Spaceships and magic. Playing for a while, wanted to see if I could post it.
Grizzled Old Spacemage

Based on the "Starship's Mage" series created by Glynn Stewart (Available on Amazon Kindle)

This game is played using the Fate Core system

Character sheet for the PC (abridged):
Name: Jason Burkhind ----- Age:38 ----- High Concept: Grizzled, Cynical Spacemage ----- Trouble: Saddled with someone else's debt

Other Aspects: 
Ah shit, here we go again
Its not that I don't trust you but,
I'm unquestionably loyal, to the paycheck
Cops are bad, But Lawyers are worse
So there is a heart under there

Stress: Phsical:3
Stress: Mental:4 ---(aged up PC I added 1 Refresh to fatecore standard starting refresh)

Stunts / Powers:
Cost -----------Name/description 
free -----------Space Rune (adept at space magic ie. Teleportation)
free -----------Forces Rune  (Adept at force magic ie. gravity, etc.)
free -----------Rune of Power (Adept at using relics, magic items, circles, scrolls{made for the game not in Glen's series} etc.)
Solo Free ------Keypads are compys (use hack to pick electronic locks) (aged up PC I added 1 stunt to fatecore standard starting stunts)
-1 refresh -----Mage reconize Mage (use lore as contacts to know a mage)

Total Refresh: 4-1=3

Superb - +5 -----
Great --- +4  1 Will
Good --- +3  1 Lore / 2 Star Navigation
Fair ----- +2  1 Pistol / 2 Physic / 3 Hacking /4 Scholarship / 5 Brawl
Average- +1  1 Shuttle Pilot / 2 Contacts / 3 Alert / 4 Investigation / 5 Spacewalking
(Aged up PC gets +5 skill points to fatecore standard starting skills)

Note:  While this game is Based Heavily on the works of Glynn Stewart, I have taken some liberties with his universe to fit the type of gameplay I want and the stories I want to play out.  So details here and throughout this game may differ significantly from the original work.  So I hope you won't @ me if you are a fan. 
I am not using his work as the inspiration for my game because I am not truly in love with that series.  I recommend it to everyone. 
I know for a fact it is available on Amazon Kindle.  But it might be available in other formats and booksellers as well I just don't know.

Anyway this is my solo game.

So Here We Go

Basic World Background information:

The Eugenics War changed humanity in ways that were once considered possible only in the realm of fiction.

It all started with the Cabal of Genetic Engineers.  Through the use of private funding provided primarily by the pharmaceutical industry, the Cabal set up their research laboratories within man made tunnels deep inside Mount Olympus on the red planet of Mars.  For nearly 75 years, only they, their research subjects, the people who worked for them, and the families of those employees were the only inhabitants of Mars. 
As the solar system was slowly but steadily colonized and settlements began to appear on the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, as well as some of the larger asteroids in the belt, Mars became more important to humanity at large and soon the various governments of Earth wanted to set up their own outposts either on the surface of the red planet or in orbit around it.  The Cabal managed to hide the worst of their works for a terribly long time.  Almost an additional 25 years past after the first foreign outpost was established before one of their test subjects escaped and somehow made it to a French outpost built nearly 100 miles from the Cabal's Laboratories.
The exact condition of this research subject, as well as exactly what alterations were made to the subject's genome remain highly classified and is now known only in the highest levels of the Protectorate.  What is commonly known, however, is that this was the flashpoint that started the Eugenics War.  The French government asked for and received the endorsement of the United Nations to send a full fledged military invasion of Mount Olympus to seize and stop whatever else the Cabal was doing within those caverns.  But the defenses of the mountain as well as the genetically modified humans that lived there were able to easily sweep aside the entire force that was sent.  This was the first indication of how busy the Cabal had been for those 100 years they were hidden in that mountain.
The UN built a coalition of the most powerful nations on earth and a fleet of transports was put together and launched with over 800,000 soldiers from 20 different countries. But, somehow the Cabal had a fleet of warships at its disposal that was able to intercept and destroy the whole invasion force along with its token escort.  To this day, no one knows where the Cabal got those warships.  But from that point on, the solar system was at war.

It was a war that lasted 114 years.  Hundreds of millions of military personnel died, countless more were wounded.  And civilian casualties were downright terrifying.  And it was during this war, that the first Mages appeared.

The Cabal of Genetic Engineers were on the verge of winning thanks to the mages they had created.  A Massive invasion fleet had been built around Mars and was about to launch when the Cabal's strongest mage betrayed them and turned his power back upon them.  Using a secret amplifier in Mount Olympus designed to increase a mage's power a hundredfold, Michael Alexander magically seized the entire fleet, and teleported it to a desert plain several miles from the mountain.  The fleet was not designed to take off from the ground so every ship was effectively destroyed. 
With the fleet gone, and the amplifier in the hands of an enemy, the Cabal soon lost control of the other mages and they were ultimately defeated by their own creations.

There was a tense standoff for some time, and through a long, complex series of unfortunate events, Michael Alexander was given a choice: Become King of the Solar System, or the war continues.

Michael became King Alexander I, and established the Olympus Accords.  The Accords established the relationship between humans and mages.  Humans will allow the mages to exist and not grab the torches and pitchforks, and the mages will serve humanity and give them the ability to reach the stars.

***At the start of the game the Eugenics War ended 220 years ago***

Ok now that thats out of the way.  Lets get to the PC I will be playing:

Name: Jason Burkhind
Mother: Diana Kelly (reverted to maiden name after husband's death)  Father: Eric Burkhind (Husband of Diana Kelly, Deceased)
Place of birth: Kersey City (pop. 8,234) on the terraformed planet of Tamaqua in the Susquehannock system.  At just over 67 Light years from Sol, Susquehannock is considered a near rim world. 
[Near rim worlds were settled within the last 100 to 150 years and are starting to achieve a self sufficient society.  This means they have started importing more luxury and specialized goods from other systems rather than exclusively importing necessities for survival]

Protectorate Mage Evaluation: Taken at age 16 as required by the Olympus Accords.  Results established attunement to the Rune of Power granting Jason status of "Mage by Right" since he is the only mage known to be born into his family line.
Magic education: Attended the Gaelmore Magic Academy in the Dungarvan system.  Studied the Space and Forces runes. Obtained certification for both. Granted the titles of Spacemage and Forcemage.

First job was as a member of the crew of the heavy cargo hauler "Monkeys and Typewriters".

Now for Jason's background in his own words:

"Monkeys and Typewriters" was attacked by pirates and I was captured.  The pirates marooned us on an island on a recently terraformed world where harsh conditions and scarce food resulted in the deaths of most of us.
Eventually rescued after being spotted by a local militia atmospheric patrol craft. I ended up unemployed for a year because local superstitions considered me "unlucky" because I was a mage that the pirates didn't want to keep for themselves. 

First, they asked me to join them and I told them to shove it.  Second, What. The. Fuck. Kind. Of. Stupidstition. Is. That?  Seriously!

Unemployed except for cash work every once in a while I built up a debt with local bank and government because I lived on tax funded subsidies and loans for that year.  Never heard of having to pay back unemployment benefits but I was told it was because "I wasnt a citizen". 

Finally an interstellar hauler came into the system and I hitched a ride.  I worked as a ship's mage to earn my passage till they dropped me off at a big trade station.  I was unemployed again on the station but at least I could gain access to "The Protectorate of Mars Ministry of Mage Assistance" and apply for benefits from them.  And this time, the unemployment benefits I got, I didn't have to pay back.  They also helped me with finding a new job with a new ship.  AAANND Off I go as a starship's mage on another hauler.

The "Bird in the Hand" was a great place.  I mean it.  Good ship.  Good crew.  Good CCS for defense against pirates.  I even dated one of the shuttle pilots for a while.  We broke-up, but were able to keep working together like professionals. 

I loved my time there, I knew I had a good thing going for me there.  I even paid off my debt to that rim world government from my time marooned there.
The good thing ended a few years on when the captain decided it was time to retire.

No grudge against the captain.  Everyone deserves to retire if they get to that point in life.  So it is definitely not his fault things went to hell.

A few of us decided to buy the ship from him.  One of our purchasing team had what they thought was an inside track to a good investment firm where we could get a loan we could use to make the purchase and set up our first cargo runs to get going.  Unfortunately that inside track was with The Amikampur Group.  Everyone who has a hand in the corporate world knows that name.  It serves as a cautionary tale for all new business owners.  Seriously there has never been a financial scam quite like this in history.  They compared it to that ancient scam artist Bernie Madoff who's name still lives in infamy to this day.  But let me tell you first hand, Bernie wishes he could of come up with the puzzle box of organized crime that was The Amikampur Group.

It took the focused efforts of one of those "King's Hands" to break up the scam.  And Mars did its best to minimize the damage to the victims.  But this was such a multi layered effort with leverage in both planetary, system, and even Protectorate levels of government.  There are a lot of people doing time now but its generally considered an embarrassment to the whole Protectorate that the ones at the top of the scam were virtually untouchable by legal means. 

GAAAHHH!! How I wish the Hand of the King had just summarily executed them on sight. 
*Sigh* I guess its fortunate that King Alexander IV is so talented at finding people with such integrity to serve as his hands, but in this particular case I wish his hands weren't so honorable. 
Cause a hand could totally just vaporize you on the spot with zero oversight if they want to.  But this hand tried to bring them in to let the law do its work.  And the law failed.

Well as everyone knows the bigger the debt you had with that group the bigger the rock that fell on your head. 

You see, The Protectorate of Mars is not an all powerful interstellar government body.  Its more of a voluntary agreement between the governments of independent systems.  Kinda similar to the old United States on earth before the war, only the individual states, or systems in this case, are less tightly bound to each other.  The result is because of local and regional laws, since I was born in the Susquehannock system on Tamaqua where the Amikampur Group had quite a few lawmakers in their pocket, I am still considered responsible for my share of the debt we incurred to buy the "Bird in the Hand".

This is Bullshit.  The Protectorate thinks its Bullshit.  My mom thinks its Bullshit.  Everyone I know thinks its Bullshit.  But for political and diplomatic reasons the Protectorate can not force the government of Tamaqua to erase my debt.  And the government of Tamaqua wont change anything because apparently doing so would leave some of those lawmakers vulnerable to prosecution themselves.
So as usual.  I get fucked in the Not fun way. 
And worse yet! We didn't even get to keep the ship!  How's that for a Fuck You Very Much!

So now I'm stuck taking whatever jobs I can get so I can keep up with the fucking debt payments.  And the moment I find a way to make more money I jump ship to take it even if it causes me to have a run in with the law. I can barely scrape an existence in life anymore because so much of my paycheck goes to those criminal fucks paying off Their Fucking Debt!!! 
My life is shit. 
My reputation is ruined. 
My career is a joke.
My bank account is empty.
My health is wrecked. 
And my give a fuck? --------- Is fucking gone.
--------------------------------------------------Game Start-----------------------------------------------------

Near rim system of Dzhebariki.  Aboard trade station Grazhdanskaya Stantsiya 01 in orbit around Andryushkino, a medium sized moon of the gas giant Dzhebariki Chetvertaya.  Local mid day.

I finished my last job and got let go.  It paid good enough to keep me going for the last few months but the old "These are tough economic times, I need to make some hard decisions, good luck" reared its ugly head again so here I am.  I know it was the fact I couldn't get along well with the crew that did me in.  The mage they kept took twice as long as I did to make the jump calculations, and he never hit within 15 million kilometers of the target.  Sorry I couldn't go with you guys on your jolly romps around towns or stations but I'M BROKE DAMN IT I CAN'T AFFORD IT!


Log onto a public terminal on the promenade - Are there any posts looking for either a Spacemage or a Forcemage?

(50/50 | 7[d10]) Yes

Spacemage or Forcemage? 1d4: Even = Forcemage Odd = spacemage

3 = 3[d4]

Ship assignment?

(50/50 | 4[d10]) No

Interesting.  Non-ship assignment for a Spacemage.  That's very unusual; but not unheard of.

So it looks like they want a Spacemage to work with a private security firm that was hired to provide an extra level of security for a highly confidential meeting of regional business owners.  The limited details given in the posting make me guess that the PS firm will be checking identifications and doing weapon and recording device sweeps of the attendees, and I would teleport the guests to a conference suite that has been completely isolated.  Multi layers of electronic security, hardened against listening devises, and no way in or out except to be teleported by a Spacemage.

This sounds like a strange job.  But a paycheck is a paycheck so I'll apply.

Is that the only posting for Spacemage or Forcemage?

(50/50 | 7[d10]) Yes

Well ok then they got my contact info and resume so I guess I'll see what else I can do while I wait for tomorrow to come.  Or until they contact me.  Whichever comes first.

*So IRL my food delivery showed up at the door at that point, so I'll just pretend Jason kicked it for a day or two and they called him back and he got the job.  Maybe a cop out but I had 2 beers with my food.  And well,  beer + imagination + memory of what I was thinking a little bit ago = less than optimal.  So. Fight me.  That's how it gonna be.

The job location is on the surface of Andryushkino, the moon the station orbits.  A small-ish domed city named Rakvere.

Lead Security Officer is one of those - former military - crew cut - square jawed - dont know how to not be gung ho all the time - still goes by the name Sir Yes Sir - types that I think is a fukin jack hole named Danil Ogarkov. 
The idiot didn't want me to know the location of the secured meeting facility as a means to "ensure fewer potential security leaks". 
Told him I cant teleport anyone to a place I don't know the location of.  I needed to have him overruled by our employer: One of those sadistically wealthy business owners named Mathias Stornberg.

The first several days were spent studying the locations I will be working and getting the teleport calculations right.  This is a simple thing compared to the calculations for jumping a ship a light year at a time.  Had them all done in an hour.  They aint even leaving the planet.

Protocol, protocol, protocol.  I gotta know the standard arrival and departure protocol.  The emergency lockdown protocol.  The emergency evacuation protocol.  All these protocols are a protopain in the protoass but, its a paycheck, so I do it.

The initial meeting place is at warehouse Mr. Stornberg rented out for the purpose.  It's just inside the dome next to the spaceport docks, that are just outside the dome.  Security guards will accompany everyone from their ships where the first identification and security scans will be done, through transport to the dome airlocks, through the entry protocols for the dome, to the warehouse.  Another security check of ID and scans at the warehouse entrance.  Escorted to my teleportation circle.  And I teleport them to the meeting facility located in an underground bunker type facility located 100 kilometers to the west of the dome and about 2 kilometers underground.  The bunker is built like a starship so it is completely isolated with no way in other than my teleportation circle.

Gotta be honest, I cant see any kind of trouble that can get to these guys unless they bring it themselves.

So as the guests arrive, Does anything unusual happen while the shuttles and yachts are landing?

(Unlikely | 2[d10]) No

Anything while being transported through the city airlocks?

(Unlikely | 3[d10]) No

(Unlikely | 1[d10]) No, and... +Twist: Organization / Helps the hero

(That was to answer the question did anything happen while i was teleporting the guests?)

So a few of the private security guys compliment my teleporting, saying how they've never experienced such smooth translocations before.  We become a bit chummy as we work.  Even Sir Yes Sir is impressed.  After hearing I'm on the market to join a ship crew, he gives me a name:
Vice Director Natalia Badia
One of the heads of Blue Ridge Security, a private security/mercenary firm, of which Sir Yes Sir is a ground team commander.  They have a small fleet of 4 armed transport ships to move personnel and equipment to various job sites. He has heard that they were looking for a few competent spacemages to help with the teleportation of ships between the stars.

Well now.  That sounds like an honest to god lead that I can act on.  All I need to do is make sure the rest of this job goes smooth and Sir Yes Sir will give me a recommendation to one of the head honchos of an actual Soldier of Fortune magazine Cover Story.

I never thought much of merc units. 
They were too shady for me to ever want to be associated with them, even if I had the military experience they tend to demand as a requirement of all their employees. 
But that was before I had to pay off a multi million dollar debt.

How much is that debt anyway?

7 = 1[d4]+4[d4]+2

SEVEN MILLION SOLIENS?????  Just how expensive was that ship?
Wonder how the other guys are doing with their cut of the debt.  Some of them got off a lot easier than I did.  The laws of their home systems or planets were more forgiving than mine.  Of corse Mine were probably the most corrupt too. 
Oh well, back to the game

So we got everyone teleported to the conference bunker.  As was planned I teleport myself with the last guests plus a few more security guards and Sir Yes Sir.  There is a contingent of guards left to secure the warehouse.
Once there I don't have much official work to do unless there is an emergency or until the conference is over and its time for everyone to leave. 
This meeting of the money is supposed to last how many days?

3 = 3[d6]

Three days.
(I like using Mark's Action Dice to answer these questions.)

The first thing happening is a mixer with drinks and hors d'oeuvres to get everyone acquainted and to figure out what sides everyone is taking.  I am generously allowed to attend but I am supposed to remain detached as I am an employee and wont be in any of the actual meetings where the real wheeling and dealing will be happening.

Grab some free food every chance I get.  Dont care who points and laughs this is food i dont have to pay for myself so im gonna suck it up.

Does anyone approach me to talk?

(Unlikely | 6[d10]) No, but...

ok but....... Sir Yes Sir does approach me. 
is there a problem?

(50/50 | 1[d10]) No, and...

"Can you please stop eating directly from the sideboard?  Have some professional pride for God's sake.  Its like you're Oliver fukin Twist or something."
"Sir, I'm impressed, I didnt take you for a man of classical literature."
"Shall I assume you don't need that introduction to Natalia after all?"
"Sir! I apologize Sir! I will remove myself from the sideboard at once!"
"Wow Thats just what I was thinking too."
ok we move away from the delicious, and stupidly expensive, and free, food.  But I do take a small plate piled high with me.
Sir looks at the plate "Really?"
"I Think you are underestimating exactly how lean the last few months have been for me."
"Ok so give me an idea?"
"Let's just say my financial planning game is severely lacking and leave it at that."
"Not the best answer you can give, could be trouble for us."
"It wont be"
"It Wont"
"It Will Not."

Rapour/empathy at mediocre:

1 = +1 +1 +0 -1 0

-3 = -1 -1 +0 -1 0

Vs. Rapour/empathy at average


woah that was lucky

"Alright J, if you say so.  Blue Ridge has taken in more than one character with less than ideal situations following them around.  So whatever your financial planning game is, it shouldn't be an issue for us, as long as you've never let it interfere with you getting the job done.  Who knows, you serve well enough with us, we might be able to help out with your lack of financial planning.  But that's a future you we're talking about.  For now this conference is the job.  So keep your head on this job, even when that job is to just wait.  And for God's sake, stop pretending the sideboards are feeding troughs."

Sir Yes Sir did a precision right face and treked off to check on some of the other guards, leaving me to shove some more of the,,, whatever it was that i never saw before but tasted amazing, down my gullet.

The first round of meetings started after the mixer.  I grabbed some more food as it was being taken away by the kitchen staff.  While Sir Yes Sir wasnt looking of course.

Talking to the other guards.
Does anyone know anything about what's being discussed in the meetings?

(Very Unlikely | 2[d10]) No

Is anyone other than me curious?

(Somewhat Unlikely | 3[d10]) No

Damn.  Blue Ridge has some real pinpoint focused individuals working for it.

Wander around the facility.  Do i find anything interesting?

(50/50 | 8[d10]) Yes

Oh, what is it?

Molotov cocktail

Well Fuck

"Uh, Guys?!? I think one of you needs to be here right fukin now!!"

A pair of security guys trot over and I just point at the problem.  I found the molotov on the bottom shelf of one of the serving carts the kitchen crew would use to take meals to one of the cabins that the guests will be staying in for the next two nights.
They call it in to get things happening fast. 
Sir Yes Sir calls a lockdown and I am taken to one of the security rooms and kept under lock and key by four Blue Ridge guards.  As is required by the lockdown procedure.  To prevent anyone using me to escape trapping everyone else in the bunker.  This situation does not please me. 
Sir Yes Sir questions me about the molotov and I spill everything I know, which is not much. 
Mathias is informed and is brought out of the meeting to discuss the situation.
I am a part of this discussion.
Not sure if thats good or bad yet.

Points that are brought up in the discussion:
1 Who is responsible? - unknown but most likely one of the kitchen or housekeeping crew
2 What were they wanting to accomplish? - unknown but it is suspected it is not an assassination as much as just to stop or disrupt the meeting.  The device was found way too easily for it to be a real attempt to kill anyone.
3 A molotov is extremely low tech and therefore easier to get its components past electronic security and to construct on site, it is not very subtle though as evidenced by how easy it was to find by my just walking around.

"So the question is," Sir Yes Sir says, "Do you want to cancel the meeting and evacuate everyone or ... not?" 
Its obvious what choice he wants Mathias to make, is equally obvious what choice he thinks Mathias will make.
"This meeting will decide what is done with over a trillion soliens and will decide the economic future of this system for the next fifty years.  I'm not going to let someone bully me into letting someone else make those decisions.  We will continue."
"... As you wish."

Sir Yes Sir glares at me.
"What did I do to earn that look?"
"Jason, you are now a primary subject on this mission.  You are the only way anyone gets out of here so I can absolutely NOT let anything happen to you, NOR can I let someone else gain control over you.  Sorry but you are going to be in lockdown for the rest of our time here.  You will be confined to one of our secure cabins and there will be at minimum 2 guards with you and 2 outside in the hallway at all times.  You dont go anywhere without the guards say so.  You dont do anything without the guards say so.  I am dead serious here.  You dont even go to the bathroom without the guards making sure the bathroom is safe first.  Am I Clear?"
"... sir yes sir."
He looks like he might say something else for a moment.  Maybe something about my less than enthusiastic response.  But instead he turns to some of the guards.
"Tak Team 3 is on the mage.  Secure protocol Stone.  Standard rotation with Tak 5 and Tak 6."

I am really not happy about this.

This cabin would be a lot more comfortable if I could leave when I wanted and I wasn't sharing it with 2 big guys with tactical gear and some mean looking guns.
At least it was stocked with some various forms of entertainment.  Electronic games and recorded movies of every possible genera and content rating were available with the push of a button.  There was also a treadmill if I wanted to run off some energy.  But even all that gets dull after a while when you're locked in a cabin with two humorless gorillas with guns.
Did I mention I have 2 very big and very armed guards watching everything I do?

How long am i stuck like this?

18 = 11[d12]+7[d12]

Uug not even a day yet.  At least we're in the second day now anyway.  One more day, two at the most and the conference will be over and I can get out of here.

Does anything happen after the 18 hours to break my monotony?

(Somewhat Likely | 2[d10]) No

Damn you "Get Answer Buttons".  Are any of the guards more talkative than the first team?

(Somewhat Unlikely | 7[d10]) Yes, but...

"So you guys are my next babysitters?"
"Hey you can talk!"
"The other guys would just grunt and point."
"So, Wanna play a game?"
"Complain about our ex's?"
"Fuck No."
"Well, ok then.  Nice talking to ya."

So How much time passes this time?

17 = 8[d12]+9[d12]

Ok so well on the way to getting done with this.
Lets add it up
total time of conference 72 hours. was here for roughly 6 hours before I found the molotov.  Been in lockdown for 35.  So 41 hours down, 31 to go.
Wonder what the chances are the answer buttons will send me through this thing with nothing else happening?
The longer it goes, the more likely something will happen, dont you think?
Only one way to find out

So does anything happen at 41 hours to break the monotony?

(Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

Well well well what have we here

Im in the middle of binging an ancient 2D series called "The Lord of the Rings Extended Cut" and Just as the Urik Hai begin their assault on Helm's Deep:
this dont look good.
Hammering on the door and a voice on the other side: "Rocko Rocko Five Five Six!"
One of my guards answers "Dog Two Dog Two Subject is secure!"
"Stand By!"

"Ssssoo guuys, wanna let me know whats going on?"
"Possible sabotage, we think."


From outside the door:
"TAKE COVER!!"  KAWOOOOMP!!!!!!! -then- Energy weapon fire sounds.
my guards com devices crackle to life and a voice says something but only the guards can hear it in their ear pieces.

"Let's go Mage Burkhind, We are leaving!"
they set up on the door.  The sound of weapons fire has stopped.  They signal me to stay put, then open the door.
"BOGIE 2 O'Clock!" the first guard dives out the door and the second takes a fire position behind the door but looking out. 
Weapons fire begins again "Confirmed Tango! Guns Free!"
More weapons fire.  Then a short scream, and a thud.  "Clear!"
My guard signals me to follow and out the door we go.
"Mick and Bella are both down."
I see the two guards that were outside my cabin.  I have no idea what hit them but it probably didn't hurt much, or at least not for long anyway.  There are 4 others in the hallway in various states of being dead. 
Roll Alertness at Average +1

0 = +0 +1 +0 -1 0

0+1 = Average

I notice at least 2 of the bodies are wearing cleaning crew uniforms. 

We make our way in the direction of the teleportation circle.  Half way there there is a crowd of screaming people running towards us The guards lift their weapons but hold fire.  there are 2 other guards leading the crowd. 
"Dog 2! Report!"
"Fox Reporting! Gas Attack!  Our filters dont work! It Eats right through them! Thirty meters back!"
"No Shit?"
"Back that way Mage! We need to escape that gas!"
"I Might be able to do something about the gas guys."
"Like What!"
"No time to explain! Show me the gas!"

The screaming crowd runs past us as I am pointed down the way they came from.  I see a greenish cloud creeping along not too fast not too slow.
"Get some fire extinguishers!  Or fire hose! Get ready to spray a shit ton of water when I give the word!"
"Hope you know what youre doing!" 
"I know what Im doing, I just hope it works!"
"If it works I owe you my life!"
"Nah, If it works you owe me a bonus"

Magic will cost 1 mental stress
Magic control is governed by Will
my Will is at Great +4 
Magic effect is governed by Lore, or how much magic knowledge I have.  The more knowledge I have the better effects I can get.
My Lore is at Good +3. 
For the effect I want I think I need to hit great at a minimum.  Since my Lore is only +3 I need to throw more power at it +1 effect will cost me 1 more mental stress.  so the cost is a total of 2 stress so I tick off my #2 stress box.
Now I need to control 4 effects of magic.  My will is 4 so I can control 4 shifts as long as I roll a net 0 with the fudge dice.  (If I needed superb +5 then I would need a net +1 with the dice.)
So here goes,  c'mon baby needs a new pair of shoes!

-1 = +0 -1 +1 -1 0

Well That Sucks, I will invoke my aspect Loyal to Paycheck (If this works they owe me a bonus)
I will spend one fate point to buy me that 1 more point I need to control the magic.

The silver inlaid runes on my arms glow with the magic.  As a Forcemage I can control all the different forms of scientific force.  The force of gravity for example. 
Or, as in this case:
The Force of Air Resistance

There is a light blue glow in the air in front of us as I increase the air resistance in the hallway so much the gas slows to a stop. 
"Alright hurry and Hose it down!"
The guards have the emergency fire hoses out and they start spraying.  The water starts to build up in front of us till there is a wall of water suspended in the air in front of us.
"All together now. ForWARD! MARCH!!"
I start walking the wall of air resistance in front of us and they keep spraying water.  The effect is that there is a wall of water moving forward in front of us that filters the gas out of the air in front of us.  The water that falls to the floor as the wall of air resistance moves forward is an ugly gray green sludge and the gas does seem to be escaping from the water but it is held in place long enough that we, and the crowd, are able to make our way out of the hallway and up to the air tight fire doors that lead to the main lobby and receiving room. 
I drop the air resistance shield and they shut down the hoses.  The gas is rapidly starting to break free from the temporary aqueous filter we trapped it in. 
We open the doors and quickly usher everyone into the lobby.  Once there the guards slam shut the air tight doors to the hallway to prevent the gas from following us.
"Ok yea, I can see that being worth a bonus."
"All you have to do is survive long enough to see it."
"Why'd you have to ruin it?"

We hear gunfire from the opposite hallway.  The few guards with me start tipping tables and ushering the non combatants behind heavy desks or around corners or anywhere they might be out of the potential line of fire.

I take cover behind a flipped table and peer around the edge so I can see whats coming.  First a crowd of screaming and panicky suits and cleaning uniforms and kitchen uniforms come tumbling out the hallway.  One of the last suits falls and I see a spray of blood burst from his chest. 
Viva la révolution I suppose right? 
Sir Yes Sir and a contingent of guards are the last out of the hall, In a perfect tactical withdraw, leapfrogging along clearing lines of fire and sending bullets back up the hallway.  The return fire is surprising. 

I cant stop myself from getting a little snarky:
"I get the feeling someone is going to be reviewing your weapons scanners and procedures real hard when this is over."
"There is NO WAY that stuff got past us!  I'm telling you No Fuckin Way!"
"The bullets coming from the hallway and the gas attack we just walked through beg to differ."
The guard just glared at me and resumed covering his sightline with his weapon.

Suddenly I feel a surge of power and notice a blue flash behind us.
I spin and pull out my dice
Roll Alertness at Average +1

0 = +0 +0 +0 +0 0

Vs. Athletics at Good +3  (this is gonna suck)

1 = +1 -1 +0 +1 0

0+1=1 Vs 1+3=4  Fuck

Im not fast enough to do shit

I spin around just in time to see a mage with space runes on her arms (light blue glow fading fast) accompanied by 3 kitchen crew armed with some unpleasant looking guns.
They are now behind all our barricades and other forms of cover and are in perfect position to light us all up.
They have a lot of targets to pick from

Rough groupings are:
1 me and my guards from the cabin i was in plus the two that joined up in the gas attack
2 crowd of civilians we led through the gas attack
3 Sir Yes Sir and his contingent of guards
4 Crowd of civilians Sir Yes Sir was leading out from the other hallway.

3 guys with guns
only one group is getting out of this without someone shooting at them.  Roll 1D4 to see who is the lucky grouping:

3 = 3[d4]

Great, Im getting shot at.

I take note it look like the civilians are the priority target since they are leaving what is probably the most dangerous group of armed opponents untargeted.  They must really want that money conference to not happen.

Im just gonna quick roll who many casualties among the civilian groups:

Group 2:

3 = 3[d8]

3 of group 2 are hit and go down hard. (I guessed there were a total of 15 or 16 suits and employees in that group and figured a max of 8 could be hit with with automatic fire sprayed out in an arc.)

Group 4 (same assumptions as group 2):

8 = 8[d8]

Damn. 8 go down
aand now me:  (this is gonna suck)
I will just roll to see if I get hit and will make a quick fudge to see in any of my guards are hit.

Dodge is athletics, which I have at mediocre +0

-1 = +1 -1 -1 +0 0

This guy got a gun skill of Fair +2, but is firing on full auto which is a -2 penalty for a net of +0

-1 = +1 +0 -1 -1 0

WHEW WEEE! A Tie!  All ties go to the player! 

now a quick yes/no at 50/50 to see if any of my guards are hit:

(50/50 | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

so Yes one is hit
its bad so most likely KIA.

(this Game Master Emulator is upping the drama pretty good.)

Fuck these guys!
Initiative (for teh sake of keeping it simple, this combat will focus on the mage group ambushing us and me and my 3 remaining guards. so a 4 on 4.  A quick fudge at the end of each round will determine if any of the other groups are affected during this fight):

Initiative goes:
My Guard1
My Guard2
Opfor 1
My Guard3

My guards gun +3, athletics(dodge) +3
opfor gun +2, Athletics(dodge) +3

My guards Phys stress 4
Opfor Phys stress 2 (they be Wirrrery)

OpMage has Space magic and (I created a randomizer for the different types of mages there are.  Most civilians have 2 magic specializations so I will use this randomizer to determine what other magic she has.  If the randomizer says Space, then she is only a spacemage and has no other magic abilities other than those covered by Space magic.)


oh fuck it would be that wouldnt it?  FUCK this GM Emulator hates me. 
Lemme explain --- Energymage: Controls all types of energy. 
SO in other words, Electrical Energy, Mechanical Energy, Kinetic Energy, -----You see how *This* kind of Mage can seriously Fuck Up Your Day?!?!

OpMage  Phys stress 2 (she a petite little thing)  Mental Stress 4 (naturally for a mage)
Space magic and Energy magic along with the rune of power all mages get allowing use of circles, scrolls, and relics or artifacts.

She has done that teleportation with three others and she did it on the spot without using a circle.  So Im gonna fill her #2 stress box to reflect that expenditure of power.

I'll give OpMage the same Wil and Lore I have

Here goes:


-1 = -1 +1 +0 -1 0

op1 doge

-1 = +0 +0 -1 +0 0

+3=2 tie goes to player (me) so G1 hit  Lets say the gun is a pretty lethal beast so I'll make it a weapon+3
Opfor1 takes mild consequence "hit but not bad" for -2 and fills #1 Phys stress

1 = +0 +1 +0 +0 0

G2 mirror of G1

opfor2 doge

0 = +0 +0 -1 +1 0

G2 hit with +1success weapon +3 for 4 total stress
Op2 takes moderate consequence "flesh wound"


2 = +0 +1 +1 +0 0

G1 doge

-2 = -1 +1 -1 -1 0

FUCK!  2+2-1 =3success with +3 weapon = 6Stress  Mild conceq and #4 stress box

G3 gonna give him a heavier weapon, a +4Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW)

1 = +1 +1 -1 +0 0


-1 = -1 +1 -1 +0 0

3-2=1success +4weapon = 5 Stress  Mod conseq and #1 stress box


-1 = +0 +1 -1 -1 0

G2 doge

0 = +1 +1 -1 -1 0

clean miss


-1 = +0 -1 -1 +1 0

G3 doge

0 = -1 -1 +1 +1 0

clean miss (woah, de ja vu)

OpMage Magic Attack (works the same as I described before)

Lightning to G1

1 = +1 -1 +1 +0 0

G1 used his doge already so he has to take the full hit so a 5 success Hit! Fill#3 mental stress (power+1) for a +4 electric attack total +9 Ho-Lee SHE-IT
G1 Severe Conseq -6 and #3stress box

---------------------------------My Turn Bitch!
Lets see how you like weighing 10X your current mass!
Tap aspect Loyal to paycheck again (I only get the bonus if I survive remember?) to gain +2 success. Use -1fate point (have 1 FP left) Add +1power (2 mental stress, #2box filled so I fill #3box)

3 = +1 +1 +1 +0 0

NICE!!!!!!!!!!  Bout time I see a good roll here! Went for a +4Great effect Lore is 3 roll a 3 means I got the 4 I needed and I have 2 extra successes +2 from the Fate point I have 4extra Successes

I am not attacking but I am placing a maneuver using Force of Gravity!
Use 1 extra success to increase area so I catch all 4 bad guys in the effect
use 1 extra success to increase duration so this effect will last 2 full rounds (next round and round after)I will fill #1 and #4 stress boxes to hold the effect
Use last 2 successes to increase effect from +4Great to +6Fantastic

There is a glow of blue again from the Force runes on my arms and a blue glow on the floor under the OpFor guys. 
The sounds of crumbling rock and creaking floors and ceiling fill the air. 
There is a strange humm heard and there is an odd blurring of everything seen inside the area affected by the blue glow of my magic.
All 4 of them suddenly drop to their knees and have the aspect "A Black Hole is where God divided by Zero!" placed upon them.
All actions they take will have a -6 penalty for two rounds

G1 is up.  He not doing too good.  But he keeps soldiering on

1 = +0 +0 +1 +0 0

OpFor1 Doge +3 my effect-6 = -3, AND G1 will take his free tap of the aspect "hit but not bad" to give him another -2 so -5 total

0 = +1 -1 +0 +0 0

-5 vs 4success so 9 success with a +3 weapon = 12 total stress

Mild conseq -2 already used, #1 stress box already used.  Moderate Conseq -4stress, Severe -6stress #2stress box  This guy has zero stress left to take.  He is taken out

G2 Will tap moderate conseq aspect I didnt name for an additional 2 success.

1 = +0 +1 -1 +1 0

OpFor2 3-6=-3

-1 = -1 +0 +1 -1 0

-3-1 aspect tap -2 -6total against 4successes so 10success with a +3 weapon for 13 stress
Moderate conseq -4 already used
#1 and #2 stress box is 3 stress Mild conseq is 2 more Severe Conseq 6stress for a total of 11.  Zero stress left plus 2 extra This guy is no more.

OpFor1 is unc
G3 gonna mirror G2 again in action attacking OpFor3

3 = +1 +1 +0 +1 0

Is there any reason to bother OpFor3?

0 = +1 +1 -1 -1 0

added up we get -5 vs 6success for 11 total success with a +4 weapon for 15 success, Yea no point in going on this guy is SO not among the living anymore

OpFor2 and OpFor3 both down

Stares wide eyed at how fast her comrades were taken out and strains under the weight of my gravity effect to lift her arms above her head in the universal signal of surrender, working to force enough breath from her lungs so she can wimper out "Stop Please! I Give Up!, I Surrender!"

A quick survey of the surroundings looks like all the fighting is over.  Sir Yes Sir appears to have taken a few prisoners over there too. - So, - I guess that's an option?

G2 starts tending first aid to G1 and starts yelling "MEDIC! NEED A MEDIC OVER HERE!"
G3 moves over to the edge of my glowing gravity effect and has his heavy weapon aimed right at OpMage's head.  He gives me a quick nod and I drop the effect.  He rapidly moves over to the OpMage telling her to lie face down on the floor with hands behind her head, she passively complies.  She almost looks like she is crying.
This is a right mess

"YOU THINK YOU'LL GET AWAY WITH THIS?  NO ONE INTERFERES WITH MY PLANS!  NO ONE!"  Mathias is practically foaming at the mouth as he screams at the gunmen that have surrendered.
G4, I really should have spent some time learning their names, directs OpMage to the cluster of prisoners and has her sit on the floor with the others.  I follow along to watch what happens next.
Mathias sneers at the people who have killed or wounded a significant number of his employees and potential business partners.
"Tell me,"  He snaps at OpMage, "What exactly were you promised for this?"
OpMage sniffs and looks up at him with red and teary eyes. "We were promised nothing for doing this.  But we were promised homelessness and slavery if we didn't, and your plans came to pass."
"Really? Is that so?"
"We know what you have planned for this system."
"And what do I have planned?"
"The same thing your kind always plans.  Exploitation of the people and destruction of the land with the utmost efficiency."
"HAHAHAHahaha!  Same old platitudes.  You worthless leaches have no vision of your own so you stoop to trying to stop mine!  My vision will lead this system to the forefront of industrial innovation!  With my vision Dzhebariki will become the Alpha Centauri of the rim!"
"With your vision you will become the Khmer Rouge of the Protectorate."

---this conversation is starting to feel like a history test I didn't study for.

"Enough of this bullshit.  Commander Ogarkov!"
"Yea?" --that sounded a bit out of character for Sir Yes Sir.
"Eliminate these leaches."
There was an audible gasp from the prisoners.  OpMage visibly started crying.  And I suddenly really don't like this Mathias fellow.

Compel "So there is a heart under there"

"I have to object that course of action."  WTF did I just do?  (+1 Fate Point)
Great first post! Thanks for sharing.
(05-24-2021, 09:07 AM)mark Wrote: Great first post! Thanks for sharing.

I was a bit hesitant at first, I do not know why.  I plan to update to this as I get further into it.  Im surprised how much I am anticipating finding out what happens next.
------------------------------------session 1 part 2--------------------------------------

"What did you say?"  Mathias growls dangerously.
"What did you say?"  Sir Yea Sir grumbles curiously.
"What did you say?"  G2, G3, and a few G's from Sir's contingent utters confusedly.
"What did you say?"  OpMage mumbles sadly.

"I said exactly what you think I said.  I have to object to that course of action."  Jason you are a Grade A idiot.
"I'm curious Jason, so I'm gonna ask."  Sir Yes Sir is taking this WAAAAAYYYYYYYY better than I expected.  "Why do you object?"
"I'm not a legal expert.  But, well, looks like the fight is over.  These guys are in custody as prisoners.  And you don't shoot prisoners.  Even I know that part of the Geneva Convention.  We now have the responsibility to turn them over to law enforcement and the courts to render judgement for their crimes.  If we just shoot them while their hands are bound and they're on their knees it would be murder.  And mama didn't raise me to be a murderer!"

Repour again at mediocre

3 = +0 +1 +1 +1 0

repour at average

-2 = -1 +1 -1 -1 0


Sir Yes Sir just arched one of his eyebrows and looked at me.  I wish I could tell you what he was thinking.  Other than the eyebrow his face is a blank slab of rock.

Have I swayed anyone else that I care about?

(50/50 | 8[d10]) Yes

[I take back all the bad things I said about you Get Answer Buttons]

"GENEVA CONVENTION?!?!  Are you serious!! What in the fuck makes you think you heave the right to object to anything anyway?"  Mathias glares.  I can see a vein throbbing on his forehead.
"Well, given that the protectorate says I am allowed to have an opinion, and that I am allowed to voice that opinion without fear of government censure, I guess the Treaty of Mars which established the protectorate makes me think I can object."
"Commander, Shoot him too."
"Should I leave the female mage alive then Mr. Stornberg?"
"Then I'm afraid I cant shoot him."
"I'm going to see to it you are blacklisted and never work anywhere ever again."
"You try that.  But given that there are exactly two ways we ever leave this bunker and see the light of Dzhebariki, or any other star ever again, and you just told me to shoot both of them?  I don't think being blacklisted is that big a deal in comparison to that."

---He got ya there Mat---

"HA! Bullshit!  I'll just contact my secretary and have her send someone else."

-ok maybe not-

"With what com unit?"
"With one of the dozens in this bunker!"
"That you had us remove to ensure no information could be communicated outside before the meeting was over."
"Then I'll take one of yours!"
"You had us harden this bunker against that very communication device."

If that vein on Mathias's head gets any bigger its gonna pop.

"I don't get the big deal." -- Ok well maybe I kinda get it.  Being shot at does not inspire a forgiving feeling in  me either.  But I stand by what I said.  Self defense is one thing, shooting someone on their knees with their hands tied behind their back is something all together different. -- "I don't know if this system has the death penalty but even if it don't these guys have breathed the last free breath of air they'll ever breathe.  If the shooting up everything and the killing of how many of these people here wasn't enough to ensure that by itself, then the gas attack DEFINATELY does.  You see, gas is also against the Geneva Convention."  -- I may not know a lot of history but I do know the bits that have stuck around for hundreds of years.

"What, *sniff, sniff* what gas?"

oh you gotta be shitting me.

"What did you say?"  I said stupidly.

"ENOUGH!!"  Sir Yes Sir said with his quietest parade ground voice.  "Winslow Report!" 
I never even saw that guard sliding up next to us.
"19 civilian casualties,

9 = 9[d20]

9 KIA, 10 wounded.  Band Aid has done what he can but we gotta get them real medical help fast."
"And us?"
"Rockhead, Danny Boy, and Looper are KIA.  Cheeks, Baritone, and Whitman need real medical attention but they should make it.  Mick and Bella are missing."
"We can report on Mick and Bella."  that was G2, one of the guards who was with me in the cabin when this all started.  "They're both KIA."
"FUCK!"  Sir Yes Sir looked, ... hurt. "Jason get to the circle and get ready to start teleporting!  Winslow you take your Tak team through first make sure the warehouse is still secure, Jason you go with them, asses the situation at the warehouse then get back here and report to me if its safe to start sending the wounded through!"
"Sir Yes Sir."

ok, Teleport out with Winslow's Tak Team.  Stick to the plan,

Asses the situation.  Is everything copasetic at the warehouse?

(50/50 | 6[d10]) Yes, but...

There was a fight here.  There's signs of it everywhere.  But it looks like the blue ridge guys that were left here to secure the warehouse won.  Winslow has me stick around long enough to get a summary to take back to Sir Yes Sir.

The summary:
There was an attack just 4 hours ago.  20 attackers of unknown alignment or origin.  Came in from two sides but they didn't press.  The purpose of the attack it seems was to make sure that a small team could break through the lines and use the teleport circle.  A mage and 5 others teleported and once they were gone the attackers broke off.  Warehouse reports only 2 wounded who have been treated and will recover quickly.  Police are still on the scene.

"That must of been the OpMage I fought in the bunker."
"That would be my guess.  Well since you're here checking in I guess you were able to handle him?  He looked like bad news."
"... ... ...?  Him?"

Back in the bunker:
"... ... ...? Him?"
"That's exactly what I said Sir."

The good thing about trying to find a mage that's hiding in a crowd is they are easy to spot if you can see their arms.  When a mage attunes to the runes of power the runes become one with the mage.  They merge into the mage's skin and they take the form of a sort of tattoo made out of pure metallic silver on the mage's arms.  You can try to cover them up with makeup if you want but it really wouldnt be effective.  Nothing sticks to them so makeup would just fall right off.  the only thing you can do is wear long sleeves if you want to cover them up but even then, these runes are not subtle.
So All we need to do as ask everyone to roll up their sleeves and.... no one.  
Of course not.

"We are out of time, this has taken too long already.  Jason! Start teleporting the wounded!"

I'm glad to be using a circle to do this.  That fight used up all 4 stress boxes.  I couldn't do this without the circle in this state.  Even with it I am going to be a walking zombie once I teleport everyone out of here.

Wounded, Out
Guests, Out
Employees, Out
Dead, Out including Mick and Bella who we had to vent the gas to find.
Tak Teams, Out
Till all that was left was me, Tak 1, Sir Yes Sir, and Mathias

"I will be having words with your superiors."
"I have no doubt of that.  And I will be reporting to my superiors as well as local law enforcement of all the stupid things you required us to do.  Like removing or blocking all forms of communication in or out of this bunker.  Would have been nice to know the warehouse was under attack don't you think?"
"This is not over commander!"
"Never thought it was.  Jason!  Send Mr. Mathias to the warehouse!"
"SIR YES SIR!"  my magic surged
"How about let's just give him some time to get to his yacht."
"Sir Yes Sir."

"You did good.  Especially when you called him out on shooting the prisoners."
"I have to be honest Sir, I didn't think I was going to accomplish anything but piss everyone off before the shooting started."
"I never would have given that order! And I'm frankly offended you would think I would."
"Sir, I apologize, but until I met you guys my only experience with mercenaries was a band of pirates.  They were horrible PR for your profession."
"I guess I can forgive that.  Reluctantly."
"Thank you Sir."
"Bottom line though is you were right!  The fight was over.  It would have been murder.  And we are mercenaries. That means we are professional soldiers and security experts. Professionals that is.  Not Assassins."
"I am very happy to hear that Sir.  I always liked working with professionals."
"Blue Ridge Security is over 66% former Protectorate Navy and Marines and the rest is almost entirely former System Militia or Police.  But you handled yourself almost perfectly in that fight.  And that thing you did with the gas was a work of art.  Be expecting a call from Director Badia sometime over the next few days."
"Yes Sir, Thank you Sir."
"Lets get the hell out of here."
"Sir Yes Sir!"

----------------------End First Adventure----------------------
So this was my first attempt at a solo RPG.  Ive been wanting to run this setting for someone for a long time and I was beginning to despair of ever getting to do so.  While I would rather have a gaming group to play this game with, this is a decent second. 

This update was kinda heavy on storytelling and not much dice rolling.  But I had fun writing it so thats a solid win.  That said-

I rather like how throughout this first adventure the Get Answer Buttons threw curveballs at me that kept things interesting.  for example: I had no idea what my first job was going to be, the Get Answer Buttons gave me the prompts and I flew with them. 

And while I planned to have two separate groups attack this conference almost from the start, the dice rolls were what decided the when, how, and where.  It made it fun.  And isn't that the whole point anyway?
And now I Wanna Know What Happens Next!  I Love not knowing what comes next in the story I'm writing.

If your reading my post i want to say first I hope you found it entertaining.  And second you have my thanks.
Till next time
Had a few more sessions,  These sessions seemed more like I was writing a story rather than playing a game.  Does that mean I missed the point of SoloRPG in those sessions?  Does it even matter if I was still having fun?
Yea I'm probably overthinking it.  I had fun, so I was doing it right!  That's the answer I'm going with.

----------------------------------------------Milestone Break------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------Start Adventure 2-----------------------------------------
Refresh is restored to permanent adjusted number =3 
clear all stress boxes 
clear minor consequences
clear moderate consequences
Gain +1 Skill points => buy skill Repour at Average

Back on trade station Grazhdanskaya Stantsiya 01 - Habitat Disk #4 Light Commercial Block #2 of 2 - Badinov's Dive (my favorite inexpensive watering hole not far from the quarters I rent until I run out of money again.)

I like this place.  Its got a no frills working man's bar type feel.  Its all mass produced local beer and spirits but the hot wings are decent.
Its been 15 days since I got back from the bunker job.  Was hoping I would've got that call from Natalia Badia by now but it hasn't happened yet.
Theres been a few posts on the Mage Assistance Job Boards but nothing that pays as much as I need it to.  I applied to some of them anyway, cant afford not to.  But its kind of disheartening.  I hate job hunting.
So whats happening now:
on a scale from 1 to 10 how rowdy is the place tonight?

1 is im the only one here and 10 is i cant hear myself think for all the noise

4 = 4[d10]

Ok so theres people but its mostly calm

The TV on the wall has something on it that grabs my attention but it goes by fast am i quick enough to see it?
Alertness at average+1:

1 = +1 +0 +1 -1 0

total of 2, fair.  Ok how much to give myself?
I catch the last 2 seconds of the information card the news program was showing:

Stornberg Industrial (something-or-other)
Minister (so and so) killed 15 days ago with (missed it)
Dzhebariki Industrial Development Initiative
(something something) Then in big letters: "Extremely Controversial"
and the last line: "Human Rights Violations"

Ah, So Stornberg is every bit the asshole I thought he was.  Typical.  The richer they are I guess.
the next info card REALLY grabs my attention:

Its a picture of OpMage.
Prodigy Mage and Socialite Miroslava Lebedev
17 Years old
Mage by Blood
Entered magic academy at 15 (Youngest ever)
Charges include: Murder, Attempted Murder, Conspiracy, Sedition, Terrorism, and Violation of the Olympus Accords.
Bail Hearing set to begin at 3:30pm Rakvere local time 8:00pm Olympus Mean Time

WOW There is a lot to unpack there
Prodigy?  Really?  Mage by Blood?  Seriously?  In the Academy at 15!?!?%@$#&*  I didnt qualify till after high school graduation!
Yea you get tested at 16, but until your inherent power grows to a certain measurable level you dont get into the Magic Academies.  And she hit that level at 15?
And That is one Major list of charges!  Damn Girl!  You're a Mage by Blood! You come from a family of mages!  Why would you waste that? 

And the charge of Violating the Accords!  Ho Lee She It! They might implant The Rune of Suppression on your back for that!  That happens and Bye Bye Magic!  Even for all my troubles I think I'd rather Die than lose my magic!  They wont try you for that here though, You'll be sent to The Mars Council of Inquisitors for that.  Violations of mage law are their jurisdiction.

Oh you poor, stupid, genius.  The universe was served up on a diamond studded golden platter for ya but you go and fall in with a bunch of hot head freedom fighter wannabe's that are too young to know they're not immortal.  You should be worrying about graduation.  Dating your crush.  Going to prom. ... ... ... I helped kill your prom date didn't I?

Great now I'm depressed.  Not that that's unusual these days.

Theres a disturbance in the bar:
"Dat Fukyin Traiter Bich!  Send 'er to Mercury!"

That's harsh, Mercury is reserved for the real overachievers of crime.  The "crimes against humanity" types of crime.

"Shes A Fookin HERO is what she is you fascist Fook!"
"Yew a traiter too? Get yourself to Mercury with dat bich!"
"So you ok wit what the Oligarchs want?  You never wanna see your kids again so you wanna 20 hour workday with no shit breaks!"
"Fuk yew Ima shove this glass up you ass!"
"Try It!"

The two get up,
Their friends get up,
Someone grabs a bottle,
Someone grabs a chair.
Then from the bar, what to my wondering ears do I hear?


everyone looks towards the bar and there's Badinov. The bar's owner.  With an authentic Remington model 870.  Design unchanged for 500 years.  The gold standard for "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

"All uv you! OUT! NOW!"
no one moves
they start moving towards the door.  One looks back "what about the bill?"
they all walk out the door.

Yep Thats it for me tonight

I signal a waitress.  "I'm ready to close out my tab please?"

A quick stop at a grocery for a few things and I'm back at my quarters.  I fix myself a dinner of fried chicken and a side of corn.  I'm not going out again tonight.  Apparently that meeting was a bigger thing than I thought.  I remember why OpMage, AKA Miroslava said why she attacked.  And with something about human rights violations she was probably ... well ... not entirely wrong anyway.
But who was the other mage? the one that attacked the warehouse and teleported to the bunker.  They had to teleport to the bunker.  Thats where the circle was set to send people.  So Why?  What did they do there?  Miroslava claimed to not know anything about a gas attack.  Was that them?  Then why couldnt we find that male mage when it was over?
...  You Know What?  I need to file all that under "Not My Fuckin Problem!"

Im cleaning up after my dinner when:
*Bleeap Bleeap, Bleeap Bleeap, Bleeap Bleeap*  The "someone is at your door signal".
I flip a button on my room control and the TV (3D hologram capable) switches from my favorite animated show to the door cam.  There is an attractive, if somewhat older, woman there.  She has light brown skin and red hair with streaks of gray.  Seems to have two men with her.  And those men have that look that just screams "Look at me! I have a gun! But you cant see it!"

I touch another button.  "Good evening, Burkhind residence, how may I help you tonight?"  No reason to be rude to people outside my door when they have guns.
I can see the woman smirk on the screen.  "Mage Burkhind."  Her voice had a pleasant tone with a slight accent, almost invisible, but sounded what they would call Latin.  "My name is Natalia Badia.  How are you this evening?"

My brain skipped the last few seconds, did she say she was who I think she said she was?
"Uh Yes!! Ms. Badia, Uh I was expecting you to, you know, call?  Wait one moment I'll be right there!"
"Take your time please Mage Burkhind, there's no rush."

Toss the plate in the sink and BOOK IT to my room to put on a pair of pants and a decent shirt.  No way I'm opening the door for her in my underwear!  Hurriedly splash a few slaps of a cheap cologne I have for job interviews and other special occasions.  Back out to the living room.  Grab some clutter and throw it in the bedroom and shut the door!  BOOK IT to the entryway!  Stop!  Shit gotta hurry! Run fingers through hair ten or twelve times, Ah fuck it too late now! 
Well, Here goes everything.
I open the door.

"Good evening Ms. Badia, Please come in."
The two obviously concealed carry guys step up first and politely strongarm their way past me and give the place the once over.  One, to my chagrin, opens the bedroom door, looks in, then closes the door.
"Yes I can see that, Thank you gentlemen."  Ms. Badia had already entered my quarters and if that bothered the two bodyguards at all they didnt show it.

"So Mage Burkhind,"
"Feel free to just call me Jason if you want."
"Thank you Jason, So Commander Ogarkov was somewhat impressed with your performance at the conference, and has recommended you as a potential recruit to serve as a ship's mage on one of our cruisers."
"I just did what I thought was necessary.  I'm sorry I couldn't do more to prevent the loss of life."
"I understand that Jason, but that is unfortunately a part of the business."
I guess she saw something in my eyes
"Does that answer bother you?"
"Well, not really.  I mean, maybe a little.  On an intellectual level I understand and agree, but on an emotional level, its a bit more difficult."

Not sure what skill or aspect to challenge here so we are just gonna use a few flat rolls to proceed
My roll:

2 = +1 -1 +1 +1 0

Her roll:

2 = +0 +1 +1 +0 0

Tie goes to player

"It does play that way a lot in this business.  A disconnect between knowing what is necessary and living with it."
"I think as long as it remains hard, it's a sign you're doing something right.  Maybe not efficient, but right."
"You have an interesting way of thinking.  Do you think you can elaborate?"
"... ... Well, ... I suppose what I mean is. .. Well, the life of a mercenary means, kinda like, living with death as your neighbor.  He's always there, and you talk to him all the time.  When you're washing your car, playing catch with your kids, you invite him to summer barbeques.  You start hanging with a guy that much you really start to get used to him.  And as a man, if you get too used to death, it stops meaning anything.  And then you end up shooting a bunch of prisoners you took, who are down on their knees in front of you, with their hands tied behind their backs."

Oh I liked that Ima give myself a +2 for that because its both relevant and recent and damnit I impressed myself with that one.

-1 = -1 +1 -1 +0 0


1 = +1 +0 -1 +1 0

Hehe, Tie goes to player *again* Boom!

She arched her eyebrows at that last remark.  She actually looked surprised.
"You are aware, Jason, that in this business, we don't always work for people we like, or even respect in the least.  Mercenaries are not paid to believe in a cause.  Mercenaries are paid to bring a cause results.  How will you handle it if you have to work for Director Stornberg again?"
...This is the make or break question aint it?...How to answer?...I cant just make something up, she's way to smart, she'll see a lie...Fuck I Need This Job!...well...*deep breath* goes:
"I'll do the job, right up to the point he tells me to stop caring about how many children are in the bus and I should just blow it up cause he's paying me.  At that point, I will stop doing the job."

Oh I like that one too.  ... ... ... AH What the hell, +2 again!  I feel good about it.

3 = +0 +1 +1 +1 0

OH NICE!  I don't even have to roll for her.  Even if she gets the best possible roll she'll max out at 4.

She just looked at me for a good ten heartbeats.  Ten very hard, very loud, heartbeats.
"Not a bad way of approaching things.  You have a good head on you just like he said."
"Um, Thanks?"
"Congratulations Mage Burkhind, you made it to the second round."
I couldn't help but to smile a bit

Oh what the hell, what was her roll gonna be?

-2 = +1 -1 -1 -1 0


I must have looked a little too pleased with myself and she decided she needed to nip that in the bud right then and there.  Because:

"Now Mage Burkhind!"
"Uh, Yes Ma'am?"
"From THIS moment on You will call me SIR!"
"Uh, Yes Sir!"
"Better.  Now!  Teleport the four of us to the Promenade on Habitat Disk 1!"
"... Right now?  Without-"
"Yes Mage Burkhind Without the prep work!  If there is a team in trouble you don't have time for the little schoolboy prep work!  Do You Think This Is A Playground Game?  Promenade! Disk 1! Now!"
"Uh Right!, You know there's a danger tha-"
"Clocks Ticking Burkhind!  Guns Are Blazing!  Friends Are Dying!  I'm Getting Impatient!"
"Uh Right, Uh Here Goes!  Get Closer!"
Natalia and the bodyguards all close in till they're all within arms length.  And they all have the fucking nerve to look calmer than ME!

What Natalia is doing is something that is only ever practiced in the military.  Zero Preparation Teleportation.  AKA "Dead Reckoning Porting".
Called that because if you are porting with zero prep then they reckoning you're dead.
It can be done though.  I *have* done it before.  But usually only when I have a line of sight, or its just a short route I've ported a dozen times.  Like from my quarters to Badinov's Dive.  But this isn't that route.  She just asked me to blindly teleport to a location 2 kilometers away,  On a different disk so the straight line rout passes through the station walls and into black space outside.  I should count myself lucky she picked a location I am actually familiar with at least.  Otherwise, This would be guaranteed suicide.  Even knowing where I am going and having a solid memory of the shape and distances and locations of things in the station, the probabilities of us teleporting inside a wall, or to a location out in space outside the station is WAY MORE THAN 0!
I gave Natalia one last look.  She looked solid as a rock.  Calm.  Poised.  Disciplined.  Fearless.  Meanwhile I was shitting my pants.

Good wont cut it.  This needs to be a great effect.  My will is 4.  so I can control that with 1 stress, (I made a mistake on this point last time i was doing magic)  But for teh effect I still need to roll a 1 or better to pull this off.
ok here goes, Come on natural 20 baby needs a new sword of wounding! (90's X-Files Fans UNITE!)

0 = +1 +0 +0 -1 0

Shiit, uh, ok can I tap loyal to paycheck again?  This is a job interview.  For a VERY WELL PAYING JOB after all.  I, think I can allow that without feeling too bad about myself.  (-1Fate point)

There is a surge of power and my runes on my arms glow.  There is a twist in the air and we are folded inside out then back inside back in again.  HOWEVER! is there an unexpected complication?  This is not something standard but I wanna add to the drama for some reason so lets ask the Get Answer Buttons:

(50/50 | 3[d10]) No

I gave it a 50/50 and the dice say no.  So we just port into the promenade to the shock of many many Many pedestrians and shoppers and passers by and the delight of a few kids playing by the fountain.

"Hmph, not too terrible Mage Burkhind.  You were slow!  You need to speed it up!  And it was rough!  Very rough!  That teleport felt like I had spiders crawling through my intestines and out my ass!  And worst of all!  This fountain is at the very central spoke edge of the promenade.  As a matter of fact, You actually Missed The Promenade Completely.  This is the entryway!  The Promenade proper doesn't begin until the other side of this fountain!  Not a good start Mage Burkhind!  But, I will admit, we are not dead.  You successfully did not kill us and that fact does please me.  That is one thing you did right and I always give credit where credit is due."

I just kind of stared wide eyed for a second.  I think i was surprised I lived.  "Uh, Yes Sir, Uh, Thank You, uh, Sir, I uh, I will try harder next time, Sir."
"Indeed you will Mage Burkhind!  Or at least you will if you want to survive the second round anyway.  Lets move to that café with the sidewalk seating!  I have both more questions for you AND a reservation for four in five minutes!"

Café was such an understatement for what the place was.  Yea it was coffee pastries and tea, but they had 20 different strains of coffee from 20 different planets across the Protectorate.  I noticed that there were no prices on the menu. It was that kind of place.  Natalia told me to order whatever I wanted.  So I picked something that looked interesting and went with it.  Ive never had coffee that had a taste that remined me of salted caramel before.

The interview continued.  And she was ruthless.  Questions about my work history.  Questions about my magical knowledge.  I didnt see any runes on her arms but the suit she was wearing had long sleeves so It is possible I just didnt notice them.  Then situations about how I would perform some very specific magical tasks.  It was grueling.
After two and a half hours she finally asked for the bill and we left.  I have no idea what the total was but whatever it was it wasn't enough to get her to give a reaction when she saw it.

As we were leaving the café she decided to switch gears on me.
"So Mage Burkhind, I've grilled you up nice and tender, do you have any questions for me?"
"Questions sir?"
"Yes, I'm sure you must have some, You have thought about what working as a soldier for hire might entail haven't you?"
"OH! Yes!  Yes, of course, I do have a few."
"Well Now's the time to ask."

Yea, I had some questions.  It's one of the most basic instructions they give you when preparing for job interviews.  That's why I had a whole list of them written down.  In a file.  On my digital assistant.  That I didn't get the chance to grab before I was asked to teleport us to the promenade.

"Yes, Well one thing I'm curious about is, how will it be decided what missions.  Do we call them missions?  Or jobs?  Contracts?  Anyway, how is it decided what missions I go on?  And what kind of missions I am assigned?"
"Missions, Jobs, or contracts are not assigned to individuals.  The are assigned to units.  So what missions you are sent on with depend a lot on what unit you are assigned to."

"So how is it decided what unit I am assigned to?"
"Unit recruitment is done primarily by the unit commanders.  The commanders will evaluate your credentials and experience, as well as your performance reviews during your initial probationary and orientation period.  Interested commanders will make the request and your assignment will be decided by a panel made up of the commanders who want you and the directors of the firm.  You will have some input yourself that will be considered but the overall needs of the firm will be the driving factor.  While most units are riflemen units, like the one you worked with under Commander Ogarkov, we also have engineering and construction units, zero gravity and deep space units, computer, cyber, and electronic warfare and security units.  You could potentially end up in any of those if the need is great enough.  That said, I am speaking to you specifically because you are a Spacemage and therefore are capable of operating the simulacrum chamber on our cruisers.  This is a skillset we are alarmingly short on right now.  So if you are not ultimately assigned to one of our cruiser captains as a ship's mage I would be surprised.  On the other hand, your creativity in dealing with the gas attack has quite a number of commanders buzzing so we shall just have to see."

"If I am assigned as a ship's mage is it possible I will still be assigned to accompany a rifleman unit on the ground, like I did for Commander Ogarkov?"
"Every job is different, and you can never predict what will happen on a job site.  So if it becomes necessary then yes you could be temporarily assigned to another unit.  You recall we were forced to go outside the firm to hire you for the Stornberg Conference job.  So my advice if you end up working for us, would be to expect such things to happen frequently.  At least until we can recruit some more mages."

"Will I be assigned something like a rank in Blue Ridge Security?  And if so how are promotions decided?  Will there be any opportunity for advancement?"
"Yes we do have a ranking system.  This ranking system as well as the system used for determining promotions is very similar to the system used by the Protectorate Marine Corps.  Things such as time in grade, performance reviews, special achievements, and availability of open slots for the rank are taken into consideration by the promotion panels."

"You've mentioned performance reviews a few times now.  What is the process for these reviews?"
"You will have a debriefing session after every mission or task you are assigned.  These debriefing sessions are handled by your immediate superior and to a lesser degree the unit commander.  You will be asked to report what you did, and to explain your reasoning behind the decisions.  You will also be asked to give a self review of what you think you did right and where you think you could have done better.  They will review what you did and why, then recommendations for improvement will be made as well as acknowledgement of what you did right.  If you had served in any branches of the Protectorate Military you would recognize this as the standard procedure they use."

"Will the fact I have not served be a problem or hindrance to my candidacy for this position?"
"It has been taken into consideration and already dismissed as an issue in your case.  Based heavily upon the report of how well you handled yourself at the conference.  You surprised Commander Ogarkov more than once on that job.  Believe me, he is not a man that is surprised very often."

"I have just one more question.  What is the next steps in the hiring process?  And what sort of timeline should I expect?"
"The next step will be an offer or a rejection.  And I expect the timeline to be just long enough for the panel that has been linked in and listening to our conversation to make some final deliberations and take a vote."
"Oh, uh, ok then."

I was embarrassingly surprised to see that while I was asking my questions we were also walking, taking lifts, boarding a station tram, and rather swiftly making our way back to my quarters.  I just kinda stupidly looked at at my front door for several breaths before I realized how awkward and foolish I looked.

I quickly shook my head to reorient myself.
"So, how long should deliberations take?  One or two days?"

There was a chime from Natalia's jacket.  She reached inside a pocket and pulled out a very highly customized digital assistant.  opened it up and looked at what had appeared on the holographic screen above the device. 

"They have made their decision Mage Burkhind, and I am forwarding their offer to your assistant now.  Take your time deciding.  If you decide to accept the offer follow the instructions given in the offer message,"
"Wow, ok Thank you for the quick decision.  I will review and consider the offer at once."
"Excellent.  Thank you for your time Mage Burkhind, and thank you for not teleporting us outside the station."
"It was my pleasure, I was happy for the opportunity."
"Have a good day I look forward to hearing your decision."  She reached out to shake my hand.  She did a precision left face and strode off with the two silent bodyguards in tow.

I ran to find my data assistant and opened the message.  I looked at it for a few moments.
There Was No Fucking Way I Was Not Taking This Offer!

--well this turned into more of a storybook than a game.  Can you tell I have been going through a job hunt and interviewing is something I can imagine and recite and write out in painful detail no matter what my on desires on the matter are.--

It was fun to write out though

The instructions made it easy:
Please send a message to Personnel Officer Heather Gin aboard the Mars Sol Starship "Wild Hunt", currently in parked orbit around Grazhdanskaya Stantsiya 01, with your decision within six days. (it took me six seconds to make the decision).  If you accept the offer please be ready to depart Grazhdanskaya Stantsiya 01 aboard the "Wild Hunt" when it departs for Sol System in 8 days.  You should not expect to return to this system for an extended period of time so please make the appropriate arrangements.  Relocation assistance will be available if necessary.

So I'm off to Sol?  Interesting.  Never actually been to the cradle system.  Wonder if I'll be seeing The Mountain?  (In the Protectorate there was only one place referred to as "The Mountain".)
I tried to play it cool.  I made all my preparations to transfer my residence on day one.  And I messaged Heather on day two.  They sent a small team of movers to help me pack up my possessions, but i really only needed like one other guy to help.  I dont own much.  Even the furniture was permanently installed in these quarters.  I'm pretty much ready made for shipboard life.

On day three I was aboard the "Wild Hunt".  A gorgeous ship. 400 meters from stem to stern she looked like an arrow ready to be nocked to a bowstring.  The bow of the ship was a six sided diamond arrowhead 100 meters from point to shaft 120 meters at the base.  From the base of the arrowhead the shaft was modular in appearance forming a square shaped hull 300 meters long and about 75 meters high and wide.  At the ship's stern there were 5 massive engines.  One built in the shaft itself and 4 mounted engines that looked like fletching completing the appearance of an arrow. I was assigned a cabin and introduced to some of the crew.  The captain invited me to dinner on my first day aboard and there I met the first bridge crew.  Everyone was military grain and polish and I was a down on his luck cargo hauler.  But I was treated well either way. 

Time seemed to drag on and on till the ship was ready to leave.  When the day finally came I was chomping at the bit to be free of the Dzhebariki System.
It was when we were finally moving out that I learned that I had really had my head in the clouds as far as what was going on around me.  It seems the almost fight in Badinov's was a sign of things to come.  Because the bail hearing for Miroslava started riots.  And not only had the riots gone on for days, they had spread across the system.  As we were leaving I could hear the gossip on the ship; Dzhebariki was about to become a very profitable system for the mercenary industry.

It was quite the surprise to discover when we got to Sol, that our destination wasn't Mars.  It was Earth.  And I was to spend my six month probationary period at the Blue Ridge Security Headquarters located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North America.  Que the training montage!

They put me through Basic!  I'm over 40 years old! Never did this thypa shit before!  I Get My Ass Kicked!  The DI's they got dont hold back either they  push and push and if you dont measure up they YELL!  Fuck you Anthony "Tractor" Bolinka I dont believe you  for a second they were treating me with kid gloves and weren't going all out with me!  No way was i being given the rest and relaxation version of training!

The thing that kept me going was stubbornness, and desperation.  I need this paycheck.  So damnit I WILL make it through this somehow!
Three months on they tell me I'm going on a little vacation.  I figure if I have then next few days off I'll probably just hang around the rec areas of the camp.  I cant afford to spend money going anywhere anyway.  I learn this was not an option however because a Blue Ridge vacation aint like normal vacations.

"Camping in the wilds around the Washington Mall ruins?"
"But I wont have a tent?"
"No sleeping bag?"
"No Cooking Gear?"
"Oh you'll have cooking gear."
"Thank God for small Favors."
"Well, You'll have what Blue Ridge considers cooking gear."
"And that is?"
"Your Hu-B4."
"My...Hu-B4?  You mean the fighting knife They been having me train with?  Thats it?"
"Will I be allowed any clothes?"
"Of cour... wait, Hey! That could be fun!"
"Don't You DARE suggest that to the DI's"
"Fine, Fine, you spoilsport."
Does everyone go on this so called Vacation?"
"Yep, Its kind of a Blue Ridge initiation ritual.  Its meant to show you exactly how much you've learned and how much more you can accomplish than you thought."

Emilia "Cheeks" Suzuki was having too much fun at my expense.  I remembered Cheeks from the conference job.  She was wounded but apparently had recovered nicely.  She was only three, maybe four years older than me but she was twenty times more energetic and wild than I think I could ever be.  I kinda wished she would act her age.  Though to be fair, the current life expectancy of a human is 130 years on average, 42 was the new 28.  So maybe it was me that wasn't acting my age anymore.

"Do they do this in the Protectorate Forces?"
"Not for everyone, Only special forces go on this kind of vacation."
"What makes them think everyone working for them is special forces quality?"
"The fact they give special forces caliber training.  As a merc you don't have access to the logistical chain that the regular military has at least half the time.  Your units are smaller, and you have fewer backups when things get dicey.  You need something extra to get out of that alive."
"Ok, so this is another training exercise not a real vacation.  I get it now.  So am I the only one going on this vacation?"
"Nope!  I'm going with you!"
"Are you the instructor for this type of training?"
"Not as my unit assignment I'm not, but I happened to be here at headquarters when I found out they were looking for someone to send with you on your first vacation, and I jumped up and yelled 'Oh! Pick me! Pick me!'"
"Why would you volunteer to babysit an old rookie like me on his first survival training mission?"
"Three reasons: First, I think these vacations are fun.  Second, I've been curious how well you been making out in the 'get you up to speed' training courses.  You impressed all of us on the conference mission, you showed skill, kept your head in a very hot situation,  You backed up your team like a full fledged Protectorate Combat Mage.  You been on a lot of peoples minds since then."
"Huh, I just tried to keep up with everyone else you know?"
"You did that quite well.  Doubly well given you didnt have any formal training in combat."
"Heh, cool.  So, Third?"
"You said three reasons."
"So I did.  So, Third, I think you're kinda cute and this will be an excellent opportunity to try and get in your pants."
"... ... ... Uuh, wut?"
"Hahaha! Oh my God the look on your face!  You're just too adorable!  Oh yea, Im getting in those pants. ... AH HAHAHAHA! I DIDNT THINK YOUR FACE COULD GET REDDER THAN IT WAS OH THIS IS GREAT!"

Several Hours Later (Trademark Spongebob)

"No tent, no food, no water, no equipment, no nothin but this stupid fukin piece of cutlery."
"Hey! Thats not just a piece of cutlery.  Thats..."
"My HU-B4 fighting knife.  I know I know."
"You evidently have no appreciation for the value of a good knife."
"You cant possibly find this psycho hard mode survivalist exhibitionism fun.  I've seen your unicorn t-shirts.  Unicorns and Hard Core Survivalist are two looks that don't go together."
Cheeks  just shrugged and smiled at me.  "What can I say?  I'm a complicated woman with many diverse tastes."

"So they dropped us off in the middle of nowhere.  What now?"
"It's Friday.  We have till Monday to reach the Seneca Creek where our pick up will take us to the Washington DC Mall Planetary Memorial Park where we have reservations at the Old Presidents Hotel where we shall enjoy our real 3 days off to act like tourists.  Don't worry Blue Ridge picks up the tab for everything on this trip.  Even the entertainment if you need it."
"I like the sound of how this trip ends, except I have no idea where Seneca Creek is."
"Yea, they have been taking it easy on you."
"Your like the tenth person to tell me that.  I still find it hard to believe."
"Well no worries, I find these vacations fun remember?  I know where we gotta go."
"Well I guess we gotta get to getting to it."

The land around what used to be the capital of the United States, back before the Eugenics War so not too recently, Was relatively easy terrain to traverse.  But it was easy to get lost in.  It is hard to believe that the whole area used to be a massive complex of cities and suburbs and boroughs.  Navigation was mostly handled by Cheeks but she would ask what I would do every time we did a nav check.  I think I might have learned some stuff.  Eventually we got hungry and I started to see exactly how clever some of the Blue Ridge training techniques really were.

"You recognize those shrubs over there right?"
"Sure do.  There is always a spring loaded tripping bar hidden in those things on the training courses."
"Yep, well you see the nice dark almost black in color berries growing on them?"
"Thats gonna be part of our dinner."
"... Ookayy ..."
"All the booby trapped plants and shrubs and trees you see on the training courses are all either completely edible or they grow edible fruits and or vegetables on them.  Its kinda neat how they came up with that.  The Protectorate military should try it, its a great way to make sure everyone can recognize food growing in the wild.  You neve forget to look for the plant that smacks you in the face as you run past it."
"That is clever, for Earth I guess, but somehow I dont think most of our business will be done on Earth."
"Thats the beauty of it.  The plants they picked are some of the heartiest, strongest, sturdiest, can grow pretty much everywhere, edible plants that exist.  All growing things on terraformed worlds originally came from Earth after all.  So you will find some or all of those booby trapped plants growing in the wilds of every terraformed planet in the Protectorate."
"That actually is clever.  I will never forget what the small fern looking thing that somehow manages to snare me in a loop trap even when I see it and try to avoid it."
"Oh yea I know that one too.  The leaves are bitter but the roots are pretty damn good in you have the luxury of water and a pot to boil them in for a bit."

Our dinner wasnt supposed to just be berries though.  She started showing me how to build an atlatl and spear with just the Hu-B4.  of course using such a thing is not something you can just pick up in a day. So when I got frustrated enough trying and failing to shoot a squirrel with the damn thing and she was able to nail one with one shot I took a different approach:

2 = +1 +1 -1 +1 0

Magic.  I used forces to reverse the gravity under a squirrel and just let the thing levitate in the air while i walked up to it and cut its throat with the knife.
It wasnt quite that easy, i had to fight the squeamishness and get over the feels from killing a harmless animal but Cheeks talked me through it.  And in the end we had a dinner of squirrel and berries cooked over a fire

2 = -1 +1 +1 +1 0

that again i sped up the process of lighting a fire by increasing the friction of the hand drill we used to light that bit of kindling.

Cheeks mildly accused me of cheating by using magic.  Which I responded to by saying I was just using all the resources available to me.  A point which she had to admit, fit perfectly within the rules of the training mission.
This came up again when we had to descend a steep ridge on Saturday.  She said this climb usually takes a few hours to descend safely.  Then you need to get across the creek and that puts you right around time to camp down for the night.  I said screw that.

0 = -1 +1 +0 +0 0

tap Aw shit here we go again (-1 fate) reroll

3 = +1 +1 +0 +1 0

I teleport us both to the spot she indicates on the other side of the wide and kinda deep stream.  Dead reckoning porting with line of sight is not as dangerous so I do it on all the time.  Since I could see the spot she indicated we needed to get to what was going to take 6 or 7 hours took only 6 seconds.
"I still think thats cheating but I can see the appeal."
"So where now?"
"We can probably get to the edge of the old Prince Michael crash site by sundown at this rate."
"That's good right?"
"Its certainly ahead of schedule.  I've never reached that point till the middle of Sunday when I did this trip before."

-1 = +1 -1 -1 +0 0

I'll say I only need a fair to catch a groundhog that is sitting still in a gravity trap.

Along with some hickory nuts and wild berries we were once again well fed.

"Ok that was good.  and we made it so much further than expected thanks to you."
"I try."
"Well I am going to allow myself the luxury of washing up in the creek down that path in those trees."
"That. ... sounds fun."
"It is."
Cheeks walked off and before she disappeared behind the trees, she coyly looked back over her shoulder and I heard her say.  "no peeking, Unless of course, you intend to join me!"

Cheeks had been teasing and daring me sufficiently that I was completely unsure whether or not she was joking.  But the way she looked at me then and her tone of voice had made my ability to think with anything other than my horny was completely inhibited.  So after waiting a not very long period of time, I followed her down the trail.  She had left a clear trail for me to follow.  Starting with her shoes, then her shirt, pants, you get the image.  I decided to leave my equivalent trail markers beside hers.  I ducked to the side behind a nice set of low but thick undergrowth to somewhat hide my presence and to see what she wanted me to see.

She was a vision.  Porcelain white skin marked with tattoos of designs and symbols i did not recognize but somehow managed to accentuate both her beauty and her strength.  She had brilliant straight red hair that fell down her skin like silk.  While the epicanthic folds of her eyes gave her an added sense of mysterious that made my heart nearly stop.

The Eugenics War had more than just the mages as an obvious aftereffect that continued to mark a new humanity in the centuries since it ended.  All of the old stereotypical physical traits that marked various ethnicities had all been mix n matched to a point that you could never really know who was really what anymore.  This effect was especially true of anyone that traced their ancestry back to Mars.  There are more than a few instances where only genetic testing could prove that someone was another's child because just because both parents were white with blond hair, that didn't mean their son or daughter couldn't have red hair and dark brown skin.  It makes laughing at and ignoring white supremacists extremely easy these days.  (Yes they still exist and no I could never explain why.  But at least they're a lunatic fringe group now that struggles to maintain any members.)

None of that was actually going through my mind as I watched Cheeks lift water from the stream in her cupped hands and gently pour it over her arms and legs.  Rubbing the water into her skin in an attempt to wash the old dirt and sweat from her body.  She looked over her shoulder a few times and smiled at the patch of undergrowth I was sort of hiding in as she continued to bathe.  After giving me what she judged was a sufficiently long show she finally spoke up.

"You do remember what I said about peeking right?"
I chuckled.  I guess that was her signal it was time to put up or shut up.  "I do as a matter of fact."
I stepped out from behind the thick shrubs and carefully made my way into the water towards her.  Feeling both a fear and excitement as the a summer breeze blew across the water and my skin.
She faced me and wrapped her arms around me as I stepped into her embrace and enclosed her in one of my own.  It was only just now at this moment I realized she was around 10 to 13 centimeters taller than me.  Oh dear goddess rule over me from above!  After a few gentle kisses and some preliminary exploring with the hands, I needed to know.
"Emilia, is this a... 'Just for tonight' thing, or is it a 'Start of something more' thing?"
She actually froze for a moment.  I think the question surprised her, and maybe ..., worried her?
After a moment she smiled again slightly.  "Just for tonight, with the possibility of more nights in the future.  I'm not a girl that cares for that something more that most girls want.  I could never be happy that way.  Does, ... does that bother you?"
I returned her slight smile and rubbed the back of my fingers across her cheek and cupped the back of her neck while I touched my forehead against hers.  "Not in the least.  I just wanted to make sure I understood where we were.  I am very happy you want to share a tonight with me.  Along with any other tonights in the future."
We share a kiss and que the fade to black.

We made it to Seneca Creek by Sunday afternoon with the help of my magic.  Cheeks still called it creating but admitted it gave impressive results.  We had the afternoon to just relax and kick back.  Because Seneca Creek is an actual public campground these days we were able to buy our dinner and have well made and seasoned food that evening, with ice cream.  We were then able to buy some soap from the camp store and borrow the camp showers where we were able to soap down both our clothes and our selves.  Wearing wet clothes is unpleasant but we didnt want to walk naked through a public campground where the general public could see.  We hung up our clothes once we reached the semi privacy of the spot we picked to sleep that night.  The next day we were able to meet the truck that came to pick us up freshly showered, with reasonable clean clothes, and drinking a six pack of beer.

The instructors were split.  Half were upset that I defeated the spirit of the "vacation" noting that all the other mages had studiously refused to use their magic on the training mission.  The other half were impressed with my creativity and adaptability and admitted that, as I pointed out, I was merely using all of the resources at my disposal, which was something they had been grilling into me since I got to the headquarters training facility.  I also pointed out that no one told me I couldn't use my magic so I was most confused as to why the other mages would refuse to use their magic anyway.

In the end the fact I was never ordered not to use my magic meant that I did what would be expected if the situation were real.  Which is: I'd use my magic to survive if I had to.  And my question about why this never came up before?  The guess was that it was because the other mages were all former military combat mages.  And in the military such exercises were always done without the aid of magic, so it was just habit to not use magic when sent on a wilderness survival training mission.  I was worried that I might have to do the whole thing again but they talked themselves out of it.  They thought my actions were quite educational in their own right as a demonstration of how magic can be put to practical use to aid in non combat situations.  And so I inadvertently began a discussion at the highest levels of Blue Ridge Security as to whether it would be beneficial to bring in a few civilian mages to start teaching the overly military mages some of the more practical and utility uses of magic rather than just as a weapon in combat.
------------End Training Montage----------
------------Begin Unit Assignment---------
------------Minor Milestone Break---------
reset stress, remove minor consequence, reset fate points

Sol System, Earth orbit.  M.S.S. Hammer and Blade in parking zone 5.05AX of the Earth Militia Defense Platform 6.  Officer's Lounge.

"All I said was that I didn't understand why Earth needed a militia when the headquarters of the entire Protectorate Navy and Marines AND the Royal Guard are right next door so to speak."
"Every planet in the Protectorate has the right to have a militia."
"I dont deny that.  It just seems like a waste to spend tax money on these stations and patrol ships when the actual fkn navy has Trumpets of War class cruisers and full on Glory of Mars class battleships flying by three or four times a day."
"And you wonder why they got upset?"
"I do as a matter of fact."
The others at the table just shook their heads.  Witman shrugged his shoulders and looked at the others. "Civilians, am I right?"
"Ug,"  Corsair said with exaggerated disgust, "Tell me about it."

The whole table broke up laughing at my expense. 

Charles "Witman" Whitekirk, Mark "Sugarcane" Winslow, Oruc "Coffee Stand" Reis, and Heyridden "Corsair" Barbarossa had just "rescued' me from that Earth Militia platform we were parked outside of after the conversation I had just relayed to them apparently offended the Militia Guards checking my credentials as I was making my way to the shuttle that would take me to my Blue Ridge Security Unit Assignment. 

I was assigned to the M.S.S. Hammer and Blade under the command of Captain Feray Sarikaya.  This happened to be the ship that Danil Ogarkov's unit was currently riding.  So they were quite happy to see me as evidenced by the ruthless chop busting that was currently going on.  (Cheeks greeted me with a solid high five and a smack on the ass when she saw me passing by in a hallway.)

"Good Evening Gentlemen!"
Everyone (me included) Shot to our feet as someone shouted:  "Cap'n on DECK!"
"At ease please, don't let me interrupt.  I already heard the story from the Station Shuttle Bay Control's perspective, I have got to hear it from the perspective of the intrepid cavalry who rode to the rescue of our wayward crewmember."
Once again the table was laughing at my expense.
"It was just an honest question."
The Laughter was uncontrol able after that.

When it finally died down the Captain of Hammer and Blade asked me to come with her to her office.  There my orientation began.  A summary of my time at headquarters training, the reasons I was selected for this ship, what the captain thought of my solutions to some of the more famous of my exploits, and where the captain said she wanted improvement.  I was then taken on an official tour of the ship that ended with the reason I was there:  The Ship's Simulacrum.  A small room located at the center of the ship with silver and gold inlayed runes set into the floor, walls and ceiling of the room and a floating 35 centimeter long silver miniature of the ship dead center of everything.  This was where the literal magic happened and the reason I became a space mage.  This was where i could use my magic to move this ship just over a light year at a time between the stars.

This room, more than anything else, was the single most tangible reason, that The Olympus Accords have remained in effect, unchanged, unchallenged, and uninterrupted for 220 years.

There were a few differences from the typical simulacrum chamber.  For one, I spent years as a ship's mage, I knew the runes of a simulacrum.  This chamber had all of those but there were just a few that were changed and a few that were added.  It was minor, but noticeable.  Which I asked about the moment I saw it.

"You noticed!  I'm impressed!  This just does a little more to prove I made a good choice with you."
"Thank you sir.  But about those changes?"
"Yes of course.  This room will operate exactly as you are used to from any other cargo ship or civilian ship of any type.  The differences are because this is what is known as an Enhanced Simulacrum."
"Ive never heard of this thing sir."
"No I would have been surprised if you did.  It took an enormous effort to have it installed on our ships.  It required getting special permission from The Mountain."
"The Mountain? As in THE Mountain?  Olympus? That Mountain?  King Alexander IV himself?"
"Well that is the only "The Mountain" I am aware of."
"How in all of creations did, ... on second thought, no, I don't want to know."
The captain laughed.  "It took a lot of deal making, promises, pro bono work, background checks, and an ever present threat of surprise review by the King's Hands, but we have found it to be worth it."
"That is a long list sir.  And that last one is a bit concerning."
"I understand, but its easy to avoid.  So long as we keep to a strict code of conduct, and have clear justification for using the Enhanced functions of this simulacrum, the Hands are kept satisfied."
"Does that code of conduct ever require us to turn down jobs that we would otherwise take?  If I am allowed to ask that question Sir."
"I can answer that.  Yes it does mean that we sometimes turn down jobs.  But in my years with Blue Ridge Security I have learned that not less than 80% of the time the jobs we turn down are jobs I wouldn't feel comfortable doing anyway."
"May I ask for an example Sir?"
"I'll give you this one because you might find it close to your heart.  We turned down a job from remnants of The Amikampur Group."
I was brought up short by that reply.
"Yes I thought that would grab your attention.  I have to be honest here, we had done jobs for them before the scandal broke.  Everything from security of property to repossession of assets that clients defaulted their payments for."
I must have visibly cringed.
"I understand that reaction completely.  The only thing I can say is that we were as blind to the scandal as everyone else.  After the scandal broke however, and it was clear that they were considered a criminal organization by the Protectorate, they were placed on the blacklist.  That's the tradeoff we make for the enhanced simulacrum.  We agree that we will never work against the interests of the Protectorate.  And if we discover that an individual or organization is working against the Protectorate, or is declared a Criminal Organization by the Protectorate, all contracts are immediately cancelled.  I know we have missed out on more than a few big paydays because of this restriction on our activities.  But considering the types of clients those paydays were with, I just cant feel too bad about missing out on them.  There is a nice benefit to help offset the downside though.  Because we had to prove we were trustworthy enough to have the enhanced simulacrum, we have by default proved we can be trusted enough to do certain more gray area jobs for the Protectorate itself."
"You mean that Mars will call on us sometimes?"
"That is exactly what I mean.  As coincidence has it, I have a suspicion that one of those might be in the works within the next few months actually."
"That sounds like it could be exciting."
"They usually are."
"May I ask one more question on this subject Sir?"
"Go ahead."
"What exactly does this Enhanced Simulacrum do that a normal Simulacrum doesn't?"
The captain smiled slightly as she answered.  "It acts as a magic amplifier and will allow you to use your magic to assist the CCS in defending the ship."
"You mean I could attack a ship with magic?"
"No, not attack, defend.  Completely Amplified Simulacrum are one of the most closely guarded secrets the Protectorate has; therefore, they are only installed on ships of the Protectorate Navy.  This wont give you the range or power you need to attack a ship, but it will give you enough range and power to shoot down missiles, or deflect lasers, or other incoming ordinance. Though I suppose you might be able to attack a boarding vessel with it, but you would be able to do that anyway once they got close enough to try and attach themselves to the hull."
"This sounds amazingly powerful, and straight up cool.  But how will I aim?  I'd need to see a missile to shoot it down wouldn't I?"
The captain activated her com.  "Bridge, This is the captain.  X.O. you on duty at the moment?"
"No, captain, the commander went off shift just ten minutes ago, This is Lieutenant Khethiwe"
The Captain looked at her data assistant and checked the time.  "Huh, it's much later than I thought? Oh Well, Lieutenant?"
"Yes Captain?"
"Have Tactical activate the CIS in the Simulacrum Chamber please."
"Activate Simulacrum CIS Aye Sir!"
A few seconds later several of the panels on the floor ceiling and walls disappeared and I was looking out through the ship's hull outside.  Objects outside the ship out to a significant distance, but considered close if those objects are missiles, had indicators highlighting them with tabs telling me information such as distance, velocity, size, and other information that might be relevant if I wanted to grab the object with my magic.
There wasnt a complete spherical view outside.  Not every single panel in the room was also a screen but the blind spots were surprisingly few.
"This system is set up to help you target and engage your magic as efficiently as possible."
"I've never seen anything like this before.  I can get used to this."
The Captain laughed a bit and called the bridge to shut off the system after I had spent a little time checking it out.  I would be practicing with it in due course.
After the tour I was introduced to the other ship's mages: Lieutenant Jeff Fletcher, Lieutenant Brian Fairchance, and Lieutenant Holly McCloy.  Holly was the second newest member of the crew.

Time flies for the next week.  Training with the crew, training with the other mages, training with the CIS system in the simulacrum chamber.  It gets quite grueling.
Fortunately after seven days:  Leave to go to the station again.  There are about half the crew that gets to go on shore leave for a few days and again I try to pass because of money issues but I am informed that for this trip anyway, Jeff is buying.  So reluctantly, I go.  Mages Jeff and Holly come along, Brian has to stay behind because not all mages are allowed off the ship at the same time.  I promise I will stay behind next time.  It'll help me not spend money.

So ok we go aboard the Militia station.

I gotta ask on the shuttle over:
"So why are we hanging around a militia station instead of a trade station?"
"All our guns and shit makes the civilian captains nervous."
Holly smacked Jeff in the back of the head.  "Moron."
"Tegaten fangirl."
"Guilty as charged with pride."
I had to pipe up.  "Whoa, another "Golden Sky" Fan?  I thought I'd never find another one!"
Holly looked at me suspiciously.  "Don't tease me that way Jason are you really a fan?"
"Lars really should have just let Hinsen keep that 20 bucks."
Jeff started hitting his head against the bulkhead.  "No, no, no, not another one."
"We will slowly take over the ship Jeff.  Now that I have Jason on my side, I will be unstoppable!  BWAHAHAHA!"
A few more inside jokes later:
"So really, Why the militia station?"
"Trade stations don't have the equipment necessary to service the class of weaponry we have on the Hammer."
"So when the 300's or the missile loaders need refit or repair beyond what we can do shipboard without a dock, we have to go to a Navy or Militia port."
"Ok that makes sense.  Thanks."
"No sweat it.  And here we are.  Lets see what trouble we can get into."

Deliver food to the control room.

Hypochondriac female symbiont

Symbionts dont exist in this world so lets sub a .........Cybernetic Implant.  Put in for medical reasons.  The Hypochondriac is a side effect.

We are walking down the 'Common Block', the station sector that is set aside for off duty militia and civilian visitors.  The block is actually a pretty significant slice of the platform with many different businesses and entertainments intended for the visitors and station crew in their off duty hours.  We are actually debating going to one of those old fashioned movie theaters that specialize in showing classical films from the pre-war eras.  The theater is showing a vintage animated flick called "Spirited Away" which gets me and Holly practically gushing.  The name Hayao Miyazaki still recognized as a true master of storytelling and animated entertainment all these centuries later.  Jeff was reluctant, first he is not a fan of animation as an artform, and second he tends to like more contemporary movies and holo's.  We were trying to come up with an alternative when:

"Jeff!  Heya Jeff!  How you been?"
"Oh Hey!  Kirya What are you doing here?"
"I actually found a job here."
"Really?  Thats Great!  I'm so happy for you, you were having such a hard time with that!"
"Thanks it was tough.  I almost didnt take it though.  The air on these stations cant be trusted you know.  If the filters dont work perfectly they can allow viruses, and bacteria, and poisons, and other toxins collect in the air and then it gets in your lungs and can cause things like shortness of breath and pneu, (pant) pneumonia."  The girl started panting and jeff looked alarmed.
"Kirya! Kirya! Listen, The filters have a back up!  You hear, they have a back up!  The air is sterilized with heat.  You know this, don't you remember?"
The slight woman starts to calm down visibly.  "Oh, Right, They do that.  I forgot.  Sorry."
"Its alright dont worry about it.  Guys, this is one of my oldest friends, Kirya Nickomi.  Kirya This is Jason Burkhind and Holly McCloy."
"Hi." "Pleased to meet you." "Its a pleasure." "Im happy to meet you."

Kirya was a small woman and couldn't be more than 23, maybe 24.  Just barely out of school.  If she went to school that is.  She had the indicator lights on her head that told everyone she was a survivor.  Its a little sad to see people like her.  Medical science has advanced to become a smorgasbord of miracles.  And that was before Biomages entered the scene.  The combination of medicine and magic launched the life expectancy and quality of life for everyone to heights never imagined.  Except for the poor survivors of brain cancer.  Cancer remains the bane of human health, somehow resisting all the efforts of magic and medicine to eliminate it from the universe. 

Its not fair to call her "poor survivor".  Before magic she would have died not too long after her diagnosis.  But the surgery to remove a brain tumor always removes some of the vital parts of the brain along with the cancer itself.  They are still trying to change that but the going is slow at the best of times.  To replace the functions of the brain that are lost with the surgery cybernetic implants were invented.  They would be impossible to fuse with the brain without a Biomage but they can be implanted now to help these cancer survivors live out the life that cancer almost took from them.  But for all the miraculous accomplishment the implant is, there is a side effect that also resists all efforts to eliminate.  Patients who receive implants will also develop some form of mental disorder.

These disorders are manageable for the most part.  But they are there and they do affect the cancer survivor's life in a negative way.  For Kirya, apparently that way is an obsession with the different ways she could get sick.  Depending on the severity of the disorder survivors sometimes cant go for extended periods of time without a support structure of friends, medical professionals, and therapists.  Which results in some of them being unable to do things like, leave home for months at a time to attend a university.

The fact that Kirya was now aboard this station, much to jeff's surprise, means that either some or all of her support structure came with her, or her disorder is mild enough that she can mange to get by without it for a while.

"So tell me about this job!  What did you find?"
"Oh, I'm kinda working for a friend of my Uncle's.  My Uncle is a Sensor Tech for the Homeworld Militia, and his friend runs a business on the station that services and restocks food prep units for both visiting ships and private residences on the station."

That's a good business to have on a station.  Food prep units run the gambit of style, complexity and price.  The simplest units, like I had in my quarters back in Dzhebariki could only select ingredients and pre measure them for you and you had to do the mixing and cooking yourself.  The most complex units are capable of preparing complete meals automatically without any human assistance at all.  They will never totally replace actual cooks and chefs in restaurants and homes.  Food prep units can only be designed to make a set number of meal plans.  If you want something other than the standard fare you cook it yourself or you go out to eat like man has done since the dawn of history.

"That can be a tough job, How you holding up?"
"So far so good!  Cookie, my uncle's friend, he never told me his real name, has been real supportive of my implant quirks.  His wife has an implant too so he gets it!  I'm kinda lucky I guess."
"Well that is awesome! Congratulations Kirya."
"Thanks.  I'm enjoying being on my own.  I'm not sure I could do it without Cookie and his wife though."
"Then I am glad you have them.  So what are you doing now?  and what is that big, uh, big whatever that is there."
"Oh, This is a delivery I have to make.  The food prep unit in the mess hall in the control tower had to be replaced.  And I'm going to stock it for the first time."
"Wouldn't the militia do that themselves?"  I was curious.
"Usually maybe.  But they called us this time.  It does happen from time to time.  Sometimes a shipment is late or something goes wrong and they use us to fill in those gaps."
"Well I hate to keep you from doing your job, if you take too long they might complain."
"yea, But, Maybe you could walk with me for a while?  I havent seen you in years."
"I would love to!  You guys could go see that movie this way too, while I catch up with Kirya here."
Holly piped up.  "No go Jeff.  We said whatever we do we do together, so we're goin with you to fill a food unit."
"We are?"  Holly smacked the back of my head. "We are!"

Now the walk to the tower mess was pretty much uneventful.  Jeff was chatting up Kirya, Me and Holly wee following along asking the occasional question or interjecting some tidbit of trivia.  And Kirya was happy to have the company.  We learned that Jeff knew Kirya because she was an old navy buddy's daughter.  His buddy was wounded in combat with pirates and discharged because he lost both of his legs.  He does well with cybernetic prosthetics but, for the moment anyway, the Protectorate Navy does not allow anyone with Prosthetics to serve on active duty.

The service car automatically followed Kirya wherever she went.  Roughly 3 meters high and 4 meters long, give or take a dozen centimeters or so, she was happy to have us along when it got stuck going through a checkpoint.  Because we were actively helping her we were allowed through with her after a check of our ID's showed were were still in good standing and working for a firm that frequently does business with the Militia.


Ambiguous event


Careful and hostile highwayman who is slightly weaker than you and whose motivation is to complete music and is focused on your retainers.

Ok this is gonna be interesting

So the mess hall is empty.  No surprise, The food prep unit is busted.  Its a design that will make fully prepared meals in bulk sizes.  So if you ask it to make burgers and fries, it will make 50 burgers and turn 100 potatoes into fries.  Great unit for a military installation.  The shortcoming is it has a repertoire of a grand total of 8 different meals. I guess this is tolerated because this particular mess is just for the control tower personnel to grab lunch during their 8 hour shifts.  Breakfast and dinner these guys will get somewhere else.  The big box that followed us around was filled with enough food to last this machine the next 24 hours, after which the full stock replenishment that should have been requisitioned would be handled by the militia supply chain on the station.

We helped out so the job went quick.  Kirya did the electronic confirmations on the unit and transmitted the confirmations to both the control tower C.O. as well as to Cookie her boss.  And we started our way back to the Common Block and were discussing what we were gonna do with the rest of our day.

Unfortunately we were interrupted.  4 guys wearing militia uniforms had positioned themselves to intercept us in one of the narrower and more confined hallways of the control tower complex.  The guy who stepped forward as the leader was a cocky, baller looking hooligan.  Kirya was instantly starting to panic.
"Uh, Jeff?  Those bats, and knives they have look so filthy. (pant)  If you (Pant) If you get cut it will get infected!"
"Stay calm Kirya, You dont need to worry, Im here with you."
"But But The bacteria!"
"Me and Holly took up positions in the front and back of our little procession.  I took the front, looking back over my shoulder I grinned at Jeff.  "Listen to Jeff, Kirya, You got him and us too.  These guys will not be getting anywhere near you with those bacteria covered sticks.  Jeff, just look after her, we got this."
"Damn right we do!"  Holly exclaimed from the back.  "4 of them against 2 full fledged Blue Ridge mages?  They'll never know what hit them."

Game on Muther Fuckers!

We pull our Hu-B4's

in order OpFor1  OpFor2  Holly  Opfor3  Jeff  Opfor4  Me

Slightly weaker than us.  So no mages in teh group.  2 have 4Phys stress boxes and 2 have 3.  Me Jeff and Holly all have 3 Phys stress boxes and 4 Mental stress boxes.
I am space and forces
Jeff is space and:


Interesting! Very Interesting

Holly is Space and


Energy Cool

All their weapons are +2  Op2&3 get melee at 2.  Op1&4 get melee at 1

Holly Dex is 2,  Jeff dex is 1,  Me is 0

Op1 attack me

0 = +0 +1 -1 +0 0

0 = +0 +0 +1 -1 0


1+weapon2 = 3 stress

Op2 at holly

2 = +1 -1 +1 +1 0

-1 = +0 -1 +1 -1 0

Fuck! 2 + 2 vs. -1 + 2 so 3 success + weapon+2
5 stress.  #3 stress box and minor consequence

Holly will at 4 lore at 4.  Gonna try and hit both of them so power of 3 plus 1 for area effect.  need 4 success.  can control power 4, one mental stress and just needs to roll a 0

2 = -1 +1 +1 +1 0

Op2 and 4 are in front of Holly hit with 6 success
op2 and 4 both have phys (endurance) of 1

-2 = -1 -1 -1 +1 0

op2 result -1 so hit with 7 success +3 power of attack (spent 4 power total, 3 for attack 1 for area hit)

Op2 #3 stress box Minor and Moderate consequence -2 and -4 stress with 1 stress left so #1 stress box.

now Op4 endurance

0 = -1 -1 +1 +1 0

op4 result is 1 so hit with 5 success +3 power of attack
op4 #1 and #3 stress box and moderate consequence

Op3 atack me at 2

1 = +0 +0 +0 +1 0

shit 3 +2weapon = 5 stress
#1 and 2 stress box and minor consequence

Jeff is with Kirya but not gonna just sit around.  He gonna transmute the ceiling above Holly's attackers from a lightweight plastic composite into iron.
Jeff also has will and Lore at 4 but he needs to power this at superb.  Needs 4 power to make the transmutation and 1 to increase the area of effect.  Mark off 1 and 2 mental stress box.  Must roll at least a 1

-2 = -1 +1 -1 -1 0

I am going to use one of my fate points to reroll that

tapping Its not that I dont trust you Jeff but... (guddamn!)

1 = +1 +0 +1 -1 0

Better jeff, much better.

the two guys are distracted by the fight do they notice a block of iron that is suddenly going to fall on them because the fittings designed to hold up a plastic ceiling cant support and iron ceiling?

(50/50 | 8[d10]) Yes

well thats annoying

ok they will have a dex of....

1 = 1[d4]

OK the dice have spoken

I will say to dive out of the way the results will be this:
if they get average or less they take full damage
fair cuts 50% of damage and good or better dodges completely
the attack damage will be 9 total stress from the falling slab of iron.  using Jeff's power input of 5 and treat it as a weapon+4 due to weight and size

OK Op2

-1 = -1 +0 +0 +0 0

result 0 for 9 stress.  Severe consequence for -6 fill #2 stress box for another -2 but that leaves one more stress and OpFor2 is out of this fight


-4 = -1 -1 -1 -1 0

well fuck result is -3 for a total of 12 stress.  Minor and severe consequence for a total of -8 fill #2 stress box for another -2 leaves 2 stress to take so OpFor4 is taken out

Op1 is pissed at what happened to his buddies  But its my turn now

Im gonna spike the contact force of the floor against Op3 and see him suddenly Yeeted through the ceiling 
(Magic in this universe requires a high level of scientific knowledge and understanding.  To get what is happening here you have to understand the concept of Contact Force and be able to define its relationship between Op3's feet and the floor.  I am not going to write out an entire science class worth of education to explain it here.  Ask your science teacher to explain.)

Gonna power 4 this one.  I can control that so 1 mental stress.  need to roll a 1 or better to get the effect.

-2 = +0 -1 +0 -1 0

Fucking typical

Tap So there is a heart under there.  (I am trying to protect a young woman with an inflicted mental illness as punishment for being the victim of a deadly disease that medical science still cant stop.) spend a fate point to reroll

0 = +1 -1 +1 -1 0

Fuck again.  Take an aditional mental stress as backlash so this cost 1 stress to cast and 1 in backlash so 1 and 2 mental stress boxes

4 success he gets launched the damage can be resisted with phys of which this guy got a 3

-1 = +0 +0 +0 -1 0

so 2, he takes 2 stress
then he falls back down. Falling= 5 stress for every 10 feet
How high is the celing?  It might be a little high but not much.  lets say 1D6+6.  the celing will max out at 2X the height of a typical jock

9 = 3[d6]+6

Ok 90% of 5 is 4.5. ... ... .. just call it 5 stress and be done

so a total of 7 stress. the #4 and 3 stress boxes.  The dice failed me here

But at least all he can do this round is get back up

Well Op1 is pissed so he coming for me again!  This time I will remember I got melee at 2 so i will use that to block

the attack

3 = +1 +1 +0 +1 0

the defend

2 = -1 +1 +1 +1 0

1 stress plus he taps my minor consequence so 3 stress. I used up my stress boxes and minor consequence so I have to take a moderate

I'm in trouble

Holly is sitting pretty and will lightning blast both these guys like she did before

Just like last time:  Gonna try and hit both of them so power of 3 plus 1 for area effect.  need 4 success.  can control power 4, one mental stress and just needs to roll a 0

-1 = -1 +1 +0 -1 0

She will take the backlash #1 stress box physical
Op1 will try and avoid with dex3

-2 = +0 +0 -1 -1 0

so a 1 vs 4success so 3 and power of 3 Op1 takes 6 stress #4 and 3 stress boxes

Op3 can only take it and resist with a phys of 3

-1 = -1 +1 -1 +0 0

so 2 success + power +3 5 total stress  1 and 2 stress box and minor consequence

Op3 can only get up so no attack

Jeff liked the iron ceiling so He'll do it again:  he needs to power this at superb.  Needs 4 power to make the transmutation and 1 to increase the area of effect.  Mark off #3 mental stress box.  Must roll at least a 1

1 = +1 +0 +0 +0 0

same rules as last time:

I will say to dive out of the way the results will be this:
if they get average or less they take full damage
fair cuts 50% of damage and good or better dodges completely
the attack damage will be 9 total stress from the falling slab of iron.  using Jeff's power input of 5 and treat it as a weapon+4 due to weight and size


2 = +1 +1 -1 +1 0

with dex of 1 is good he doges


0 = -1 +0 +0 +1 0

Op3 takes full damage So 9 stress
Moderate and severe consequence will take all the stress but the next 1 point hit takes him out.  So he will just concede and get knocked out

Me again

Gonna Yeet again

Power 4 need to roll a 1

1 = +1 +1 -1 +0 0

Not very helpful but at least he gets yeeted up.  He'll hit some support structures with 4 success he will take it with 3 phys

4 = +1 +1 +1 +1 0


but the fall back down is 5 stress he cant dodge so #1 stress box is filled, and a moderate consequence

He can only get back up this round
Holly has done well with the lightning so far so:
She only hitting one person so all 4 power goes to the hit

0 = +0 +1 +0 -1 0

doge at 1

2 = +0 +0 +1 +1 0

1 success with +4 power = 5 stress  he gotta take a severe

Jeff will just say fuck it and step up with his HU-B4 and with melee 2 he gonna bum rush the guy

0 = -1 +0 +0 +1 0

He'll melee block

-2 = -1 +0 +0 -1 0

so a -1.  The knife is a +2 weapon so 5 stress that fills the last consequence and he is taken out of the fight.

Finally a team of MP's show up.  After the fight is over of course.  A Long ass round of questioning and explaining and calming Kirya down we learn that OpFor1 has been under investigation for slaving for a while.  When he got his crew the lead investigator was suspicious and tried to get a team to follow and observe.  But the CO wasnt convinced of probable cause so the investigator had to argue the point.  It wasnt till our ruckus got a complaint called in about a fight and the descriptions proved out that Lead Investigator was right after all that the CO sent the team.  Because we stopped a kidnapping, (They wanted both Holly and Kirya apparently)  And apprehended suspected slavers and they had proof on them when we beat them down so its all legal.  We are all awarded a share of a bounty that is paid for stopping slavers.  The Protectorate and Earth both have a particular hatred of slavers.  So Bounties are steep.  We even get a cut for Kirya.

Unfortunately I end up in sick bay for my wounds.  We all end up there to be looked at but I actually have to stay for a night for observation.  And that kicks my weekend pass.  At least the Captain is impressed with how I spent my time off.  She is accustomed to the crew getting in fights.  Its a pleasant surprise for the crew to be in a fight and station security is happy about it.  And of course taking down a slaver, even a small time one like OpFor1.  Is a worthwhile expenditure of time. 
Technically bounty jobs are considered contracts by Blue Ridge Security and in order for us to have the protection of the firm (legal coverage, liabilities, and the like)  We are supposed to redirect a portion to the firm thus making them the contract holder.  Its a small percentage but it is a cut into the payout.  The Captain of the Hammer and Blade has the paperwork for this and I start to understand when i read a bit.  we are being charged for repairs to the station.  But because the Firm is claiming the bounty instead of us they handle the negotiating for the repair work and are far more capable of obtaining lower bids because they can usually offer more work if the contractors cut some of the fees out of the repairs. I do worry exactly how big their cut of the bounty will be but it turns out to not be as much as i was afraid of.  I am left with 80% of the amount after I pay Blue Ridge's cut.

------------End Unit Orientation----------
------------End Unit Orientation----------
remove minor consequence, reset fate points
Stay at hospital is justification to remove Moderate consequence
Moderate will remain till end of next setting (judged to be end of next session as described in Fate Core)

Noticed an error in area affect spells.  Will be corrected from this point on.  It would have affected fights in the previous sessions but oh well.  Live and learn.

---------------------------------------------------------And Begin New Scenario

Still in Sol System, Earth orbit.  M.S.S. Hammer and Blade in parking zone 5.05AX of the Earth Militia Defense Platform 6.  Sick Bay

"Well you should heal up in a few more days.  Keep it wrapped and make sure to keep the area clean.  If you notice any redness or swelling get back here to sick bay immediately."
"Sure thing Doc.  Thanks"
"Out of curiosity, are you aware that your antics have got the rifle units aboard starting to claim the way you dive into fights means you wanna be one of them and not a ship's mage after all?"
"That is most certainly NOT true.  I didn't seek out these fights, they happened while I was just an innocent bystander."
"So you're not having second thoughts and thinking about requesting a transfer?"
"What?  No!  Who would be stupid enough to think that?"
The nurse activated his data assistant and opened a communication.  "He says no guys."
"Bullshit!" "YES!" "Damnit!" "Told you guys it would never happen." "You cheated by sleeping with him."
"Da Fuk is This?!"
"Sorry Jay.  But that last fight was a real cracker!"  I recognized Cheeks' voice.  "Taking on even a small time slaver like that is the sort of thing that gets rifle platoons to take notice."
"What's that have to do with anything? Why is everyone so concerned with me switching units?"
"Oh its not the switching units by itself.  Its the betting pool that Pokerchip started."
"Betting pool?"
"Yea.  Some guys were convinced you were a jarhead at heart."
"But I never served."
"This is just one of those things.  You don't have to have BEEN a Marine to BE a Marine."
"I would never insult a marine by claiming to be one."
"Too late Jay.  They claim you as one of them."
There was a cacophony of "OOORAH"s through the speaker.
"Tell them I appreciate the vote of confidence."
"That's affirm! Alright Nurse Lagainis, Doctor Richards, thanks for the help."
"No sweat" 
"Was happy to help, And in lieu of actual soliens I will accept my winnings in the form of 100% real Kentucky Bourbon.  Single Barrel!"
"I'll see what I can do Doc."
"Till next time guys!"
"And hey Jay!  Way to take a lump dude!  You're turning out to be a real baller down here."
The comm closed.
I just looked at the Doc and the Nurse.
"Bourbon, Single Barrel?  Really?  How damn big was this pool?"
"Big enough I'll have that bottle of bourbon by the end of the day."

I was placed on light duty for the time being so I was assigned to reviewing teleportation calculations for the ship.  You would think this would give me some indication when we were set to ship out.  Or at the very least where we would be going when we finally did set out.  But no.  The calculations all had us departing from the same point in the solar system, a location between the orbits of Earth and Venus where gravity effects were minimal, but they were all setting off on different vectors.  One was vectored towards Alpha Centauri.  One to Laganthonal.  One to Achernar.  One to Eradinus.  One to Illyrinan.  We could be headed out in any direction.  One thing for sure, after three days of checking calculations, I could report we were definitely ready for the first two jumps in any direction you could point at.

I was back in sick bay for another checkup by this point.  Is everything good with the wound?

(Very Likely | 6[d10]) Yes

Cool.  Can I get a taste of the bourbon the doc won?

(Very Unlikely | 4[d10]) No

Aw come on!  I helped him win it didnt I?

(Almost Impossible | 3[d10]) No


"So Doc, is it common for a whole ship with several units and equipment for them to just kinda sit around in orbit for this long?"

"Not really.  I have seen it happen though."
"When was that?"
"I've seen it happen when there was a particular hot spot brewing and there was an expectation of LOTS of contracts being issued LOTS of fast for LOTS of money."
"Ah, so we're waiting on a bulk order is what you're saying?"
"I wouldn't put it like that myself but yes."
I thought and some particular memories bubbled to the surface.  "We're going to Dzhebariki again ain't we?"
"I don't know for sure, but that particular system has been appearing in the news files a lot lately."
"Great.  Well, I think I will hedge my bets and start checking the calculations for a vector headed towards Dzhebariki next."
"So long as you dont try to make the jump yourself yet.  I'm not releasing you from light duty just yet."

So I get invited to a game.  Its a game I'm not thrilled to partake in because the game is poker.  and as we all know.  I'm broke.  I make more money than I ever did in my life.  And I'm Broke. 

"Come on J, The stakes are low, Literally nickel and dimes."
"I'm just not a gambler."
"Alright, Well if you change your mind you know where to find us."
"I do.  And i will. If it does."

I get back to the calculations and life gets boring.  I dont know how long I'm at it when

"Knockety Knock Knock"
"Brian, Hey, Come on in."
Brian Fairchance is the fourth of Hammer and Blade's mages.  He is still a bit put out he couldnt come along when we had our run in with the small time slaver.  He is a spacemage and a



"So you've been spending more time with the calculations than anyone."
"If you want an inside line where we are going I don't know and the only guess I have is more based on news reports than calculations we've been doing."
"Oh I get that.  You do have a guess though right?"
"Yea that makes sense from the news reports."
"Thats the primary driver of my theory.  Our calculations have us going in all different directions all at once."
"Well I've been here for a while and there is one thing I know for sure.  They never have us mages calculate jumps for nothing."
"Ok, what conspiracy theory do you subscribe to now?"
"No conspiracy theory.  An idea.  When you get off duty me and Holly are having a poker game with Ensigns Georges and Nighthart.  They are part of the bridge 3rd watch."
"You know I dont gamble Brian.  I dont want to have to turn down another invitation."
"Dont worry we wont be playing for money."
"What else can you play for."
"We will be playing for information.  The Captain has been sitting in on 3rd watch for the past few days."
"I know that's significant based on the fact you just told me in a way that assumes I know why its important."
"Those two Ensigns are gonna help you figure it out."
"Okay, Why does it matter anyway?  We go where we go when we go."
"You'll learn.  See you in a few."
Something is up.

Brian, Holly, me, and the two Ensigns meet up in Brian's cabin.  Its tight.  But we manage.  The cards are dealt.  And I am nervous

My Hand:

[Image: 12s.gif]

[Image: 11c.gif]

[Image: 7d.gif]

[Image: 8c.gif]

[Image: 8s.gif]

Got a pair.  Not bad.  I'll toss the 7 after the first round of bets and:

[Image: 5c.gif]

So I got a pair of 8's Im not wining this hand

"So these drills the old lady has you doing?  Who is the OpForce?"
"System Militia.  Heavy cruiser.  Usually 2 or 3 on 1.  With us as the 1."
"Ouch!  Um, do we, like ever win?"
"No, But we never lose the ship either.  She seems to be trying out evasion tactics."
"Makes sense when we are outnumbered by heavier ships like that."
"I'm out.  And you say the calcs have us headed everywhere at once?"
"Yea, up down, side to side, forward and back, all over. Im out too."
"Do we go further out or closer to the sun first?"
"Closer.  Between Earth and Venus."
"And you think its Dzhebariki because of the news reports and nothing else?  Call."
"Do you happen to remember what order the last five calculations were she called for?"
"Uh Lets see. Tatsuiki, HAT-P-36, Selirium, Fosinleir, and Tzai Gu."
"Can you pull up the headings the ship needs to be on to make the first jumps on those routes?"
I pull up my data assistant.  It cant show the entire list of calculations but it can display basic information like that.  Ensign Georges compares that to her own data assistant.  Then shows Nighthart.

They just look at each other.

"Can we access one of the public star charts here?"
"I can on my cabin terminal here."
Brian turns on his computer that he uses for both work and entertainment here in his cabin.  I wish I could afford one myself.  I'm allowed to have one.  But they cost money.  And Blue Ridge wont supply a terminal that I would use for something other than work.  So all my work has to be done in the official mages office next to the simulacrum.

the ensigns, brian, holly, and i all compare notes.  and we figure out some interesting coincidences: 
All the vectors of those calculations would be Identical to the vectors used when simulating evasions from OpForce heavy cruisers.  The simulations all started with an in system jump from the region of a gas giant to a distance from a star that mirrored the gravity and conditions of our departure points between Earth and Venus.  The evasion jumps were all after a quick flyby a planet or moon.
"Mother Fucker!"  Brian exclaimed in a way that made him sound way cooler than he was.
"Dudes!  Our next job is gonna be Black Ops for The Fukin Mountain!"
We just looked at him dumbfounded.
"Guys trust me.  I may still look cute but I'm almost 60.  I served in the Protectorate Navy for 30 years before I was discharged into the reserves.  These flyby patterns and evasions?  The Old Lady is planning to have to fast jump across a system to hurry up and pick up a unit hauling ass running from heavy cruisers in a drop ship.  And one of us lucky mages is gonna have to make a dead reckoning port out on one of those escape vectors after we just tether the drop ship on the flyby."
"Are you serious?  Why would we have to do any of that?"
"Because that unit is gonna have information The Mountain wants bad enough to send a mercenary unit after it so they can have complete deniability and the locals with the heavy cruisers is gonna really not want to let The Mountain know that information."
We all kinda looked at each other.  It all fit way too well.
"Ok so what now?  We think we might possibly figured out whats coming.  What do we do with this information."
"We do everything we can to prep to make dead reckoning ports from where we expect we'll be making them and we start letting the units know we are in for it soon and they are gonna need all the kit they can carry.  The Old Lady got us doing these calculations so that we will have some familiarity with the situation when it comes so that we will actually have a reasonable chance to make the port on short notice.  If its black ops then secrecy is the law and she cant let us know exactly what's coming.  So this is the best she can do for us.  But if we can match this to Dzhebariki like you think it is.  We can make these preparations even better.  Which increases the chance of success.  Which means fewer friends die and more friends make retirement.  And that is the ultimate goal."

I had to admit.  It made sense.  And like he said, if the goal is to save our friends lives, then this poker game that wasn't really a poker game was worth every nickel.

Me and Holly talked to Jeff.  He agreed it sounded good.  The four of us agreed to start preping for a dead reckoning port out of Dzhebariki.  I asked Cheeks if she would like to go to a movie or something on my next day off.  I think she was suspicious i was wanting to start something but she agreed.  After a decent time watching a vintage pre war 2D flick about a crime lord we went out to dinner.  Where I discussed the theory us mages were working with.  She also agreed the pieces fit.  She was also happy to see I had an ulterior motive for asking her out other than the ulterior motive she suspected.  Which of course meant she rented out a station-side room for us that night because I understood her.
To be honest it seemed to spin on the outside edge of logical to me, but I did kinda get it.  I'll just explain it by saying, this is Cheeks we're talking about.  And that will serve as the best explanation I can give.

I was a lucky man to be on her good side.  She is a very enthusiastic partner.

Once Cheeks knew, the whole unit knew.  After the whole unit knew, all the units knew.  We told everyone its just a theory, that we could be wrong, but it did fit the information we had.  So everyone took the info and used it to plan.
------------------end scenario
------------------New Scenario
------------------Minor Milestone Break
Reset Fate points. reset stress,  moderate consequence end (justification last scenario)

---------------------------------------------------------------Begin New Scenario

Pursue / Goals

So we finally get under way.  We know we are getting moving because we mages were ordered to make sure all the gravity runes (the runes through the ship that supply artificial gravity and inertial dampening to the crew.) were fully charged and we set off once the last rune was topped off.  We had been preparing calculations for a jump to Dzhebariki from that spot between Earth and Venus for so long we could do the calculation in our sleep.  So you can imagine our surprise when we found out our destination was Mars.

Oh well, No big deal.  Shipboard routine sets in.  Its a good 8 to 15 days to Mars depending on where Earth and Mars are in their orbits around Sol.  One day I am going over my finances and running calculations.  and I get the distinct impression that I need to hit the yes/no button but which one? hmmm

(Very Unlikely | 2[d10]) No

ok nothing noticeable.  All I have is a basic data assistant though.  The one everyone has.  It does a lot but sometimes you just need a bigger more powerful machine.  And I wish I had one now.  Like Brian has in his cabin.  Not getting jealous.  just mourning my poverty.

I make the next debt payment though like usual.  and I go from "real good comfortable living" money in my account to "all i can afford to eat is ramen" money in my account.  When I find out what jackhole motherfucker in the parliament of Tamaqua that keeps blocking the amendment to the Debts and Liens codes and legislation. ...  Well, It aint worth worrying about because that will never happen

I make due with what common entertainments are available aboard ship.  There is a selection of entertainments in the rec room The one that grabs my attention the most for the time being is a game on the common computers that I borrow.  Its an RPG of course.  So I log a few hours a day on that game. 

Do I get far?

(50/50 | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

and someone decided to watch.

Unit StealthInfiltrateSabotage

Ah, Someone I dont know.  Are they the only one watching?

(Somewhat Unlikely | 1[d10]) No, and...

So Someone else is watching AND um

Is someone mad at me?

(50/50 | 9[d10]) Yes

For playing a game?  Geez

OK lets do it this way

The guy I dont know first

"Not bad, was that your first try at the Valley Beast?"
"Yea, it was a near thing, fortunately I accidently got lost and ended up in the Goblin's Lair I found an Emerald Dagger there.  It has Air Element which is the Valley Beast's one weakness."
"How do you accidently get lost and find the Goblin's Lair?  I spent two days looking for the Old Ranger who tells you where it is.  And where was the Emerald Dagger?"
"The Dagger was in a chest I found in a secret room that I found with my Detect Trap ability.  As for getting lost.  I forgot to but a map in Tanger."
"Some guys have all the luck."
"I'll trade my luck in video games for luck in real life any day."
"Haha Right."
"Jason, Ship's Mage."
"Buck, White Spirits"
"One of the Stealth Units? Neat."

"Hey! Mage!"
"Uh, me?"
"Yea, Whats the deal?"
"I like video games?"
"No! There was a an attempted data link to my private comp and my trace says it came from yours!"
I open my data assistant and check the logs.  I see no such attempted linup with anything other than the Ship's Common Database.  I go to show him that and:
"First! If you know what your doing you can fake that.  Second! The attempted link wasn't from a data assistant.  It was from a comp!"
"Well in that case.  First! I don't know what I'm doing so I couldn't fake this.  Second!  I don't own a comp.  I'm Broke!  And Third!  Who Are You?"
"What do you mean you dont have a comp?"
"I mean exactly what it sounds like I mean.  I dont own a comp."
"But the trace said it came from your cabin."
"Didn't you just say that could be faked?  And If you wanna come search my cabin?  Let's go!  I isn't got nothin to hide because I'm to poor to own anything worth getting embarrassed about!"
"You cant be that broke I know Blue Ridge pays damn good."
"You underestimate my poor financial skills.  But seriously!  Come on lets get to my cabin I want you to find a comp there.  And I still don't know who you are."

Ship Crew Engineer

"Scott McGomery.  Chief Crewman, Engineering."
"Jason Burkhind.  2nd Lieutenant, Ship's Mage."
"Yes I know.  I went looking for you when I made the trace."
"Again, Come.."
"To your cabin I heard.  You're not dodging are you?  You really don't own a comp?
"That is correct."
"There is something dirty going on."
"I Agree."

"If you ask me...  Oh Sorry, Buck Stargaze, Lance Corporal White Spirits.  If you ask me, You need the help of an EW Specialist."
"Electronic Warfare."

We all just look at each other.

"What's My Motivation?"
"Something fishy going on and you get to solve it?"
"Nah, Not good enough."

Kin Dee Suho. Staff Sergeant, Starcrafters.  Has a knack for tracing tracers and deflecting traces.  So Buck thinks she might be able to lift some of the WTF thats covering things right now.  But she is also a bit willful and mischievous.

"Uh Buck she's your friend right?  what might motivate her?"
"Sorry, If I could figure that out I'd be her boyfriend."
"My girlfriend would never approve anyway.  But if we ever break up, I'll tell her you're in the market."
"So, sexual favors wont work in my case.  Gotcha.  I'm afraid all I can think of after that are manual labor or some service a Spacemage or a Forcemage can offer.  Unless you are in need of someone to talk animation with.  Fellow fans seem so hard to find in this business."

that wont work will it?

(Unlikely | 4[d10]) No

yea.  Animation fans just dont gravitate to the mercenary lifestyle.

"No, not an animation fan.  Not yet anyway.  My Girlfriend keeps trying though."
"Is Holly your girlfriend?"

(50/50 | 9[d10]) Yes

"Oh.  Cool."

"Wait so YOU are the one she wouldn't stop gushing about after the slaver takedown?"
"Uh, Wat?"
"I had to get her two, count them, TWO containers of peanut butter chocolate chip ice cream to actually talk about that takedown.  She just kept going on about how 'There's another fan on the ship at last!' it got a little annoying.  You tryin to steal my girl Mage Burkhind?"
"I Swear I have made no overtures in that direction!"
"You better not!  Damnit, cant believe my rival is another mage, And an officer to boot.  But your both Ship Crew line of command so that adds a hurdle."
"OOOOOKAY!  So how about I find you two, count them, two containers of peanut butter chocolate chip ice cream for your girlfriend."
"... ... ... keep talking."
"I have a recording of Hayao Miyazaki's Porko Rosso, the original Japanese voice actors, subtitled by the Animation Arts Recovery and Preservation Society.  If you bite the bullet, and offer to watch that with her, while you both eat peanut butter chocolate chip ice cream, and if you enjoy the film, That will be a date night she will never let you forget."
"I have to enjoy the film?"
"I'm sure just the effort of watching will work too, but if you enjoy it that would guarantee it.  But fair warning, this could be a test too.  If Hayao Miyazaki doesn't get you to like animation, nothing will.  But if you are anything like everyone else I ever shared one of his works with, you will be one of us by the end of the film."
"Fine, I'm motivated.  Lets see the trace data."

so long enough later that I need to get to bed if I wanna be awake when my alarm goes off for morning Physical Training before my duty shift.
Does she trace the real culprit?

(Almost Impossible | 1[d10]) No, and...

And she discovers:

Remote event

The hack didn't start on board the ship.

"This is going to make it really hard for me to sleep tonight."
"You?  I'm the one they tried to hack!"
"Yea, and I'm the one they tried to frame for it."
"... yea ok that's fair."

"Someone gottta say it."
"Say what Buck?"
"I think we need to inform the XO at the very least.  This just went beyond 'shipboard rivalry try to fuck a guy over cause you wanna make their life difficult prank' type stuff and moved up to 'External Threat To The Ship someone launched an electronic attack at us' type thing."
Kin Dee nodded.  "This was a really complex hack.  The attack itself wasn't very strong, Scott's modest grade 1 security software was enough to stop it.  So they didn't plan to actually get in the comp.  But the countermeasures and evasions and blocks they used to cover their tracks was top notch.  I had to actually pull out some of the Starcrafters stock of ghost trace software.  And I still almost didn't figure out the origin was outside the ship."
All four of us at once: "Fuck"

Aoro Eumilia.  Commander, Ship's Executive Officer.  (ie. the ship's second in command)
Aoro was a 60 year old woman who like the Captain still has an alluring appearance.  Gotta love medical advancements sometimes.  We can live beyond 130 now and stay reasonably well in shape and appearance not showing any signs of aging till 100.  and sometimes even beyond that was possible. 
"And you are certain this hack was from outside the ship?"
"Yes, Commander.  There is no question.  I ran a triple quadratic/hexadecimal deplanarization algorithm.  The markers left behind did not match any of the randomizing algorithms in use on this ship."
"Were you able to find out where it may have come from?"
"No, Commander.  I almost wasn't able to figure out as much as I did.  Whoever did this was very good at counterintelligence and electronic warfare tactics."
"Get Lieutenant Commander Burkfire to assign a team on this.  I want to get as much on this hack as we can."
"Yes Sir."
"Alright you did good bringing this to me, Dismissed, except you Jason."
They filed out and I was left with the XO.
"I can think of 6 reasons to hack a ship engineer's comp.  But I'm having a hard time thinking of one reason to try and frame you for it."
"I don't know of any reason either sir.  Unless they wanna get me fired from Blue Ridge; but, I cant think of anyone who cares enough about me to want that."
"You cant think of any enemies in your past?  Anyone who would want to prevent you from being in a position that you might be able to do them some harm?  Real or imagined?"
"The only people I would want to do anything to are untouchable for me.  There is nothing I could do to threaten them in any way."
"Maybe not before, But now you are a member of one of the biggest mercenary firms in the Protectorate.  That changes a lot of calculations in some people's minds."
"I hadn't actually considered that, ... but I'm still drawing a blank at the moment sir."
"Well if you do think of anyone, give me their names at once!  They threatened MY SHIP and MY CREW!  They are on MY LIST now!"
"Yes Sir!  If I think of anything the slightest bit relevant I will let you know Sir!"

Two days later I realize an interruption by an irate Scott McGomery caused me to forget to save my game.
More world building and character building here.  Kinda story timeing it right now more than anything.  but is still fun writing.  And thats the goal, to have fun.  so i'll keep doin it.

-----------------------------------Non Milestone Break
------------------------reset stress reset fate points

Sol system, Mars orbit.  M.S.S. Hammer and Blade, rendezvous holding pattern. 18,000 Kilometers off starboard bow of the Glory of Mars class battleship Scepter of Triumph.

For reasons unknown to me I got picked to be a part of the greeting committee.  Greeting who I had no idea, but there was me, Commander Aoro Eumilia, Lieutenant Commander Danil Ogarkov, an Ensign I never met before and a Warrant Officer.
There really wasn't any room for us to accept an additional shuttle so we had to send one of ours to pick up whoever was coming over.  Apparently that meant that the navy had to give it a thorough security screening before they would allow whoever it was to get on board.  Which meant we were standing there waiting for an hour past the time I was told to expect the guest to arrive.  My feet hurt.  And I was uncomfortable in the professional dress uniform. 
Yes Blue Ridge Security has dress uniforms.  We have uniforms for every occasion because you never know what kind of occasion a contract or job will put you in.  I had a Formal Dress uniform, A Professional Dress uniform, a Business Dress uniform, a Business Casual Dress uniform, a Casual Dress uniform, and finally Combat Fatigues.
I was in the professional dress uniform and was hating it.  I began to hope with my every last hope that I never had to wear the Formal Dress uniform.

When the shuttle finally arrived I did my best to look the part they had me there to play.  And I promised myself I would find a way to get back at 1st Lieutenant Brian Fairchance for hocking this off on me.  Brian was technically in charge of the contingent of Ship's Mages so He was the one to assign me.  It was going to go to Holly but when she told him that her girlfriend was FINALLY gonna give an animated flick a try AND she had ice cream, Brian couldn't take back the assignment fast enough.  Then I got it.

So here we are looking pretty for someone.  The shuttle lands and the deck is sprayed with Liquid Nitrogen to cool it off quickly.  The ventilation draws out the excess nitrogen which is filtered and collected in engineering to be recycled into a new batch of liquid nitrogen.  Its actually pretty cool how it works.
At Last the shuttle doors open. and down the steps comes a man I never saw before.  A tall, fit, black man, in a professional looking suit and a shaved head.  As he gets closer I see what I first think is a necklace around his neck with a rather oversized pendant hanging from the chain but as he got within just a few meters I saw it for what it really was.  Hanging from the chain was a metal badge of office,  1 centimeter thick, 4 high and 5 wide.  In the shape of a golden clenched fist.  This was a Hand of the King. 

This was the second time a Hand was stepping into my life, the first was when a hand finally took down the Amikampur Group that left me wallowing in a sadistic debt.  I didnt actually meet the hand in that instance,  I was just affected by the actions that hand took.  The XO handled introductions and the Hand introduced himself.  Hand Samuel N. Fury.

"Pleasure to meet ya'all, I'm Happy to be here."  His face and his voice said otherwise.  "I am sure we'll have no problems workin together.  Now I need to see the Captain as soon as possible so if you can have someone direct me to her while someone else takes my things to wherever you'll be keeping me for the trip we can get this show on the road."

"He said WHAT?"
"That someone should take his things to wherever we were keeping him for the trip."
I was getting interrogated by a number of curious onlookers to the arrival in the Officer's Mess a few hours later.
"So as of now, we have a Fucking Hand of the Fucking King in our one of our VIP cabins."
"Well I don't know if he's in the cabin right this second but yes."

"He's not really coming with us is he?"
One of the bridge officers took over answering for that one:
"He met with the Captain in her ready room right off the bridge; they were in there for a while, I mean a while too, we pulled out the 'we did the bored work stuff 10 times now to goof off but still look busy stuff" and was doing that quite happily by the time they came back to the bridge.  The captain had Coms send a compressed and coded message back to home office and had us get underway to Earth/Mars Lagrange Point Gamma Sub 2 and told Coms to leave standing orders that when Home Office sent a reply that she was to be called immediately even if it means waking her up.  She then called a Chief Crewman to escort the Hand to the VIP suite 1."
"So we are underway now, and He's still aboard.  Damn."
"Sure looks that way."
"Well Jay, Looking more and more like you mages hit the bullseye with your theory."
"Yup, wonder how bad this is gonna get."
"If I had to guess, I'd say bad enough that we should probably make sure our insurance policies and wills are up to date."
Dinner was a pretty quiet affair after that.

"All hands prepare to jump."  The intercom clicked off and my personal com switched on.  "2nd Lieutenant Burkhind, you may proceed when ready."
"Yes Captain, Jumping now."
My magic surged, My runes of power glowed.  The amplifier in the chamber activated.  I focused on the answers to the calculations I made earlier in my mind.  I envisioned space folding between the two points I calculated.  I placed my hands on the simulacrum of the ship and released my power into it.
"All hands, jump complete."  My com activated again.  "Smooth as always 2nd Lieutenant, well done."
"Thank you Captain."
"Go get some rest."
"Yes Sir."
Teleporting a starship of any size 1.00023 light years is one of the few feats of magic that will completely drain a mage in one shot.  After a jump like this the mage is left exhausted and their magic pool is nearly completely drained.  Its standard to let a mage rest for a minimum of 8 hours (More is better) after a jump.  Usually the mage will just sleep for that time.
I left the chamber and passed through the door to the Simulacrum office on my way out.  2nd Lieutenant Jeff Fletcher was waiting to take over for me. 
"Nice one again Jay, You have the smoothest transitions I ever experienced.  How do you do that?"
"Not sure I can explain it.  I kinda just feel how fast the magic should be flowing through me and if its too fast or too slow I adjust it.  It all happens so fast its almost like I do it without thinking."
"Wish I could learn it.  Theres always at least one that has to run to the head and puke after I make a jump."
I just tiredly shrugged.
"Yea, go on get some rest."
"See ya later."

On my way back to my cabin.  Anything happen on the way there?

(50/50 | 5[d10]) No, but... +Twist: Emotional event / Changes the goal

I get back to my cabin.  Before I drop into bed I check my messages. and there is one I feel I have to check.  Its from SSgt. Suho, The EW unit friend of LcCpl. Stargaze that tried to trace the hack I was almost framed for.  The subject line reads: Hack coincidence.  Of  course it does.
I open it.  Apparently she has been a part of the team Cmdr. Eumilia ordered LtCmdr. Burkfire to put together.  And she decided, not against orders but without asking permission either, to let me know one of the developments. 2nd Lieutenant Burkhind, it begins:

First, I know this is a few weeks late but; thanks for the ice cream and the movie.  Ive been tied to this investigation 16 hours a day for the past few weeks and ive just been forgetting to say that.  Sorry.
And you were right.  On all points.  It ended up being a very pleasant evening.  and now, im supposed to ask if you have Spirited Away.  She says after that my conversion will be complete.
Anyway moving on, it took all this time but we found one tiny coincidence that may or may not be relevant but it is literally all we got.  Apparently there was a particular ship nearby at the time of the hack that we found on the sensor recordings from the time.  We couldnt find anything on the sensor logs to indicate there was any signals from that ship for the hack but we did find it was also parked at the Rakvere docks at the time of the conference and they booked it out before we left after the attack on the conference.  According to the information we got, they arrived just hours before the attack and left just after you ported everyone out.  Its thin.  and it could be nothing but a blind coincidence.  but its literally the only thing we got after weeks of 16 hour days by almost everyone in the unit.  The ship was the SQSS Little Gina. 
Anyway I thought I should let you know.  I'm really sorry.  Wish we had more.
SSgt. Suho

You know when you're just going along in life and something just comes out of nowhere and bitchslaps you upside the head?
That's what the Little Gina did to me.

See, back home on Tamaqua there is a Minister of Parliament.  In the Chamber of Regions, That's the chamber of the parliament that has the ministers that are appointed by the regional governors.

Maybe i should explain a bit:
Tamaqua is a basically independent world in the Susquehannock System.  The system does have a System wide level of government but it has no influence on the worlds themselves.  The system government is basically a means for the 3 planets, 7 moons and 10 or so planetoids and asteroids of Susquehannock to pool their resources together to provide system patrols to guard against pirates and provide customs services to incoming interstellar and intra system trade.  So each settled world has its own form of government.
Tamaqua has its government set up in regions.  Each region elects a Regional Governor to be the head of government for the region and there is also a planetary government.  There is a Planetary Parliament with 2 Chambers.  The Chamber of Regions who has its members appointed by the regional governors.  and the chamber of citizens who have its members elected by the citizens of the regions.  There are 3 citizen elected ministers from each region and one appointed minister from each region.  The terms of the elected ministers are 3 years each and the are staggered so you are basically electing one every year.  The appointed position is a 6 year term.  And governors are 8.  The parliament also elects a chamberlain from among its ranks who serves essentially as the head of the parliament and the world for 5 years.
Its kinda fucked up in my opinion, definitely not how I would do it, but I wasn't there to object when they set it up and its been working ever since the world was colonized. 

So back to Little Gina:
As I said, there is a minister in the Chamber of Regions Named Winfield Pope McClelland.  And He has been the one providing most of the resistance to changing the current debt liability laws.  He's not the only resistance but he has been providing the majority of it.  There have been rumors that there is a quirk in the laws as written that allows certain information about creditors and debtors to be concealed behind agreements that can not be revealed unless all parties involved in the agreement agree to its disclosure.  There is plenty of evidence and news reports of it happening that that rumor is pretty much accepted as true even though its never been officially confirmed.  There is another rumor that the reason he resists changing the law is because it is well known the Chamber of Citizens would force that provision to be explicitly removed and/or made illegal if the law is ever amended in any way, and it is long suspected that there are a lot of really shady and questionable agreements that have never been investigated because of that law.  Some have also speculated that there are even Protectorate of Mars levels of shady that are hidden behind that single law that exists only on a lone, second rate, near rim world.  I also happen to know, because it made headlines at the time, that Minister McClelland received a private star yacht as a gift from a stupid wealthy business owner that apparently was able to open branches of his business all over the system largely because Minister McClelland had some influence in the Custom's Department of the System Government and he used it on this business' behalf.  He was never censured or penalized in any way on Tamaqua because, it was argued, his use of influence in the system government did not have any effect on the governance of Tamaqua and he did not benefit from it personally other than the yacht as a gift.  "He was just helping out a friend" was the tagline.
The yacht was registered with Susquehannock customs, giving it the prefix SQSS and then McClelland named the yacht after his daughter:
Little Gina.

there was no way I was getting to sleep now.  it doesn't matter how exhausted I feel, after learning this, I was way too pissed.

"Hang on I'm coming.  Jay, Shouldn't you be sleeping?"
"1st Lieutenant Fairchance, Yes I should be."
"Using official ranks and names?  Thats not usual for you 2nd Lieutenant.  Whats going on?"
I spilled everything.  The Amikampur Group, the legal loophole, Minister McClelland, the missing male mage, the hack, the investigation, and the SQSS Little Gina.
"Well, Thats a hell of a tale."
"I Know."
"You did everything right except for the fact you shoulda told me you were going to the XO but i understand, you dont have the Navy instilled chain of command instincts the unit guys should have had."
"I would have sent you there anyway so I'll let it slide."
"Thanks Sir."
"Well we better get you to the XO again.  And probably the Captain.  You did just jump us into Dzhebariki again after all."

Ultimately the meeting was attended by:
Me of course, the Captain, The XO, 1st Lieutenant Fairchance, LtCmdr. Burkfire, Corporal Suho, and Hand Fury.
"This is a rather irritating development."  The captain looked to Fury.  "Do you think this will affect the operation?"
"Possible, but, I think unlikely.  If I'm reading this right, and I can read pretty good if I say so myself, It looks like this McClelland guy is targeting Mage Burkhind specifically.  So as long as we keep him away from my operation, ..."
"Then McClelland will stay away too.  Assuming it really is this McClelland AND he is determined enough to follow us into a Civil War."

"How does a civil war happen anyway?"  Brian asked sparing me the embarrassment of asking myself.  "Why doesn't the Protectorate just step in?"
"Politics."  Hand Fury answered him.  "When you want to know why a government ever does anything the answer is always politics.  There are a LOT of systems loyal to the protectorate specifically because they can obtain many of the benefits of membership without the danger of direct interference in internal matters.  Some even trade away some of those benefits that other systems take part in so they can limit Protectorate influence even further."
"Like the Unarcana Worlds?"
"Like the Unarcana worlds, yes.  This is the reason why Jason is saddled with that debt.  While the Protectorate *could* force Tamaqua to change the laws if it wanted and there would be little that could be done to stop it.  There are many systems that would object to the interference as a matter of principal and they would begin to challenge or hinder the Protectorate in various ways.  Like blocking or filibustering important spending or taxation bills.  There are others who would just outright leave the protectorate.  And some of those are significant systems with vital infrastructure the Protectorate depends on to keep interstellar trade flowing smoothly.  I refer you to the Unarcana Worlds again.  So right now, until this bullshit going on in Dzhebariki starts to affect another system, or begins to interfere with the Protectorate itself, King Alexander wont interfere without a specific request by the recognized government of Dzhebariki.  Or at least one of its worlds. OR"
"Or one side or the other is found to be breaking The Olympus Accords, The Treaty of Mars, or The Third Geneva Convention of Human Rights Mandates."  LtCmdr. Burkfire answered helpfully.

"And that's why you mother fuckers are here!"  Fury said joyfully.
"To look for those violations?"  I asked innocently.
"Not officially."  The Captain answered with a stern voice.  "You really are not supposed to know these details but it cant be helped under the circumstances.  We are going under the appearance that we have been hired by The Dzhebariki System Central Committee or various local planetary governments to guard and fight against the rebel insurgency.  However The Grey Ghosts and White Spirits are here under contract of The Mountain to conduct that search for those violations.  Hand Fury is here to assist and guide those units with their search because he has actually been investigating several government and private interests here that are suspected to have been committing such violations regularly.  So he has the leads and the information needed to investigate.  He will also be providing magic backup for the units if needed."
"And while they do that, we fight for the badies to give the Stealth Units the cover they need to do the job."
"You have the idea."
"So we get the dirty work."
"That's what mercenaries do Burkhind, will that be a problem?"
"NO SIR! Just needed to say it to get it in my head properly SIR!"

"Back to McClelland."  Brian said. "what should our rules of engagement be for him?  He is targeting one of our men specifically and is willing to get involved in our operations to do it but he is also a private citizen and not directly covered by the contracts we'll be working here."
"Obviously, if he openly attacks us we return fire with extreme prejudice.  If he plays more hacking games then... LtCmdr. Burkfire!"
"Yes Sir!"
"I want a Tak Team assigned to help my bridge crews detect and defend against any more intrusions by this crooked politician."
"I'll assign Tak 2 and we will provide backup by what units are unhindered by contract work at any given moment."
"Sounds good.  And 2nd Lieutenant Burkhind?"
"Yes Sir!"
"Wherever you end up during our time here you keep an eye out for that missing mage."
"Will do Sir!"
"Alright we have something that resembles a plan.  Lets get on with it."

Over teh next two weeks we jump all over the system dropping off units to do various jobs in various places.  Some jobs only get one or two Tak Teams at a time while others get a full unit.  I send a message of good luck to Cheeks, who responds with a heart and a kissy face emoji.  I send another to SSgt Suho, who responds with "Tell Holly to keep the ice cream cold and the Saki hot."  I even send one to LceCpl Stargaze, who responds with "No worries, I just hope I remembered to save my game."
Last bit of setup.  before the guns start shooting


Dropping all the units off took two weeks.  Our last stop was of course trade station Grazhdanskaya Stantsiya 01 over Andryushkino.  Back to where it all began.  The Captain called the ship's mage contingent to her office once we were in a parking orbit.

"1st Lieutenant Brian Fairchance, As you have been warned we are going to have to tap into the mage contingent to back up some of our Tak Teams being sent on contracts."
"Yes Sir, I was expecting it to happen sooner than this actually."
"We are offsetting the lack of combat mages by sending extra reinforcements with some heavier equipment to some of the assignments but we are down to the last contracts here and there are no more reinforcements to send.  The teams need a mage."
"We will step up and do the job Sir."
"Never had a doubt.  As always I trust your judgement to select which mage would be most helpful on these jobs but there is a bit of a wrench in the works this time.  2nd Lieutenant Burkhind has to remain aboard the Hammer right now.  If the Little Gina comes around to make another try at him I want the Computer Warfare Team I had Lt.Cmdr. Burkfire assign to the Hammer here to counter anything electronic they may try.  And of course if they send a team after him, it could make a bad situation worse for a tak team on assignment but here there's a better chance we will be able to give them our full attention."
"Thank you for the explanation Sir, While it was unnecessary it is very appreciated Sir."
"I saw no reason not to tell you.  So, I have 2 single Tak assignments I want to have mage backups sent along with.  Tak 8 from the Rhinos is being sent to the station as backup security for the station commander.  His regular security was hit hard and they've been short handed for a while.  And Tak 10 from the Rhinos is going down to Andryushkino in the domed city of Mayskoye to act as additional security for the city's platinum vaults.  There hasn't been an attack there yet but the City is worried.  There will be units from other firms involved in these two operations so, take that into account."
"I would send 2nd Lieutenant Fletcher with Tak 8 and 2nd Lieutenant McCloy with Tak 10.  I think the personalities work out better that way."
"So be it.  I'll write up the orders.  Fletcher, McCloy, get down to to Tak Country and get geared up, you'll be leaving shortly."

Later I was in the simulacrum office with Brian.

"So what happens with the ship now?"
"Whada you mean?"
"Well once Jeff and Holly take off all the Tak Teams will be at the jobsites.  What will the ship be doing?  Just sitting here parked?"
"Maybe for a while.  But its more likely we will be escorting shipping and defending the station against attack."
"The Rebels are really that well equipped?"
"This system has been a powder keg for a while now.  The sides were drawn up long before the Stornberg Conference, that incident just put the match to it.  Every planet, moon, planetoid, and asteroid, has both factions represented among the populations.  Some cities support the Central Committee and other cities support the Rebels and inside every one of them there are members of the opposing faction causing trouble.  The Central Committee has a significant advantage in money and resources by like, A Lot, but the rebels have resources too and if they are smart about it they might actually have a chance.  History is filled with stories where the underdog wins."
"And of course there is the big wildcard in this show too."
"Yup.  If the Hand finds what he's looking for, things are gonna get real interesting real fast."


Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)