Precious Cargo

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Aderas, Jun 8, 2013.

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  1. The Independent Service Starship Collective Bargain; a trade vessel, Tortoise-Class Freighter, one of perhaps trillions constructed, sold, remodeled, and now in service, across the galaxy. They were what became commonly known as a Modular Starship; constructed as a bare hull, each compartment was capable of being fit with almost anything, from simple cargo containers or passenger cabin sections, to more complex things, like firing ranges, food courts, entertainment suites; a Tortoise-Class Freighter could be a city, a fortress, a blasted theme park if it was wanted.

    They were also, often, used for smuggling. The modular system allowed for all manner of secret passages, hidden cargo holds, and retractable equipment, such as external weapons batteries or corridor-based defenses. The Collective Bargain was an old ship, having had a much celebrated history, being roughly two centuries old, and having gone through six Captains.

    Captain Mattias was lucky Captain number seven. The ship hadn't had any major overhauls in the past 50 years, and the grizzled young man saw no reason to put the ship under the grid for months now! He'd bought the ship with all remaining hands at a huge bargain, practically half the cost of just a bare-bones Tortoise, from the former old Captain who had a run of gambling and was forced to sell his ship.

    Most of the old crew had jumped ship with the sale, but a few of the veterans stayed on; the rest were fresh recruits. It was to be a grand first voyage; Mattias secured a few cargo deals, got passengers for a cross-sector and even pan-system transit, and picked got it all done with a positive pocket book.

    Chief Engineer Felix Granger was one of the old crew; the 'Roaches' as one of the newer recruits had affectionately called them. He was a young man, only 27, who in an age where medical science had improved the average human life-span to nearly two-hundred, was not worried about getting old too quickly, despite his high station.

    He was six foot even, with all the musculature expected of his trade; weighing, roughly, one-sixty-five, or so. Normally seen walking about in his overalls, he didn't care much for the "regulation" Chief Engineer dress suit, which was quite impractical for day-to-day work. Mattias was very fortunately lax on such procedures as dress code. He also liked to wear an old navy-man's hat over his dark brown, tousled hair.

    Possessed of a light stubble, he had a small scar in his cheek where a bulkhead bolt had become over-stressed as he happened to be passing by, and, after shooting out of its place, grazed him and took a bit of skin with it. It added some character, he always said in the 5th Deck Tavern.

    Today, Felix was standing with the rest of the crew in his much-loathed dress uniform. While it was by no means a military ship, the few mercenary Marines and Captain Mattias' past experience in some navy or other prompted some small amount of etiquette for the boarding and launching tasks.

    Mattias had assembled most of the prominent crew, the Marines, and other important members of the ship's retinue in a parade formation at the loading dock, where the several hundred passengers were waiting to board the venerable old ship. The cargo had already been loaded, so Felix, much to his dismay, was at the head of the Engineering crew.

    The Collective Bargain was docked on the only station large enough around the back-water planet, where droves of people had flocked for the chance at a once-in-a-lifetime (for people from such a planet) journey.
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  2. It never did seem like the Collective Bargain was that big when working inside of it constantly. Seeing all of the bodies standing together now kind of was like a brick to the face. The numbers were just incredible. Really, it was pretty impressive. Though, it would take a bit more to bring excitement to some workers faces at the moment.

    With her arms folded over one another, the woman of noticeably full, wild ebony hair at 5'8'' stood slouching slightly onto one leg. Esmeralda Lumiere was not against the act of gathering all the crew together, showing off the ship and allowing passengers on to get all settled.
    She just wanted to take inventory of what they had stocked up recently. That is all she wanted to do. It was her job, after all.

    A thin tablet peeked out from the wide pocket in front of her long white uniform coat, just waiting to be grasped and take action. Tapping her toes down against tall leather black boots, the woman's patience was running slim. Still, as the Captain looked up at his workers, she was able to muster up a broad smile. Hey, it was the least she could do.

    Having turned twenty-five this past week, Esmeralda considered herself a fair age for being a regular now on the transportation system. She wasn't considered a veteran yet, but she wasn't really a newcomer either. It was that awkward transition state she was stuck in, waiting for time to pass so she could slip in to a new title for herself. That was something to look forward to, she supposed.

    Being in charge of Inventory wasn't the most exotic occupation out there. At one time in her life, Esmeralda had the desire to study biology and mess with chemicals. She wished to create concoctions until her hearts was content and her fingers were calloused with burn marks from playing with dangerous mixtures. But, it seemed fate had a different plan for her. And so, somehow, she ended up here, aboard the famous contraption.

    Bright emerald eyes lifted from staring at the ground, trying their hardest to focus ahead as the familiar sensation of exhaustion began to settle in. She really needed more sleep. Lately, the nightmares had been enjoying their stay in the woman's mind, and decided to visit more frequently. Esmeralda was not a happy host to them at all. A yawn gently parted her lips as a hand instinctively raised to cover the opened mouth. Just a little bit longer, just a few more hours of work. Well, if they would actually get back to doing their tasks soon. She would greatly appreciate it if they could.

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  3. Felix had been disciplined to keep himself in parade form as long as was necessary, but out of the corner of his eye, he could see the young Esmerelda yawning. They were only a few years apart, but she had joined the vessel in the last, waning years of old Captain Martellus' command. Since the ship didn't have many voyages during that time, she was almost new; yet she'd been busier than most of the veterans had in that short time, and probably knew the ship half again times better than most. Still, Felix couldn't help but feel he was decades older at times.

    He had to suppress his grin at her obvious wish to be elsewhere; he had felt much the same. He'd seen her around the ship, and she was a fine woman to be around in the few conversations he'd joined in the mess hall. He had never really gotten to know her, however. The bulk of his work had taken place during the necessary clean-up of the ship's engines and other components, and now she would likely be busy with her duties making sure that passenger luggage and the freight they were carrying was inventoried properly... but maybe he'd find time to chat her up, as it were.

    With slight embarrassment, he realized, in his reverie, he'd shifted out of his parade rest and was staring at Esmerelda. Clearing his throat and trying to keep the red blush from creeping up his neck, he turns his eyes back forward, down towards the passengers.

    With a great reveal, Captain Mattias arrives, striding down the boarding ramp, arms held out wide to welcome the great assemblage below. "Welcome, Welcome, to the Collective Bargain," he shouts, bringing forth a round of applause from the eager passengers. He continues down, out of earshot from the crew, and starts listing off the ship rules and what-have-you; it was unnecessary, as most places the civvies weren't allowed had ID reader access, but it was a formality the new captain seemed happy to provide.

    Felix would be happy when they were back on the ship, himself.


    After about ten minutes of socializing with the passengers, Mattias finally begins the boarding process. The stewards and stewardesses broke off from the parade formation, joining the passengers to the various living quarters. It was going to be a journey of several weeks, so they would want to be acquainted with the ship's staff. Felix grumbles slightly as he waits eagerly for their turn to board.
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