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Old January 3rd, 2016, 07:55 PM
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Laseiag stepped out of engineering and announced that the computer was finished aligning to the ship. He noticed the coffee and made some for himself, sitting down. Helga seemed busy for a while setting up her cabin, then popped out and crowded in next to Laseiag, grinning at him. He seemed taken back to see such a large and outgoing female. They made some small talk until Natasha started dropping her gear down the airlock hatch, and Helga moved to help her.

"She should count as two," Laseiag commented about Helga.

"She can," Adam grinned. He could tell Laseiag had serious reservations about such a free-standing female. "She likes to be happy. Be happy."

Laseiag frowned.

The ladies returned shortly. Adam could tell Natasha was irritated at being left the small cabin but she kept her focus up. Taking in the scene she slid in next to him.

"Good, all here, let's get started, this may be a little redundant but we'll make sure we cover everything." He waved to himself, "Adam Warren, third field tour, ship and mission lead, pilot, Flight Academy, Wilderness School, Combat Handgun Course. As you probably already know we are to locate and if necessary assist the ISS Purdue which is overdue, and also perform and update survey on 875-496." He waved to the engineer to speak next.

"Most of my ancestors settled on Karin centuries ago and occupy many prestigious positions in this world's political and economic structure. My father is cousin to Karin's governor and president of Khuigdur and my mother owns the Anuka field orchards. One of my brothers is president of the Karin Zoological Society and one of my sisters owns the Nashua Flight School. I am Kishsuumdadkiimku Laseiag Namuuishun. Here I may be called Chief Laseiag. I graduated with honors from the Imperial Scout Service Engineering Academy and Mechanics School and in the upper half of the Electronics School. This is my third successful tour. Upon completion of my service to the Emperor I am slated for a position in Durhansur Yard of Karin."

Again Adam wondered why Laseiag was here. Issues? Maybe he's just a dedicated servant of the Emperor. Find out soon enough, hopefully not the hard way.

"Helga Braun von Hochstaadt of Lunion, Survey Specialist and Indigeneous Contact expert." Her good-natured voice filled the tiny lounge and seemed to crowd Laseiag socially. "Second tour. I perform system survey update of 875-496 and continue that survey aboard ISS Lu Hao when it arrives in Five Sisters."

"Natasha Sversk, navigation and communication. I am administrator on field assignment for my second tour to gain experience in J3." She seemed reticent, as if going through the motions. Doesn't like people? Adam wondered.

Helga asked, "Gain experience? So for maiden voyage we can expect to arrive in Oort cloud, transit for two months, yes?" she grinned.

"Natasha here," Adam stepped in before Natasha could respond, "is from Aki and graduated top of her class in the Glisten Navigation Academy. She just might put us on 100d," he bantered.

"Ach! I look forward to that!" Helga responded, pounding the table and smiling at Natasha, who looked like she was facing an annoying gorilla who was trying to hug her.

"She's also," Adam added, "our medic. So treat her well or she might decide that a splinter warrants an amputation."

Laseiag asked, "You are a doctor?" There was absolutely nothing condescending in his tone, but somehow it was.

"No, I tested as qualified for Emergency Medical Technician."

"Tested?" Laseiag continued. It was fascinating. The man was as formal and polite as could be, but somehow he dripped doubt.

Natasha didn't miss anything. Her response was ice cold. "On Aki I was a morale girl in my block gang. I recovered and tended casualties, stabbings and gunshots and broken bones and burns and infections. I achieved .53 survival and return, .67 when I gained access to real pharmaceuticals. Your scout service qualification test was easy."

Laseiag said nothing. He put his right arm across his chest and bowed slightly.

Helga was more animated. She looked wide-eyed at Adam and pointed at Natasha. "I like!"

Adam looked at Natasha's left hand ring finger. Yep, there it was, the scar burned into her skin in a ring in lieu of a wedding ring. How had he missed that? Stupid of him, he had read up on Aki but hadn't the wits to make use of it. Wouldn't be the only scar she had.

"And I would add," Adam stepped right in, "that Senior Administrator Harinkake herself vouched for Natasha here." Natasha glanced at him. Laseiag had nothing he could identify on his face but Adam could tell the Chief was insulted. Oh, yeah, in vilani culture to appeal to authority after a matter was conceded was gravely offensive, it implied the subject was an animalistic criminal. Have to clear that up later. "So there we are. We're covered if you get cut or fall down, but don't lose an eye or it may be permanent."

Natasha stood up. "I will begin orienting to this ship's navigation systems."

"Hang on, still a few more things." He waved her back down, somewhat deliberately, and she carefully sat. "This space," he pointed at the empty space next to the lounge, "is available for whatever we want. We could ..."

He was interrupted by Helga and Laseiag simultaneously. "Holobooth." Natasha was right behind them. "Yes, holobooth."

"... or, that. Holobooth it is, motion carried," Adam finished. "Which leaves us the remains of the attic garage, 2 dtons with a garage hatch. I think a pair of grav bikes would be quite useful. They would allow us to search and explore much more territory up close much more easily than simply moving the ship around and walking."

"I like!" said Helga. Valkyrie.

"We will need cargo space," said Laseiag. Natasha seemed to begin realizing it could be an issue.

"Well we have no gunner so the gunnery station space is available. It would hold some equipment and there's enough space for more food packets than we could possibly use. For everything else we could overload the existing gear lockers. This is a short mission, all we have to do is get there, perform search and rescue with survey along the way, and come back. We easily could do it."

Laseiag considered this. "I agree. But I'll want welding equipment in the garage, not inhabited hull." Adam looked at Natasha, and she nodded. She seemed to have set aside all her previous anger and to be focusing on what was in front of her. A useful trait on Aki ....

"OK, grav bikes. I think that's it for now, anyone have anything else?"

Natasha seemed to realize something. "If we must rescue the crew of the other ship, where will we put them?"

"Double up," said Adam. Natasha looked back at her reduced cabin and frowned.

Helga looked suddenly concerned. "What is name of ship?"

Adam blinked. "I don't know," he laughed. "There wasn't anything on the bow? I guess not. I'll check the computer. Well, we're assigned to lift tomorrow morning but there's no reason we can't leave as soon as we're ready, so let's have at it. We have some more gear and food coming so let's load it as it shows. Helga please verify Natasha knows how to check her shipboard lifesupport toilet module then you'll be our stevedore, Chief Laseiag we'll need a standby charge module in the airlock when we lift and run, Natasha let yard know we want a holobooth and the grav bikes, then get with Helga, then distribute and verify ship comm links, then you and I will line up the bridge. Everybody fill out your checklists, when it's all compiled then we'll get clearance."
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