[015-1104] Collace B628943-D S Hi In *Downport*   Posted by Rafael Cortez.Group: 0
Rafael Cortez
 NPC, 1 post
Tue 17 Dec 2019
at 12:19
015-1104 Collace B628943-D  S Hi In
08:15 - CMM HQ Briefing Room #3

"Thanks everyone for meeting me here on such short notice," Captain Rafael Cortez said as he entered the room.  "I know the Loire Valley is scheduled to complete final checks at the end of the week, unfortunately however, something extremely urgent has come up."

The newly assigned crew of the Loire Valley were already waiting in the room.  They had received p-comm messages in each of their respective quarters, requesting their attendance at 08:00 in the briefing room.  Planetside quarters - their assigned ship was still in dry dock, her staterooms unoccupied and unassigned.

Cortez sat down at the table with the assembled members of the crew, or at least, those few currently assigned as crew.  There were still gaps - most notably, a Chief Engineer.  Cortez didn't let that stop him.  He punched in a series of keystrokes into his handcomp.

"The MFA has asked us to expedite a support flight to our Embassy on Tarsus." When the Captain realized not everyone at the table might understand his acronym, he added, "Sorry, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  They have 90 tons of high priority cargo that needs to be delivered ASAP.  The Loire Valley is currently the CMM only ship in port and they can't ship commercial due to security concerns.  We are pushing your scheduled departure up to tomorrow morning, 24 hours from now."

The Captain held up his hand in a motioned designed to hold off any comments or questions, at least at this point.

"Look, I know you don't have a full crew and the ship needs work, but I wouldn't ask you all to do this if there was any other option.  Now, I had planned to travel with you on your first jump anyway, to evaluate ship SOPs and make sure everyone and everything settled in ok.  I'll ship out with you just as planned and I'm happy to put down the evaluator's clipboard, roll up my sleeves, and lend a hand."

Cortez turned his attention to Loire Valley's new Ship's Master.  "Don't worry Ally, the ship will still be yours.  I'll just be an extra pair of hands."  Rafael didn't add an if... he didn't think he needed to.

"Now, we've got time for a few questions, though we need to keep an eye on the clock.  The first batch of cargo arrives at 09:30."

"Ok, shoot," he added, ready to clarify anything.

This message was last edited by the player at 05:06, Wed 18 Dec 2019.

Kaelra Suedzuk
 player, 8 posts
Wed 18 Dec 2019
at 10:35
015-1104 Collace B628943-D  S Hi In
"Tarsus is just one hop, so that seems ok," Kaelra said, looking at her handcomp.  She was assuming they weren't going to the other Tarsus near the Solomani rim.  Hops mattered because they increased jump difficulty.  Well, they increased the chance the astrogator screwed the pooch calculations up, which meant that the engineer had a harder time diverting power at the right rate and time.  It mattered because Kaelra only had had a basic qualification (0) on Jump Drives.  She didn't have a full course on them, like she did manoeuvre drives (level 1) or the advanced (level 2) rating she had for power plants.  Getting rated on J-Drives, as they were known in engineer parlance, was on her to-do list and the main reason she wasn't a chief engineer by now.

"Is there any other cargo coming or do we need to find some for the remaining cargo space?" she asked.  "Also, what about passengers?  Do we have some?  Can we take some if we find them too?" she added.
Rafael Cortez
 NPC, 2 posts
 Rank 5 - Captain
 Collace Merchant Marine
Wed 18 Dec 2019
at 12:21
015-1104 Collace B628943-D  S Hi In
"Passengers, I knew there was something I was forgetting.  Haste makes waste," Cortez said, pulling up a new file on his computer.

"There will be two members of the Diplomatic Corps traveling with the shipment, one junior staff member and his spouse who are returning from leave.  Also the Embassy's incoming Counsellor for Commercial Affairs." As Rafael spoke, two names appeared on the screen.

Laurent Marin appeared beside a picture of a well-dressed Caucasian male in his perhaps mid-fifties.

Juan Ley was twenty years younger, also Caucasian and dressed in a much cheaper suit than older gentlemen.

"If you can arrange other passengers and cargo in the next 24 hours, then by all means do so.  The only caveat is that the cargo can't be hazardous."

This message was last edited by the player at 12:22, Wed 18 Dec 2019.

Kaelra Suedzuk
 player, 10 posts
Wed 18 Dec 2019
at 19:01
015-1104 Collace B628943-D  S Hi In
Kaelra nodded at Cortez, then started furiously tapping commands into her handcomp.  She was intent on finding any cargo that might fill the remaining 50 tons of space on the ship.  Suedzuk had that lean and hungry look of a Vargr who wanted to get rich as quickly as possible.  That cargo hold wasn't going to fill itself.
Dr. Duncan Halleck
 player, 10 posts
 Ship's Surgeon
 57BAC7
Wed 18 Dec 2019
at 21:24
015-1104 Collace B628943-D  S Hi In
Duncan sat strait and impeccable for this first meeting. It had been a while since he sat through one of these meetings instead of giving them himself.

Holding a small hand-held Duncan took a few notes, but took most of the time to observer the rest of the crew. The doubt of his decision to leave his promising career and join the CMC still fresh on his mind. Tightening his right fist however reminded him of the reason, and he knew this was for the better. It still stung nonetheless.

After the diplomats where shown on the screen, Duncan leaned forward, his mind back to the briefing. The surgeon asked, "How is the state of the ship and it's inventory.", his voice calm but brittle, "Anything we should keep in mind now that we depart early?".

Shortly after asking the question, Duncan was distracted by an event on his computer. He quickly read the message and glanced at the engineer. After a moment of deliberation, he quickly and efficiently send a short reply before focussing back on the meeting.
Rafael Cortez
 NPC, 3 posts
 Rank 5 - Captain
 Collace Merchant Marine
Thu 19 Dec 2019
at 02:39
015-1104 Collace B628943-D  S Hi In
"Good question.  There's what's supposed to be onboard and what might actually be onboard.  We'll need to do an inventory of the ship's locker before we depart.  The earlier, the better.  That way we have time to requisition any missing material," Rafael responded.

"One very important item that I know isn't on the Loire Valley is the Chenonceau.  She's docked at a utility craft yard a few hours from here.  We'll need to send someone over to retrieve her, flyer back here, and mate her to the LV."  With that, Cortez pulled up the location of the small craft repair facility and transmitted it to the 3 person crew before him.
Aelasaid Mor McLauchlan
 player, 7 posts
 Ready?
Thu 19 Dec 2019
at 07:38
015-1104 Collace B628943-D  S Hi In
Aelasaid sat casually towards the foot of the table, a credstick rolling over her knuckles as she flexed them.  The young redhead listened intently as the CMM Commander briefed them on their new mission.   In her other hand, was a mug of black coffee.  The exchange between Cortez and Suedzuk was interesting to her; she knew both of them in different capacities and it was interesting to see them together.  She smiled slightly, it was a casual, slightly crooked affair, as she contemplated.

A slight nod was given to acknowledge Rafael's deference (at least, officially so) to her command on the Loire Valley.  A quiet, yet genuine, "Thank you." slipped from her burgundy lips.  Ultimately, Aelasaid knew better, it was the maiden voyage for the new crew.  Psych evals, compatibility matrices, and performance reviews were going to be filled out.  She took another sip of coffee.

When it came to questions, she let the others have their say, interested in what they focused on.  Then added her own concerns, "Commander, what type of reception should we expect at Tarsus?  Can you please refresh our memories with respect to the current diplomatic climate regarding the Tarsians?"  She recalled some recent tensions, but this may or may not be party to that.  Ally looked thoughtful for another moment as the passenger pictures appeared on the screen then also asked, "Will the Counselor or the cargo have any special handling instructions or requirements either during or post-flight?  How discreet will we need to be about his or its presence on board?"  Best to get those things out in the open sooner rather than later; Rafael had already hinted at its importance given the 'high priority' status.

"Kae," Ally prompted the female vargr, when it was made clear that the launch would need to be retrieved before they left, "you have your ratings for small craft; looks like you're 'it'.  I'll start running through pre-flight checklists and expediting inspections, unless you think that it is a two person job."  She could handle the launch in a pinch, but Kaelra was definitely more qualified on that piece of equipment.  The credstick continued to traverse her knuckles as she spoke.
Rafael Cortez
 NPC, 4 posts
 Rank 5 - Captain
 Collace Merchant Marine
Thu 19 Dec 2019
at 11:03
015-1104 Collace B628943-D  S Hi In
"The MFA's cargo will need to be delivered directly to the Embassy.  There's a landing pad on the grounds, though I'm not sure what kind of ground handling equipment they might have.  Tarsus is also an Imperial Client state and overall we have good relations with them.  There's a good deal of trade that flows back and forth and no one is interested in disrupting that.  Well, Trexalon is, but that's a different story," Cortez replied.

"As for the VIPs, it's probably good to ask them when they arrive.  We don't have anything specific from the MFA.  He's not traveling under an alias or anything like that.  My guess is that if he were going to do that, we wouldn't have gotten a heads up from MFA," A slight shrug followed.

This message was last edited by the player at 11:04, Thu 19 Dec 2019.

Kaelra Suedzuk
 player, 13 posts
Thu 19 Dec 2019
at 16:57
015-1104 Collace B628943-D  S Hi In
Flying a launch dedicated to serve as a lifeboat was like flying a brick.  Rated at 1-G, those craft didn't have any real acceleration or maneuverability.

"A few hours from here both ways I bet," Kaelra said with a sly, toothy grin.  "OK, I'll let you know if I run into any issues." With that she pointed to her commdot, then backed away from the table.  "No time like the present," she added as she headed off on her task.

This message was last edited by the player at 16:57, Thu 19 Dec 2019.

Dr. Duncan Halleck
 player, 14 posts
 Ship's Surgeon
 57BAC7
Thu 19 Dec 2019
at 19:51
015-1104 Collace B628943-D  S Hi In
Duncan took a long sip from the steaming cup of tea in his hand.

"Unless you have something else for me to do,", he stated to both the pilot as well as the captain, "I wouldn't mind checking the inventory of the Loire Valley." His manner purely professional and serious, maybe even a bit unsure how he should carry himself in his new position.

His gaze stopped at ms. Aelasaid and he continued with an even voice, "Gives me an opportunity to familiarize myself with the ship too."

Unlike the other members, his experience in space ships was almost purely as a passenger.

This message was last edited by the player at 19:57, Thu 19 Dec 2019.

Aelasaid Mor McLauchlan
 player, 8 posts
 Ready?
Fri 20 Dec 2019
at 01:28
015-1104 Collace B628943-D  S Hi In
Ally made a mental note to ensure that both diplomats (or their staffs at least) were contact about any special instructions, even as she studied the pictures of the two men (and the one spouse).

Aelasaid nodded curtly to Kaelra as the young Vargr took her leave of them.  “Safe Travels.” she intoned almost ritualistically, as guard for their engineer’s safe return.  Then she responded to Duncan’s request, “Of course, Dr. Halleck.” matching his polite formality.  She’d read the briefs on the crew, a good marine doctor - with a potential blemish on his record.  Still, a man with such an education and dedication must have some level of meticulousness in his personality, “Please let me know if you find any discrepancies.” and the thin merchant spacer watched as the crew dispersed as she took another pull of coffee from her mug.

The lithe redhead stood and straightened out the pleats on her blouse for a moment, feigning a bit of nonchalant preening until the others were out of earshot.  Turning to Rafael, Ally smiled simply and prompted, circumnavigating the table and approaching the Commander as she spoke,, “Okay, Raf.  What’s the deal?”   She knew that he didn’t have to tell her (and maybe she was better off not knowing) but he also had to know that she wasn’t an idiot either.  They really might be the only alternative, but that meant they were carrying something reasonably (but not too) important with a time limit - and potentially dangerous and/or desirable.  Either intrinsically dangerous or dangerous in the wrong hands; all problematic, potentially.  “How much resistance should we expect?” Aelasaid asked with a raised, quizzical eyebrow; the young second officer didn’t know a better way to ask exactly how this was expected to potentially blow up in their face (whether literally or figuratively).

She waited patiently for an answer, venturing softly, “A milk run,right?”  Only then could Aelasaid figure out if they had time to shop for some additional equipment to purchase or requisition.  And of what type...

This message was last edited by the player at 01:29, Fri 20 Dec 2019.

Rafael Cortez
 NPC, 5 posts
 Rank 5 - Captain
 Collace Merchant Marine
Fri 20 Dec 2019
at 04:22
015-1104 Collace B628943-D  S Hi In
"Computer, show the current status and location of the Confederated Salvage Fleet," Cortez said in response to Aelasid's inquiry.  As the system processed the request, Rafael leaned back.

"The CSF has been harassing our ships for almost a year.  We believe they are sponsored directly by the Trexalon government. They block our flight paths and port entries, they've sideswiped a few of our ships in an effort to get them to alter course.  They disabled two navigations beacons in Talos, which marked the outer asteroid belt.  There's never been an attack per say, but they create dangerous conditions.  It's been nerve wracking for the pilots who've had to deal with them to say the least."

Just then, the computer displayed the current status and location of the Confederated Salvage Fleet.

Vessels: 11 starships varying in displacement 200 to 1000 tons.
               Estimate more than 20 associated small craft.

Location: The Erdemli Gas Giant in the Tarsus System as of 358-1103

This message was last edited by the player at 06:07, Fri 20 Dec 2019.

Kaelra Suedzuk
 player, 17 posts
Fri 20 Dec 2019
at 18:17
015-1104 Collace B628943-D  S Hi In
Sitting in the back of an autotaxi, Kaelra did some online shopping.  She only purchased items that had 4 stars and at least 200 verified purchaser reviews.  After she had added everything to her cart and clicked submit, she started to look for online suppliers of goods.  Goods that might be needed on Tarsus, which from her basic research, mostly appeared to be ranchers and farmers.  It seemed the the ranchers farmed a large grazer called a Nobble, which sounded tasty as hell.  Kaelra was definitely not a vegetarian and planned to eat well once they made it to their next destination.
Dr. Duncan Halleck
 player, 19 posts
 Ship's Surgeon
 57BAC7
Fri 20 Dec 2019
at 20:13
015-1104 Collace B628943-D  S Hi In
With a sharp salute that would have made his drill instructors proud, Duncan took his leave. After having left the room he gulped the last of his tea, put the cup into the autoclean and started looking up directions to the dry-dock.

During a 10-minute walk, he conversed with his handcomp searching for equipment that might be useful for the trip. He finally settled on buying some slightly discounted expert programs, which he promptly installed, a personal mediscanner, in-case he himself got injured, and he got a good deal on a niche but popular miniatures game called Space Wreck.

Coming up to the ship he identified himself to the officer on duty and entered the ship.

First he took a small tour around the ship to familiarise himself where he could find most items. Duncan then called up the norm inventory list and started checking off items on the list where he found them, occasionally querying the work crew about specific items, noting any irregularities when they came up. He was especially keen on safety- and medical equipment, weapons and void suits, and he made sure he not only checked those off the list, but also inspected their status.

When he was finally done after a couple of hours, Duncan took one last tour of the ship with the intent of taking a good look at the state rooms, mentally noting which one he liked best, and took his leave.

OOC:
20:45, Today: Dr. Duncan Halleck rolled 9 using 2d6+4.  Inventory Check: (+2 EDU +1Admin +1Expert/1) vs 8+.

The Referee
 GM, 56 posts
Sat 21 Dec 2019
at 02:08
015-1104 Collace B628943-D  S Hi In
Dr. Halleck's new Expert Admin/1 program proved itself to be highly useful.  Using the comm in the handcomp, it queried the neo-RFID tags in major inventory items and compared them to the expected inventory in seconds.  That left Duncan to focus most of his efforts on ensuring the various kits of items were complete, along with counting ammunition.  At the end of his endeavor, he had assured that what was supposed to be onboard was there - nothing missing.

The inventory also meant that Duncan was onsite when the first batch of cargo arrived from the MFA.  Transported in industry standard shipping containers, whatever was being sent to Tarsus was manifest as:

GIRSHUNGALEK ADESH

Which in Vilani meant - Diplomatic Bag.

Arriving with the containers were Juan Ley, an Administrative Attaché, and his spouse, Naamidu, whose tanned skin, brownish hair, and golden eyes marked her unmistakably as pure Vilani.
Juan Ley
 NPC, 1 post
Sat 21 Dec 2019
at 02:14
015-1104 Collace B628943-D  S Hi In
A human man who might easily be mistaken for a mid-level corporate manager, approached the ship as ground crew prepared to cargo containers outside.

"Hello?  We're looking for the Loire Valley headed to Tarsus.  Is this the right ship?"

This message was last edited by the player at 02:18, Sat 21 Dec 2019.

Dr. Duncan Halleck
 player, 20 posts
 Ship's Surgeon
 57BAC7
Sat 21 Dec 2019
at 16:49
015-1104 Collace B628943-D  S Hi In
Duncan was typing the final report on his handcomp, when he was interrupted.

..Now that is bloody beautiful, just my luck that I would be the one to greet them.. Duncan thought when he he looked up on the young man, which he presumed to be the Embassy staffer talked about in the briefing.

Momentarily flustered, the surgeon greeted the young staffer with a short salute and stated, "Yes, sir, this is the CMMS Loire Valley, bound for Tarsus."

..Should I play stupid or take the initiative.. Duncan thought for a moment, ..Initiative it is..

"You must be sir Ley, the Embassy staff member.", He continued in his characteristic brittle voice, and with a respectful nod towards the woman he added, "and ms. Naamidu, I presume."

With a hand on his chest he introduced himself, "I am Dr. Duncan Halleck, the Ship's Surgeon", waiting just a moment before continuing with a frank face, "I .. didn't expect you so soon".

Motioning to the ship behind him, he continued, "As you can see we are in the final preparations."

"I could show you around on the ship if you like", Duncan said but before any response could be made he held up a hand and stated, "However before we continue, could I check your ID please?"

This message was last edited by the player at 18:23, Mon 23 Dec 2019.

Theodore McStubbin
 player, 9 posts
 UPP - 77CB77
Sat 21 Dec 2019
at 19:12
015-1104 Collace B628943-D  S Hi In
Theodore's comms sounded letting him know to report to the CMMS Loire Valley immediately as lift off had been moved up. He needed to get aboard and make sure his kitchen was stocked as well as the larder full. The 'wine cellar' would have to be stocked as well. No punches could be held in making the flight a true experience for travelers.

He packed his bags and his personal gear and called the concierge from the TAS to transfer his belongings to the ship. It was going to be hard going from a 5 star hotel to life on a ship.

Teddy then called a cab for the starport and the berth of the Loire Valley.
Juan Ley
 NPC, 2 posts
Sun 22 Dec 2019
at 06:30
015-1104 Collace B628943-D  S Hi In
"Yes, that's us.  Pleased to meet you Doctor Halleck," Ley said by way of introduction.  He seemed impressed and pleased that a physician would be onboard for the trip.

"ID, yes of course," Ley said with a nod.  He hadn't worked for the MFA long, but long enough to be conditioned to show his employee ID early and often.  After showing it, he checked his wrist computer, which helped him monitor the status of the pouches being staged for loading into the cargo bay.

"I'm stuck on escort duty for the week.  I've gotta keep an eye on these containers until we turn them over in Collace.  Thankfully this thing makes it a lot easier," he said, tapping the wristcomp.  "I don't have to sit near the containers the whole time, just be nearby for any alerts."

"Honey, could you find us a stateroom while I watch these?" he asked his wife.  There was a look from her to him, before she turned to Halleck.

"Could I trouble you to show me to our stateroom Doctor?  The Diplomatic Corps needs Juan to watch containers rust," she said with an eye roll.  She was clearly not happy about her husband having to attend to his professional responsibilities instead of dotting on her 24/7.

"Thanks dear," Ley replied in a slightly deflated and defeated tone.
Dr. Duncan Halleck
 player, 25 posts
 Ship's Surgeon
 57BAC7
Sun 22 Dec 2019
at 19:33
015-1104 Collace B628943-D  S Hi In
After a thorough check of mr. Ley's ID, Duncan turns towards ms. Naamidu and says, "Of course miss", he stated with a nod of confirmation.

Returning his gaze back to the staffer, the surgeon returned the ID and explained, "The staterooms should be well within range of your monitoring device,". "However, if you would like to stay that is your prerogative.", putting up his hands in a gesture that it was not his decision to make, "You know your duties better than I do.", he added with a knowing grin.

Turning back towards the wife, "Madam, if you would like to follow me?", the ex-marine asked, and he showed her towards the entrance of the ship.

As they moved into the ship towards their the state-room nearest to the lift, Duncan gave short explanations about the areas as they went through.
Aelasaid Mor McLauchlan
 player, 13 posts
 Ready?
Sun 22 Dec 2019
at 22:28
015-1104 Collace B628943-D  S Hi In
Aelasaid pursed her lips slightly, almost pouting - though it seemed more playful than genuine - then exhaled and blew a dark red lock of hair from her face as she read the situational analysis near Tarsus.  A light tuneless whistle escaped as well. "A sour milk run..." she breathed, her eyes darting to Rafael for confirmation, "I am going to assume that our orders are to maintain discipline; we are not in a state of war.  So, any aggression will be on their part alone."  Though phrased as a statement, the raised eyebrow and sidelong glance, injected some interrogative nuance as Ally needed to know what Rafael was really thing on this one.  A new, untested crew being thrown into the mix could mean a lot of different agendas colliding - plans within plans - or it could mean that they were not expected to succeed.  She didn't like being the bag lady.

The young(-ish) merchant pilot looked thoughtful for the moment, "Our sensors have been recently upgraded, is that not correct?  Are we meant to ensure full documentation of situation there?"

Another thing crossed her mind.  "I assume that the Counselor's safety is considered paramount?  What about his cargo?" Aelasaid asked outright, a girl needed to know her priorities when push came to shove.  The Loire Valley, as equipment, was, in theory, expendable (as might be Ally herself and her crew), but that didn't mean that Aelasaid herself was going to view them that way.  And if her superiors were actually viewing it that way ...  Well, a girl had to have her standards.

"And the time constraint?  Is there a hard conference or summit deadline that we are trying to meet?" she prompted, it could mean a lot of desperation on both sides when push came to shove and the deadline loomed.  Unless there was some wiggle room.  Again, plans within plans.  Priorities within priorities.
Rafael Cortez
 NPC, 5 posts
 Rank 5 - Captain
 Collace Merchant Marine
Mon 23 Dec 2019
at 05:46
015-1104 Collace B628943-D  S Hi In
"Right," Rafael said with a nod when Aelasaid noted that the Loire Valley was to maintain discipline.  "We leave the shots across the bow and cutlasses in the corridor antics to the Navy, unless there's really no other choice.  Once you go kinetic, there's almost no chance to put that cat back in the bag.  Flashpoints typically consume all fuel in their immediate radius - you don't want to be at the center of one."

"We'll have you send back sensor logs here to Collace at every stop.  There's a central X-Boat account we use to fund that.  We share our logs with the Navy and vice versa.  You can use your discretion on investigating unusual activity or phenomenon, unless the mission requires otherwise.  For this delivery, the MFA wants the cargo delivered ASAP, so the faster the better.  They are shipping with us because they know we vet our people better than the commercial lines and our ship's are armed and have a good safety record.  Otherwise they could have put it aboard the Mystic River last night."

Cortez looked down at his p-comm, which just started beeping.

"Good news.  HR says they've recalled an Officer from leave to serve as Ship's Steward.  He's relatively new to the Merchant Marine though his file shows he's a published author of a popular cookbook."  Cortez made a shruggish expression that expressed both surprise at HR's competence in placement and optimism at the he might get some good chow on this run.  He thought briefly about a nice plate of migas, before snapping his focus back to the issue at hand.

Looking up at the digital display on the wall, Cortez added, "Looks like we might be missing the cargo arrival.  Let's head over to the ship."

This message was last edited by the player at 05:46, Mon 23 Dec 2019.

The Referee
 GM, 73 posts
Mon 23 Dec 2019
at 06:16
015-1104 Collace B628943-D  S Hi In
Kaelra Suedzuk arrived at the utility craft facility where the Loire Valley Ship's Launch was waiting.  Much like the LV, the Chenonceau was at least a half-century old.  Unlike the 400 dton trade ship, however, Chenonceau's quirks and peculiarities were not as well know or documented.

"Hey, are you here for THAT?" one of the yard workers asked.  "Take her, we've done all we can."