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The Liquor Cabinet => Forum Roleplaying => Beyond the Stellar Sphere => Topic started by: Nayt on September 21, 2016, 07:45:00 PM

Title: [BtSS] TSS Approaching Dawn (Open)
Post by: Nayt on September 21, 2016, 07:45:00 PM
The Trans-Saturnian Ship Approaching Dawn, a goliath of a vessel that once served as a freight hauler between the moons of Saturn. Ten years past, it was purchased by Distant Sun Transports and retrofitted into something of a luxury liner. Nothing too fancy, of course. Its hull speckled with decades of minor impacts, more than two-thirds its paint chipped away, and the aged displacement drive groaning far too loudly upon entering atmosphere, it was neither a pretty sight nor a pleasant noise at any port. Still, though, the relic meant something to someone. Enough that DST was willing to save it from decommissioning, where it'd no doubt be tossed into the ship graveyard of Tethys.

It was cheap, though. Definitely cheap. And, at the very least, a whole team of designers spent a solid year sprucing up the insides, making it nice and pretty and full of mediocre, yet nice-looking accommodations. Mid-shelf fineries and all the sort. Well lit spaces and well kept rooms, a couple of heated pools, even a small casino. For the younger generations, it was a fairly cheap getaway--one that could even take you someplace else. Someplace new. Not a lot of folks off Titan ever got to see other worlds.

Oftentimes the older generations, on the other hand, paid the travel fare for the historic experience. Part of DST's purchase included related materials to the Dawn, all of which wound up stuffed into a big museum where old miners used to keep their haul. A museum to an older era, when huge ships were thrown together quick, when men, women, and machines risked life and limb to scrounge for as many raw materials in Saturn's rings to carry a myriad of fledgling colonization projects.

The Dawn catapulted itself through space, the beast looking more like a long rectangle with spiny bits for a backside (the vestiges of atmospheric thrusters, long before displacement drives could maneuver a ship through re-entry) than the curvy and intricate cruisers of the upper class.

Enceladus was the first stop. Not a lot of Enceladites looking for passage to Titan or Europa.

Thank God, thought Rickert g'Draal, captain of the Approaching Dawn. Enceladites bothered him on an existential level. A constant reminder of science gone too far. Captain g'Draal, content with simplicities, preferred not to broach such subjects. He liked his lunch cold, his dinner hot, his smoke relaxing, and the nightly Tetherball broadcasts on the Net. He especially liked quiet hauls. He wasn't even born when the Dawn was revolutionizing stellar freight, and didn't much care for the daily history lessons from the museum. This was just a job. Nothing more.

Titan was the second stop. That, unfortunately, was when the quiet ended. The casino lit up and music drowned out his daily activities. They were finally en route to Jupiter's sphere by the time the captain stepped out of his cabin, looked down at the casino below his balcony, and watched the little dots of human life move about without him.

Just another trip. Just another routine trip.

If only the good captain knew.

Spoiler: show
OOC: this thread is open for anyone to participate! Your characters are going to a moon of Jupiter's for some reason, and they chose a low-class luxury liner with a neat museum. Why is up to you! Also I am probably not going to be roleplaying Captain Nihilism here, I just wanted a quick viewpoint character. I'll play someone way more social than him.
Title: Re: [BtSS] TSS Approaching Dawn (Open)
Post by: majortom on September 23, 2016, 01:29:19 AM
   “Found you a job Hawk, know you've been wanting one.” The memory was still clear in his head, one of his normal providers of transport jobs sat down in front of him at the bar. The greasy old man had a lite cigarette hanging from his mouth, and one tucked behind each ear. He wore a cheap suit, and his hair was slicked back with so much product you could probably break the ends off of it. “Pays enough to get rid of those debts you've accrued from sitting on your ass.”

   He rubbed the bridge of his nose and looked at his navigation computer. His feet were propped up carefully on the control panel of his little single person transport ship. He still had another five minutes or so before he had to concern himself with moving. He opened a beat up silvery case and pulled a cigarette from it. He placed it between his lips as he shut the case and threw it down beside his chair that he was causing to swivel back and forth. He pulled a black rectangle from his pocket, about the size of his thumb. He slid it open and a small piece of metal started glowing, he pushed the end of his cigarette into it and inhaled slowly, the end of the unhealthy little pleasure glowing orange. When he blew out a puff of smoke his ships computers started setting off quiet little alarms about air quality which he promptly silenced, swiveling so that he could reach a keyboard and hit a few buttons before flipping a few buttons and a fan coming smoothly to life with a little hum. He leaned his head back again, continuing to recall the nightmare that had been this job so far.

   “What am I hauling Jack? Last time you said you had a good paying one for me you were trying to get me involved in some galactic sex trade.” His red hair was spiked up, a set of goggles were perched on his hairline, and he was leaned back in a chair then as well.
   “Hey keep it down will ya?” The greasy little man looked around. “People might not come to me if they found out that happened ya know? Cuts into everyone's pockets then.” He leaned across the table. “And I told you Hawk I had no idea.”
   “The fuck you didn't.” He sat his chair on all four legs. “And you don't get to call me Hawk anymore jackass, our relationship is purely professional now.” Hawk reached out and swiped the cigarette from the other man's mouth and puffed on it before leaning back in the chair again.
   “Alright Mr. Hawkins, are you interested or not? Non-sentient probably non-living cargo, small pays well.”

   Hawk was entering the atmosphere now, he pulled his feet down from the control panel and his seat clicked into place. He clicked a few seat belts into place before hitting a few buttons on his console and started up a program on one of the many screens in the cockpit, it took a moment for it to load, the screen displayed a variety of ship id's, none of which belonged to this ship, some of which were entirely fake. A simple reach and the pull of a lever and his seat was reclining again. He took another drag from his cigarette blowing it straight into a vent above him, the wisps of smoke being sucked through it. He scrolled through the list trying to find something suitable for his ship. Finally he found one, same make and model...well same skeleton anyway. He selected it, now all he had to do was hit a button when the spaceports systems prompted him for the information and ding he was in. He leaned back again, finger waiting over the enter key.

   Hawk had met a strange little man at Terra Nova, that's how it all started. Little bald guy, thick glasses, very nervous little man. He'd been handed a small metal box, no noise when he shook it, obviously had something in it though, definitely a padded box, possibly containing something fragile. He had slid it into his pocked and was instructed to be very careful with it, that the fate of humanity may depend on the contents of the box one day. Old man seemed a little crazy but his money was good, half was already in his account. He was given a name, approximate time, and location. Sounded easy enough, he wasn't a big fan of going to Europa but maybe he could finally get all the cosmetic repairs done to his ship that it needed, along with make a few upgrades, and hopefully get himself a better contact for jobs. The problem started as soon as he left Terra Nova. What he thought were simply corporate vessels started following him, then they started unloading on him. He avoided taking any major hits, but his repair bill was skyrocketing all the same. He lost them the first time, but there were several more encounters. He was sure to have an active bounty on his head at this point, he only shot one of the crafts but it hit something vital and there was a nice explosion. He caused a couple to crash (you could hardly blame him for that though really, they shouldn't have been following him like that if they couldn't pilot well.)

   'Thank you for docking with us Foxxy Wench' The message scrolled across his screen as he made his approach. He looked at the ship he had selected and groaned. He hadn't bothered to look at the name, only that enough of the information matched. The sleek little craft, it looked like two triangles stuck together from above or below, the point of one disappearing into the base of another. It was black and polished to a mirror finish. At least it used too. Much of the pain was gone now, various panels were ding and bent. Some of them had obviously been replaced and hadn't been stripped of paint, perhaps some not painted in the first place. Now bits of red blue, and even a panel of yellow which was in very good condition. Along with that some of the armored panels showed signs of having been, well, having been shot at, scorch marks, holes, the odd spark leaping from something beneath the metal skin. He put the cigarette out and put it into his pocket for now. The ship shuttered a little as it was grabbed by a giant mechanical arm and pulled up to a docking station. He heard the air lock seal, a green light flashed in the cockpit.

   A short climb up the ladder and Aaron Hawkins found himself in the bustling port of Titan. He had some time to kill, due to being pursued he had ran ahead of schedule by a bit and he didn't want to be hanging around his rendezvous point for that long. He made his way toward the security check point. He really didn't have much to worry about this time, he had the little metal box hidden inside of another padded box in his pocket, and it would give the impression of something else in the box, something harmless. Not only that but he wasn't even sure it was actually anything illegal he was transporting. The guy had seemed kind of nuts after all, and those ships that attacked him could not have possibly known he was the one carrying...whatever it was. Hell he'd been on Terra Nova for a long while as it was. Lots of people had came and went while he was there. He approached the security station, walked through the scanner and it beeped...why in the hell would it beep, and suddenly there were weapons drawn and pointed at him. “Uhh...problems?” His hands slowly went into the air.
   “You are carrying an unauthorized weapon sir, and your description means that of a man currently suspected of piracy against the Acron Mining company.” Fucking hell, that was 15 years ago, talk about holding a grudge..
   “Look, I'm sure this is all just a big misunderstanding.” He had to disappear, if he could make it a few yards away he could get into the crowd, at least then he wouldn't be in danger of being shot. He'd done the whole disappearing act before, he could do it again, he just had to have the opportunity. What was the firearm they were talking about?
   “What the hell is this?” One of them lifted a revolver from his hip, an ancient one. There hadn't been a whole lot left of it when he had gotten his hands on it, mostly just a rusty piece of junk with the remnants of a wooden handle. Not it was a matte black cannon with a polished and sturdy synthetic handle that bore a striking resemblance to a dark wood. He cursed, he had gotten so used to carrying it with him that he had forgotten to leave it in the damn ship. He had a thing for westerns, the several hundred year old westerns that were barely watchable when you managed to dig deep enough into the net to find them. The man was holding it by the handle in front of him. He saw his chance he reached up and snatched it by the barely before smacking him in the face with the butt of the handle. He stepped back and to the side and spun around another guard before giving them a shove and he ran. Hawk made a nice little zig-zag pattern as he crossed the open space before disappearing into the crowd. He quickly threw off his denim jacket and slipped the goggles from his head and put them in a pants pocket. He ducked into a store, the expensive sort of tourist store, that sold clothes with the name of the location. He knocked over a wrack and grabbed a sweatshirt before disappearing out of the store again, someone yelling after him. He pulled on the sweatshirt over his plain black one. As he moved through the crowd he moved his foot just right and tripped a man wearing a sock hat which he snatched as the man went forward and he moved away from him pressing the hat to his chest before placing it on his head and pulling it down over his red hair. He kept his head down, there would be people looking for him now, thankfully he had made it a little harder to find him. He either needed to find some place to hide, or a way to get off of this rock, and getting back to his ship was out of the question now. After some walking he saw that there was a cruise liner boarding. He made his way to the check in desk.
   “Ticket please” A rather large woman above and in front of him pointed down and a slot lit up on the wall separating them.
   “Was hoping to buy one, any room left?”
   “Mmm...yessir, but there is an extra charge for buying at the gate instead of in advance.”
   “That's fine, I'll take one please.” Another slot lit up and he dug into his pocket pulling out a wallet. He pulled out a card and inserted it, the light turned from white to green and he withdrew it. The lady behind the wall slid a card on to the counter separating them and smiled politely. He turned toward the crowd that was slowly making it's way onto the ship. He had to make it through security here too. He needed a good old fashioned distraction. As he worked his way through the crowd he picked his marks. As they came closer to the security counters his hand slid into a rather large man's back pocket and lifted his wallet...and placed it into the man's pocket beside him. He finished the move by bumping into the the second man roughly, knocking him into the large man. Both of them stumbled, the man with the wallet not belonging to him even fell to the ground and started apologizing. There was a verbal exchange, he could see security guards taking interest and then the large bald man realized his wallet was gone and things became physical. The crowd moved quickly to make room for the two and security guards moved forward. He gave a little smile as he proceeded through one of the scanners, sure it beeped and turned red for a second, but then lots of people went through after him. He never looked back to see if it switched to green. He swiped his boarding pass before walking down one of the corridors leading into the...well luxury wasn't the word he would use for it, but he had certainly been to places that were a lot worse. He stepped into a casino and gave a little sigh, well there went the majority of his extra credits.
Title: Re: [BtSS] TSS Approaching Dawn (Open)
Post by: Nayt on September 23, 2016, 11:09:29 AM
Keep it simple. Don't act out. Don't step foot off the ship when you dock on Titan. Machinals have scanners in every spaceport; they'll gun you down where you stand. You'll be Darius Kaldeen, male, twenty years old, born and raised on Europa. Steward. Blond hair, green eyes; ID's in your mailbox. Bring a wig, change your lenses, practice your accent. This is your last chance.

. . . And "Darius" knew exactly what that meant. If he--ugh--stepped foot on soil, any soil, he'd be killed. And space was not a pleasant place to live, and work was not going to come easy if he was put on a system-wide blacklist. So he set to work. Booked a room in an Enceladus spaceport, prepared his disguise, his new identity for the next several weeks, and boarded as the steward Darius Kaldeen. The disguise was near-perfect: the mask a perfect likeness of flesh, bone, and muscle; the wig made of synthetically grown human hair, clinging to the scalp as if it were real; and the voice modulator, recently upgraded, tweaked for a young male still growing, but freshly past adolescence. He was on the roster, expected to be on the flight for the full rotation: Saturn to Jupiter to Mars, starting back all over again at Enceladus.

Except he was getting off at Europa. They'd be down one steward. Hopefully, that would be all they'd miss.

But that was a fair bit of time away. Days, at best. A week--or more--at worst. Why, though, did Darius have to be so insufferably young? Twenty?! The amount of full grown adults talking down to him was absurd. Reminded the person behind the mask just how much they hated the common folk. Darius should've been older, at least forty, to earn some mutual respect. Uggghhh.

Fortunately, Titan didn't cause any problems. The casino, and Darius's duties, were light until Titan. A few other stewards and stewardesses wondered why he was happy to stay in the servants' quarters when he could've seen the sights on Titan, but claimed to need the rest. Didn't bother telling them about fear of the moon's uniquely terrible Machinalis cult, lecture them on the lack of anything worth seeing on Titan, or inform them of just how much snooping he could do with minimal personnel on board.

Unfortunately, Titan gifted the Approaching Dawn with a mob of middle to upper-middle-class tourists looking for an economy cruise, which significantly cut down on time for his real job. By the time they were out of port and en route to Jupiter, Darius was out on the casino floor, there to make everyone feel welcome, make sure everyone's having a great time. Short, clean-cut, blonde haired, green eyed Darius Kaldeen, the perfect poster child for the bright eyed youth experiencing space for the first time, navigated the casino and its patrons with a forced awkwardness. Look the part, act the part.

He found himself staring at one customer, though. The most eclectic looking person here, wayward in the casino, probably here to lose all his money. Spiked up red hair? Goggles on his forehead? What kind of person did that to themselves? And--goggles? Really? Did they even do anything? Why choose goggles over bionic eyes and replaceable lenses? He choked back an aghast snicker and approached.

"Hello, sir!" Bright eyed, bright faced, socially awkward Darius Kaldeen. The person behind the mask wanted to puke. "Can I get you anything?"
Title: Re: [BtSS] TSS Approaching Dawn (Open)
Post by: jfan999 on September 23, 2016, 04:25:17 PM
Jack left his luxury cabin and moved though the ship towards the casino. As he walked through the ship he took notice of the other passengers, noting how poorly their clothing compared to the magnificent garments he wore. Not for the first time he questioned why he was on this ship in the first place, it was clear that he was the only one of any status on the ship at all. Dismissing the concern he supposed that he would just shine all the brighter among the riffraff.

In a dramatic gesture Jack flung open the doors to Casino doors and walked in.
Title: Re: [BtSS] TSS Approaching Dawn (Open)
Post by: majortom on September 23, 2016, 09:55:01 PM
Aaron hadn't realized it but he'd been just sort of shifting back and forth from leg to leg for a while. He was eyeballing machines, listening to the sounds. He patted his pants ensuring that his revolver was soundly within the holster inside of his pants again. He wasn't sure how long he had been standing there as he thought about which machine he wanted to feed credits too. He wasn't exactly a gambling addict, that would imply that he couldn't stop. He didn't take out loans or spend money that wasn't his, but he also didn't have any real notion of the value of a credit. Ahh the curse of youth. To him credit's weren't there to feed him, they were things he used to fix his ship 'probably have to worry more about getting a new one now', or they bought him drinks, or archaic technology, or things that looked interesting. Just about anything aside from saving for retirement, investing in a permanent residence, or any important matters. He cold start doing that when he got older, maybe his 50's or 60's. He was fairly certain he was close to thirty but couldn't really remember, birthdays weren't important when there was no one to celebrate with after all.

Aaron had started to move, deciding to try and find a drink instead of gambling right off the bat. That's when he was approached by a...well he wasn't sure what they were called, but a man working on the ship. He blinked as he listened to the man talk. He flipped his goggles down which did indeed do something. They had several functions, one of which was a- the goggles sparked and simply presented him with a black screen. He grumbled and pulled them from his head, shoving them into his pocket. He gave a polite smile to the man after managing to get drop the scowl from his face. “Sorry about that, if you could point me in the direction to get a drink that would be wonderful.” He reached into his pocket only to come out empty handed. “Damnit...” He patted his back pockets and the pockets down on the legs of his pants. “And if you happen to have a smoke that would be great.”
Title: Re: [BtSS] TSS Approaching Dawn (Open)
Post by: Nayt on September 24, 2016, 08:24:40 AM
Wait, what the hell was that? The goggle thing? The guy slipped the goggles over his face to look at Darius. Did they actually do something? Looked like so, he was trying to scope Darius out for something. Shit. At worst, he could see the things about Darius he wasn't supposed to. That wasn't good. Play it cool. Although not too cool. Darius was supposed to be kind of a twerp, an awkward mess of humanity bumbling his way into space. A little bit of fear would fit the character.

"A-ah, uhm, s-sorry, no," Darius smiled shakily and shook his head, "I don't smoke, sir. But, uhm, uhm, yes, if you head over there . . ."

He motioned towards the far right side of the casino, where stood long bar, a dozen or more patrons already seated before it. A pleasant looking gentleman with thick muttonchops and dark curly hair stood behind it, brandishing glasses and filling orders two at a time; he was, after all, aided by two mechanical arms extending out from his lower ribcage.

"The, uhm, the bartender over there, uh," shit, I forgot his name, "He carries cigarettes, too. If there's anything else you need, uhm, please let me or any of the other stewards know!"

Bail. Bail out. Now. Whatever sort of sensors this guy had strapped to his forehead, Darius wanted no part of. He got as far from the guy as he could, further in and towards the main entrance of the casino from the resort rooms and cabins. That was when the gaudiest looking man of them all strolled in, almost like he owned the place. Darius paused, took a deep breath, and looked around him. There were other stewards and stewardesses out on the casino floor, all making sure customers were having a good time, but for this guy . . . Well, every steward looked to Darius to greet this one. Great. What is this, some sort of hazing ritual?

Darius approached the gaudy looking fellow, smiling bright and nervous. "Hello, sir! Welcome to the Approaching Dawn casino. Please let me know if there's anything I can do for you!"
Title: Re: [BtSS] TSS Approaching Dawn (Open)
Post by: majortom on September 24, 2016, 04:58:26 PM
Aaron looked at the strange man, he seemed to get very nervous after the goggle incident. He had been wanting to see if the man was actually a man or if he was a machine. For the age he looked he seemed to be entirely to polite, and he wouldn't put it past a middle class luxury liner to have staffed androids. Aaron suspected that to not be the case now though. Must have just been very rehearsed as such when something unexpected happened he got nervous. Goggles fizzling and sparking would certainly be unexpected.

“Perfectly understandable, bad habit to start.” Aaron waved as he walked away from the nervous little steward. He pulled the goggles from his pocket as he took slow steps toward the bar. He tapped on them, the lenses lit up, flickered and went out. He tapped a little harder and the lenses came back on covered in static. He grumbled. He had spare parts and the tools to fix this...back in his ship. Sometimes he didn't understand his obsession then he remembered the grisly scene of a Wyrd being gunned down and torn apart on titan, it sent a little shiver up his spine. That's why...He put the still stylish (in his opinion), but otherwise useless goggles back into his pocket. He adjusted the knit hat on his head covering up his red hair again.

Aaron waited until an open spot appeared at the bar and took his place on a stool. He pulled his little lighter out of his pocket and put it on the bar. He waited to get the bartender's attention. When he had been acknowledged he placed his order. “I need a beer, just a cold one, and three shots of rum.” He reached for his cigarettes out of habit, remembering the second reason he had came to the bar. “I need a pack of smokes too please.”

Aaron leaned against the bar and put his head down on his arms. He knew it wouldn't take long for his alcohol to arrive. He had watched the bartender filling multiple orders, man was certainly good at his job. He gave a sigh as he raised himself up. Maybe that's what he needed, a nice safe job that he didn't have to worry about setting off security scanners at ports. Get a couple of mechanical arms and be a bar tender. Maybe pay for some fine motor skill improvements and become and expert dealer. The corner of his mouth curled up into a grin. Definitely not happening.
Title: Re: [BtSS] TSS Approaching Dawn (Open)
Post by: jfan999 on September 25, 2016, 03:02:50 PM
Jack looked over the young man in front of him, the combination of his age and position in life said he would not be knowledgeable enough to fulfill his requests. However he looked poor enough that he might make a useful manservant for the duration of the voyage, which would allow Jack to focus less on getting what he wanted and more enjoying the amenities of the ship.

"Yes, please request Martian red wine from the sommelier along with what ever cheese plate he believes would pair best with it. Bring when you have it bring it to me at the gambling tables. If you're quick there might even be something extra in it for you."

With out giving the serving boy a second though Jack handed him a credit stick filled with the outrageous sum of 5000 credits and turned to survey the casino for a game worth his time to play.
Title: Re: [BtSS] TSS Approaching Dawn (Open)
Post by: Nayt on September 26, 2016, 08:59:13 AM
The bartender, after acknowledging Aaron's request, made quick work of it. Four arms allowed him a lot of movement; he was able to grab a beer--Draal Imperial, a popular hops beer from Titan--with one hand, reach under the counter to get a rather generic looking pack of cigarettes (Distant Suns brand) with another, hold three shot glasses in a third hand, and pour rum with the fourth. The order was finished with mechanical efficiency.

"Busy afternoon, huh?" he asked idly, noting the large sum of alcohol Aaron was requesting, all while almost mindlessly handling another customer's order.

The surprise on Darius's face was genuine. Holy shit.

If Darius didn't have a big job to pull, following this gaudy looking guy around would be extremely lucrative. Actually, doing so could put some change in his pocket after all this was done. The job itself wasn't going to pay, after all. Just clear a substantial debt. Darius decided it'd be worth trailing the guy for awhile. Maybe when he felt Darius's usefulness was served, Darius could just pick one of his pockets and be done with it. So, he gave him a "yes sir!" and quickly met with the sommelier, an older woman with her own side of the bar, devoted entirely to wine and wine supplements.

Darius found the man at the tables within five minutes, a cheese tray balanced in one hand, the other holding a bottle of Martian red and wine glass. He stopped at the table, set the tray down next to the man, the glass following, and poured a generous amount for him.

"Is there anything else I can do for you, sir?" He asked brightly, realizing only too late that he may have come off as slightly too confident for his disguise.
Title: Re: [BtSS] TSS Approaching Dawn (Open)
Post by: majortom on October 08, 2016, 11:58:15 PM
Aaron downed the three shots quickly, and set to packing his cigarettes before he bothered opening his mouth for a replay to the bartender. "Eh, it started out as an alright day, life is bad about throwing you curve balls though." He opened the pack of cigarettes and set the plastic wrapper on the bar, he flipped the top open and pulled out half of the paper covering the filters, he placed that on the bar as well. Next he took the middle cigarette in the front row and placed it filter down in the pack before removing another one beside it and placing it between his lips. He took his lighter and slid it open, pushing his cigarette to it and puffing until the end was glowing.

Aaron opened his beer and stared at it. This job wasn't paying well enough for him to outright buy a new ship. That meant he was either going to have to find someone to get it for him, or find some way to sneak back and get it himself. He didn't particularly like the thought of either of those things at the moment. What he did like was the thought that eventually those three shots of rum were going to take the edge off of reality, and with a few beers and a few more shots, he could keep it that way until it was time to go to work again. He tipped the bottle to his lips and took a few swallows. "So, how long does this little voyage take usually? I grabbed my ticket at the last minute, didn't take in all the details."
Title: Re: [BtSS] TSS Approaching Dawn (Open)
Post by: Nayt on October 20, 2016, 08:56:25 AM
Spoiler: show
Ergh, sorry; continually kept forgetting to reply to this. Nonetheless, with the inactivity, I think I'll skip ahead in time, if that's okay with all.

"Oh, about a week," said the bartender with a smile, "If you grabbed a ticket last minute, you might not know all the amenities we have here. The week goes by quickly, I assure you."

With that, he moved to the next set of customers, using his extra limbs to fill three orders at once. Darius caught his eye from a distance, the boy doting on a rather flamboyant guest. He squinted his eyes. Something wasn't right. Nothing disastrous. Just suspicious.

It was four days into the journey when the Approaching Dawn lurched uncomfortably. Captain g'Draal had been nodding off in his chair in the bridge, a skeleton crew handling the vessel's regular technical functions. A full crew wasn't needed during empty space; no precise maneuvering, no shifting of the engines, only a couple of people needed to make sure the ship didn't veer off course from the influence of something else's gravity well. It was easy. At least it should have been easy.

"Wha-- hnn?!" Captain g'Draal gasped as he jolted awake.

But before any of the other few crewmen could answer, the captain felt himself drift out of his chair. He grabbed for a nearby console and clutched it to his chest, keeping himself from floating aimlessly. Other crewmen weren't as quick, and g'Draal could see his navigator panicking as he fell towards the ceiling.

The sounds of distant screaming followed, and comm requests blared throughout the bridge by the dozens.

"What the hell just happened?!" g'Draal demanded.

"The artificial mass generator just shut down," replied one of the few who managed to buckle himself in before he could float off uselessly. "And . . . Oh, Jesus. The displacement drive just went out, too!"

"The hell?! Send a security team to the engine room. Now." Great. This was just great. The ship's gravity well just cut off--and now it was slowing down. Rapidly. That meant everything and everyone not buckled down drifting aimlessly into the air, and progressively mashing together into a useless heap against all sternward walls. He could only imagine the chaos down below. g'Draal grimaced as he pulled himself back into his chair, buckled in, and opened a comm line to the whole of the ship.

"This is your captain speaking," he forced himself to say as pleasantly as possible, "We're encountering a minor technical difficulty; please do not be alarmed. We'll have the error corrected posthaste. In the meantime, we suggest collecting any belongings not strapped down, and placing them within the locked-down boxes beneath your beds. Security personnel will be by each room shortly to offer assistance. Thank you."