic Charisma score is 1/3 his Social Standing. Vargr rarely accept humans or other outsiders immediately. Ascot, being young, may have difficulty in getting the Vargr to take him seriously.
 
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Templum Domini

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Ascot opened a link between the Honneamise and the Aengkurrsu-Oghkoor Trade Pack. The link showed the standard "connecting - busy" screen for a few seconds before a furry face appeared on the screen. Looking up the nose of the Vargr receptionist gave Ascot brief feeling of deja vu and he missed the receptionist's greeting entirely.

<Azzu! Kabra dvokedh Aengkurrsu-Oghkoor!>

Ascot blinked a couple of times and then snapped back to reality in time to hear the Vargr greet him again in Vuakedh. <Azzu? Bhranda kghfe zhdaetso?>

Not knowing any of the Vargr languages, Ascot's confused expression caused the receptionist to jump slightly. "Kae! Hooman! Sorry, I not speak the Galanglic well. Aengkurrsu-Oghkoor Tradepack! How I help you?"

"I'm looking to purchase trade goods per my captain's orders," Ascot piped up.

"Kae, kakh tsakha! You hoomans start young on trade routes. You tell captain call back hisself, then we talk." The receptionist made to break the link.

How does Ascot respond to this slight? What does he say or do? Any rolls are made as though he has a SOC 2 (-2 DM).

Reference: Human-Vargr Interactions
Based on rules presented in Vilani & Vargr: The Coreward Races, only a few humans can impress Vargr using their own force of personality. Naturally, humans lack the innate charisma all Vargr have to some small extent. A human's basic Charisma score is 1/3 his Social Standing. Vargr rarely accept humans or other outsiders immediately. Ascot, being young, may have difficulty in getting the Vargr to take him seriously.

"The captain is busy right now, but I can assure you that I have the necessary knowledge of trade needed to secure a proper purchase, as well as the right amount of credits," Ascot spoke to the receptionist. He knew that Vargr were naturally more charismatic than Humans, but Intelligence evened out everything, and he was intelligent. "Plus, there are no legal barriers to negotiating with a child as long as said child demonstrates that he is legally empowered and emancipated to make deals. I have such legal empowerment and emancipation, and the captain of this ship has confirmed that empowerment."

OOC: I try to impress the Vargr with Intelligence instead of Social so that I can use my Intelligence for the Characteristic Roll instead. I also attempt Advocate so that I don't get an additional Malus.

https://orokos.com/roll/631118

I fail by one point.

Note that if using Intelligence instead of Social isn't allowed, I just use Social+Advocate and hope for luck.

https://orokos.com/roll/631119

I fail too, but with a worse margin.
 
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