Sailing in the Stars: The Beginning

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Sylfaeth, Feb 25, 2015.

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    Good Morning Recruits.

    It has been many long years since humanity has spread itself among the stars; Earth all but forgotten to the minds of those still living near the Sol system. As humanity crept across the stellar canvas, they had discovered a multitude of species bearing intelligent thought; some of which were far more advanced than humanity had anticipated. Now, in the advent of humanity's trials and tribulations, a new epoch threatens to dawn...but let's not get too far ahead of ourselves, lest we ruin the story. Let us remember the lives of those who went:

    >>>Sailing in the Stars<<<
    . . .​

    Captain Onasi was sitting in the Eight-Arm Tap, a rather reputable bar in the Artemis Tau sector of the Orion (to which she rented out the place for the day to herself and her applicants). It was time for another haul of new crewmen after some suffered a tragic accident in the Sigma Chi system last month while surveying a planet. After she had finished squaring away those crew member's families with 'termination packages,' she opened up recruitment for the Belarus.

    She actually had quite the list of applicants to take care of today but she enjoys making people squirm in their seats as she and her Chief of Security, Ghato, stare them down and pick apart everything they are. All in all, she had three hundred applicants to burn through today alone. While a good majority of those applicants will only receive a cursory glance and declined for employment on the Belarus (recommended for other ships, however), she had a feeling that there were going to be several good applicants walking through these doors.

    For several hours, the two scrutinized dozens of applicants. Some of them hired for general staffing and many sent another direction.

    "This process is never quick, is it Ghato?" She said with a smirk and a shake of the head.

    "Nay, but it's well worth it." She responded to her own question before waving over the next several applicants for evaluation. This process repeated for several hours, extending well into what could be described as the twilight hours back on Earth. There were only about a dozen applicants left, yet to arrive no less, but she had a feeling there was a lot of promise in those ones. In preparation for these persons in question, she left a little note on the table: Tell us what you think we want to hear on your application. Give yourself the interview.

    While she waited for the last of the applicants, she went up to the bar and got the two of them some drinks: a bottle of four-hundred-year-old whiskey for her and some bottle of an unspeakable alcohol from Ghato's homeworld.

    "Drink up. The fun is going to be starting shortly, I do believe."

    As she poured herself a glass of whiskey, the first of the last walked in through the door and she smiled,

    "Now, who might you be?"
    #1 Sylfaeth, Feb 25, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
  2. Nhills Feng lay on the small cot in his equally small scout-class ship, affectionately called "The Skiff". The prior night had been what he hoped would be his last solo venture, he had brought in a bounty for some chick who called herself the White Witch, she and her cronies were a pushover and the bounty was enough to pay off the debt he owed on the ship. Feng stirred in his bed and without opening his eyes groggily spoke aloud to the ship. "Skiff...time!" to which it replied in a mildy cheery, female voice "The time is 23:33" Feng slowly rose and cussed under his breath, it was later than he wanted it to be but he was sure he had plenty of time still.

    He shouted at his ship to play some music to get him pumped, to which it responded " Will this song do?" As the music started Feng didn't even reply he just started grooving around the cramped quarters of his ship. He grabbed an old, black t-shirt that read "I visited Shopping Planet 9 and all I got was this stupid shirt" in white block letters. The shirt looked awkward on his reptilian frame but so did most things. He finally made his way off the ship and towards the bar where he was supposed to meet his employer, it had been a few years since he had been on a crew or worked with other people for an extended amount of time.

    Eventually Feng walked into the Eight-arm Tap, humming the beat to the song he'd been listening to on his ship, the bar was surprisingly empty, a few people sitting about or just on their way out, most likely fresh hires. A particularly rough looking lady who was heavily augmented stood at the bar across from a table with a note on it that asked to 'Tell us what you think we want to hear on your application. Give yourself the interview.' "Nhills Feng" Feng said sitting down at the table and looking over at the captain and what he presumed was her hired muscle, although he doubted she needed it. "I've been around the space block a couple of times, I've fired a gun or two or thirty. And with the help of an engineer made a few of my own sonic weapons, 'cause people said I cause too much collateral damage otherwise." Feng tapped his fingers against the table to the rhythm of a song in his head "I'd like an opportunity to travel really, I can really only get so far on my own, and uh... when shit gets really hairy I'm sure the both of you-" He said while waving a finger between the captain and her presumed bouncer. "-Can handle most things that get thrown at you but a little extra help is always nice, right?"
  3. Ghato crossed his arms and leaned back in his seat. He gave Feng a scrutinizing look, although it may have been difficult to notice. Mutrarian faces are attached to solid plates, so facial expression is limited to their eyes, the three nostrils on either side of their head, and their tone of voice. They can be very difficult to best at cards, assuming they know how to play.

    Ghato narrowed his eyes with a "Hmm." He looked down at the file they'd put together on Mr. Nhillis Feng. Mercenary work, sort of well known in his field, but not much education, and he doesn't seem to have much experience working in teams. Ghato had worked with Slalin before, but it was the individual that mattered. Still, Nhillis showed promise, at least more than others attempting to get the same position. Plenty of hands on experience too.

    So, Ghato dropped the tough guy act. He turned to Captain Onasi,

    "Well, I like him!" He said with an enthusiastic beat. Maya usually had the whole squinting, unsatisfied thing going on when it came to choosing crew members, but Ghato believed that sometimes, you just have to like someone. The fact that it was his security team also meant he had a good amount of sway on who made it in.

    "Well, Mr. Feng, I'm thinking you might have a spot on my security team. It'll be different from average mercenary work, you'll be working with a team, and there's a lot of standard procedure, but as long as you're willing to learn something outside your comfort zone I think you'll make a promising addition. You'll learn more once we're actually on board the Belarus."

    Ghato's voice was cheerful, but straightforward. He took a sip of his drink and presented Feng with the contract. Just before Feng left, Ghato added,

    "Oh and, nice shirt."
  4. "I would call myself a man of principle. My greatest weakness would likely be working too hard."

    Milos presented the look of utter relaxation - he was leaned back in his seat, his arms hanging off the chair. Given a few more minutes and his feet would probably be up on the desk. Growing up among the shipsies in a shady interstellar trading port never did foster a great respect for authority. Milos was barely aware of the concept - he just mimicked the politeness he observed from others, not even knowing why he did so. Milos wore his normal clothes - that is to say, normal for a shipsy. Their tradition had always been to wear whatever they could find, and gradually sew patches of cloth onto their clothing as it fell into disrepair. The shipsies - Milos was no exception - loved having different patches of colors adorn their bodies to create an exotic look for themselves in the dull lives of the ghetto he was raised in. In addition, Milos had several colorful rings and necklaces - each fastened with an equally colorful gem of (likely) alien origin. When he spoke, Milos would unconsciously rub some of the rings, as if they didn't quite belong on his person.

    "I excel at languages - which you know from glancing at my application, it's my main bragging point," Milos smiled. His accent was faint, slightly resembling Polish back on Earth, but mixed with several unknown dialects. He obviously was trying to hide it. "I Graduated from the Yuchata University. That's a Zyyrian school. I was one of three humans in my class." Milos leaned forward as if to share a secret with the interviewers. "Now, I'm sure you're wondering - what makes me different from your standard issue SpeakEasy Translator? Why hire what a gadget with the computing power of a toaster can do? The answer is all in the subtlety. A SpeakEasy can translate, but we've known for thousands of years that direct translations are trash even among languages within one species, let alone between alien races. In addition, there are certain nuances of a culture that SpeakEasies just can't do for you. Did you know the Zyyrians detest human hands - they believe they look like their genitals - and will grow insulted and flustered if you offer a handshake? Did you know the Rivians refuse to talk about politics or wealth when in the presence of running water? Every species has its quirks. That's what I exploit. For the mission, I mean. Good, moral exploitation. That's what I do." For the first time, Milos cast his glance to the ground. "Also, I'm a package deal. My mother must accompany me on the ship I am assigned to. She is an excellent chef, can barter like an Iridordyrian Merchant Prince, and can clean an entire starport singlehandedly. I've attached her resume to my own. She's just outside -- she's just shy, is all."

    A strong, heavily accented voice penetrates the room from just outside. "Did you tell them about my singing?"

    Milos spun in his chair, momentarily forgetting Onasi and Ghato. "Nobody wants to hear about your singing, ma! They don't hire singers aboard starships!" he screamed. Speaking in the heat of the moment, Milos' thick shipsy accent had surfaced.

    "You don't know that!" The voice responded.

    "I do! It's common sense! Now silence yourself!"

    "I have no son!" The voice wailed in a dramatic tone. Milos spun back around, redness creeping into his face.

    "That... would be my application. Thank you for your time."
  5. Maya sat through Feng's interview with Ghato and nodded along with what he was saying. She trusted him to get the right people for the job. It was this Milos character in front of her that had her curiosity peaked. While he had no highly-illegal criminal history, there have been a lot of reports of conning. Still, he had the background of a professional translator and he had knowledge of cultural know-hows that could definitely be of use.

    "I'll give you a chance, Milos. I won't lie and say that we won't have our eyes on you for a time due to your past, both legal and self-proclaimed."

    She picked up her voice just loud enough to project it outside.

    "And your mother is more than welcome to sing for us sometime."

    Turning her attention back to Milos, her face turned serious again.

    "Please note, Milos, that we do run somewhat of a tight ship. I understand shipsy culture enough to know that rules and regulations aren't often followed but for the sake of not ending up out of an airlock, I would suggest giving them a glance."

    She procured a small datachip and placed it on the table in front of him.

    "Do note that gambling is perfectly legal on the ship so long as violence does not come of it. Fighting can be done in the Rec Room, if you so desired."
  6. [​IMG]

    Mari 4 arrived at the Eight-Arm Tap feeling cautiously optimistic. She found it rather unusual for an interview and recruitment process to take place at a bar, of all places, but she also found it quite pleasurable, quite refreshing. Upon entering the bar, she noticed how laid back the atmosphere was, it was unlike anything she'd experience before; unlike her posts in the Self Defense Forces, unlike the Self-Defense Academy, and unlike her... original home.

    She thought back to her many sisters, and kept from shedding yet another tear, as she missed them and felt an emptiness in her heart, even though she had no regrets escaping the simple, yet sad, life at the factory, she wished she could have brought one of her sisters with her, many years ago. But, the escape craft she took could only fit one person, and ever since, she'd lived a life that sought the companionship of others, but she was really, always alone.

    For you, sisters, she thought to herself, I do this in honor of all of you. She often found inspiration in the memory of her sisters, and her mother. Her father, she wasn't so sure of, as he was the one behind the creation of the 1000 member clone sisterhood after all, and she wasn't sure what grand purpose they really served. And for you, mother, she added in her thoughts.

    She was confident, so she wanted to get the interview process over with right away. Don't give the confidence a chance to go away, she thought in her mind. Or take the opportunity while it's still there. There were a few people ahead of her in line to be interviewed. Fidget uncomfortably in line it is, then, she thought. She would wait impatiently for her turn to interview.
  7. “I think we have grown far too accustomed to saying ‘it’ll rip your face off,’” Dutch said, sipping on his liquor. It was the equivalent of human’s whiskey in taste, but double the proof. As close to their anatomy as experts claimed as’storias to be, they were surprisingly immune to intoxicants. Didn’t mean that Dutch wouldn’t put his body through quite the rigmarole to get a buzz. And there were a surprisingly large amount of alcohols that would help him along in the process.

    Mysin nodded. Dutch knew him from his brief time on the teaching planet of Academia 9. Mysin was an arcabellia soldier. The arcabellia were an odd sort of alien. Their spinal column didn’t twist, which forced them to always face one direction. Fortunately their sensory organs moved transiently across their body. Currently Mysin was facing the bar, but his eyes and mouth were facing Dutch. The arcabellia’s skin always reminded Dutch of a powered donut—no wait, fresh fallen snow. He really shouldn’t think of his old friend as food. Yes, his skin was like fresh fallen snow. Mysin’s eyes looked like two beetles that would shuffle across his skull to greet whomever ever speaking to him. And his mouth slithered like a caterpillar to speak. It was fair to say that the acrabellia didn’t use their mouth to breath, because their larynx would be stretched thin like putty. “I do believe that is a human phrase. I’ve heard it many times myself. One time a fellow comrade-in-arms used it to describe a thoranyx. That is a terrible creature that paralyzes you with projectile spit and then imbeds its young into your lower chest cavity. The face is not involved. And yet they call it a ‘face ripping’ monster.”

    Dutch took another long draught of his whiskey. “So, you understand where I am coming from?” He sat the glass down on the bar. Neon green and pink lights erupted from contact, causing him to flinch. “This girl’s parents, rich girl with rich parents, tells her that this canine creature she wants to befriend on Normi-9 will ‘rip her face off.’ Of course she ignores them. Actually, she screams at them—the little shit that she is. And she goes to pet the creature. The thing accepts her caressing for a few moments, and the moment she slides her hand against the grain of its fur—it rips her face off. Literally. There was not an iota of skin tissue left.” The robot bartender refilled his beverage. “Of course her parent’s butler, because they wouldn’t touch the fucked up mess that was their daughter, runs at me with her. They all start yelling at me that I ‘need to fix this.’ And as it turns out they have skin grafts for the girl. Perfect, immaculate, long reams of skin for this little princess. I didn’t know if they knew this was going to happen, or if they feared that their daughter would just grow up ugly. I patch her back together as best I can. They of course bitch at me because I made her lips too thin.” He waves his hands in the air. “Space forbid she doesn’t look like a porno-vid model. And so I quit.”

    Mysin nodded. “So that is why you are applying for this new job?”

    “Exactly,” Dutch said, drinking down the amber-brown contents of his glass

    “When are you supposed to meet them? Because you do know it is well into the evening?” Mysin’s tone was cool and short, like most arcabellia.

    “Wait, what?” Dutch pulled out his holo-organizer to find that it is well past the intended interview date. Usually the man took to interviews and the like with the exactness of a surgical knife. Then again he hadn’t thought he would run into Mysin, and converse with his donut-esc friend. “Shit! Cover my tab Mysin. I’ll get your drinks the next time I see you.”

    Dutch was gone before Mysin could utter out: “but I didn’t drink anything,” and, “Good luck.”

    - - -​

    We will not delve into the awkwardness that was Dutch’s run. It existed, though, and there were quite a few videos taken of it. When he reached Eight Arm Trap, he slowed his gait and straightened his garb. Currently he was outfitted in a snappy, though not designer, gray suit. He also had on a long black jacket. He got chills easy. Then again he grew up on a hot planet, most anything below ‘balmy’ caused him to shiver. His broad shoulders, and Roman features were accented well by his choice in clothing. Unfortunately it turned into a disaster as one got lower. The suit fit a few pounds ago. While not overly clingy nor skintight, it was fair to say it was not the most flattering piece he wore. Still, Dutch pressed on past the odd array of applicants.

    He stepped in front of a gawking human woman. If she wasn’t going to act the part of ‘enthusiastic’ he sure as space would try his best. Of course, Dutch’s enthusiastic face was a bit dourer than people were used too.

    He shoved his glasses higher on the bridge of his nose to read the note. Some of the laziest interviewing I’ve ever seen, he thought. And I’ve dealt with the slotherians. They lived up to their name.

    “Very well,” Dutch said. “My name is Dœrtých Ïmiiækyn, most just call me ‘Dutch.’ I received my doctorate on Academia 9 over sixteen years ago. I further specialized in surgery and construction and maintenance of artificial limbs and organs. I served in the brief skirmish upon Academia 9 when slavers assumed that a teaching planet would be an easy target for their business. I was wounded in that battle. I had my kneecap blown out, but it was reconstructed. Still causes me pain though. So, it would be in your best interest if you didn’t have me running and jumping and otherwise showing off in a non-doctoral manner.

    “After that I travelled to a lot of different planets, served aboard many ships, and even was stationed in a militarized space station or two. The particulars are all on the resume I forwarded over earlier. I have a lot of experience with a lot of different medical issues. I have attended the regulatory in-services and forums on current medical breakthroughs. I also have a personal med-deck, so there is no need to purchase one. Not to, what do the humans say, ‘toot my own horn,’ but there are few transient medical doctors with my experience.” Dutch was still a smidge drunk and so blathered on, maybe a bit incessantly. “Also as’storians are a matriarchal society. So, I’m more than used to taking orders from a woman.”

    Honestly he didn’t know what to think of the mostly mechanical female, except that it was odd that she had a star-shaped scar over her eye. Was there some sort of psychopath roaming the galaxies with such a brand? Dutch would rather not think about that. Her partner was a bit more conventional, and a mutrarian if Dutch remembered that correctly.

    This was a tough crowd. Dutch had confidence, even if sixty percent of it was of the liquid sort.
  8. Maya watched in amusement as the As'storian named Dutch practically bulldozed his way past those in line to deliver his interview. What was even more amusing is the fact that he was intoxicated and already irritated, judging by the way he reacted with the notecard on the table. He wasted no time, though, in delivering his speech. She waited until he exhaled to breath before sliding over another glass of whiskey.

    "Now, Mr. Dutch. A couple things. First off, I am going to address your rather poorly-hidden irritation at the way I am conducting my interviews. I have spent a great deal of time running this company, since well before you were born actually. One thing I have come to learn is that people take a lot of time preparing themselves for the typical bullshit questions an interview usually comes with. Instead, I put the person on the spot. Why? Because psychologically speaking, you are less prepared for that. Lying about your strengths becomes harder and if you do lie, chances are you poke a hole in your claims later on. So, why am I making you interview yourself? Because I want each and every person here to reaffirm what they are good in and to tell me why I need them on my ship.

    "Second, while I have dealt with a handful of As'storians over the years, I do believe this is the first time I have ever seen one of your kind barrel through a line of people just to give a drunken and irritated run-down of their life. If this is an infrequent thing, I can overlook it. If its a common trend, we might have to have a talk. Now, just to get one thing clear; I know of the stigmata humanity has given your people, and quite frankly I don't give a damn. I don't care what your species is so long as my operations are running smoothly and I have no qualms about spacing you if an issue does occur. That goes for everyone in this room. Play by the rules and I'll take care of you.

    "Thirdly, and finally, you will be working with two other doctors about the Belarus. You'd do best to try not to cause issues, as will they. If you have any concerns, bring them to me or Ghato, here. There are a hundred and twenty-three members aboard my ship. That makes it a tight-knit community. We need it running smoothly and effectively and any issues between coworkers causes issues with me. Now, you can either wait at the bar and drink your fill or you can go wait on the ship. Choice is yours, Mr. Dutch."

    She finished her speech and looked over his resume once more. It was going to be interesting how he chooses to fit in among the crew. Most of the crew aboard the Belarus as it is, is already used to a variety of alien crew members, including As'starians, and they know not to cause issues. Those who have yet to learn this find out the hard way when either Maya or Ghato are mopping the deck with their faces.

    She took another drink of her whiskey before looking at the next in line: a woman by the name of Mari 4, an ex-military clone by the looks of it. What wasn't blacked out with marker (of which she had other sources for that information) indicated that she was a solid engineer who grew up in the Sol system. Outside of her discharge by infidelity, nothing negative stood out on her record. Still, a clone. This was about to get interesting.

    She looked up and waved her over with her finger.
  9. [​IMG]

    Mari 4 was a little surprised that the interviewer was calling her forward. Wasn't she just interviewing the guy that cut in front of her? She took a deep breath and stepped forward, and started with the introduction.

    "Ma'am. I'm Mari 4," she introduced herself, while standing at the position of military parade rest, her hands behind her back. "Former Captain in the Earth Self Defense Forces, experienced as an engineering officer both on station and ship propulsion, and utility systems. "

    "Additionally, I have over four years of experience leading and following on military teams, and am fully qualified on various ground armaments. In case my skills aren't needed at engineering, I am capable of learning from and serving on your vessel in whatever capacity is needed."

    She paused, wondering to herself if she needed to say more. She felt she covered all the important points, so she left it at that. But she was willing to answer any questions, especially if it would boost her chances. "Do you have any questions for me, ma'am?" she asked.

    @Jack Nolan
  10. "Actually, I have a request. Why don't you sit down, you're getting some weird looks." Ghato interjected.

    As a matter of fact, the few people in the bar that hadn't been watching the interview had just started to after such an overly formal presentation.
    Afterwards, Ghato briefly perused her resume, at least the parts that weren't covered in ink. A few notes had been attached to it, information from Maya's many "friends" that revealed the secrets behind the ink. He mumbled a little as he looked through it.

    "Let's see... yada yada clone yada yada... Earth Self Defense Force... you know I worked with them before when I was in the Navy, they're okay for a unit their size, just some assistance here and there..." he trailed off, trying to get a little small talk in before he went back to 'official business', "Four years... black ink, yada yada... alright then."

    He dropped the file down on the table between them. Truth be told, Ghato had already read the file. Mari wouldn't know this but Maya probably did; she was perceptive like that. Whenever Ghato browsed through a record he'd already read, he wasn't actually doing much reading. He was buying time to think. He only did this in an interview when he couldn't really decide on whether or not he wanted this person on the ship.

    "Look, I'll give it you straight, you've got a good service record; but I've seen better records. You've only got four years on you, the bare minimum for most military jobs. That's fine, but I've got guys signing up that have been shooting at things their entire lives, guys who live and breath grit. I'm going to be honest with you, I've been eyeing this one guy in particular, ex Spec Ops with almost 10 years of service under his belt. Hjeltian too, and those guys make excellent snipers. He's a little old and he's got a bad leg, but on the surface, he seems like a much better choice than you. But I'm not rejecting you just yet."

    "The Belarus is running on a skeleton crew and one of the departments that took the biggest hit was Engineering. You've got training as an engineer, and we need engineers; but we also need security. You can fulfill both and the Hjeltian ex Spec Ops can only fill in security, although he'd fill it like a, what's that human saying? Fill it a glove. Anyway, he's got the experience over you, but you have the technical skills we need and because of that, I'm giving you a chance." Ghato paused here, to lean his tall torso on the table and placed his finger on Mari's file,

    "You'll be on my security team most of the time since you've got some combat experience, but the moment we need people in Engineering, you're going to be there. I'm asking you to pull double duty when it's required. Everyone will do it here and there, but you'll have to do it more."

    "So, the spot's yours if you're a hard worker. Just remember, if you slack off; I'll remember that sniper I missed out on and that won't look good on your performance review. Here's the contract and I expect to see you on the ship."

    Ghato took a sip of his drink as Mari was dismissed. Having personnel with two jobs wasn't uncommon, but a lot of people who took them either got lazy or saw themselves as very self-important. So, Ghato had let her know just how closed she came to being skipped over and that he was missing out on something; just to give her a little kick in the rump to get her going, and to keep her from taking her spot for granted.
    Ghato took another sip and let out an annoyed sigh.

    "It was fits like a glove, wasn't it?"

    He shook his head and put his drink down. Ghato wasn't being mean to her for its own sake, it was called tough love. Sometimes you need to scare people a bit to get the most out of them. And there was no Hjeltian Spec Ops ninja sniper. He'd made it up.
  11. Feng, surprised with how easy it was to get hired, just shook his head in compliance and said "Awesome." to Ghato.
    He fully intended on going back to his ship to go back to bed but he just couldn't seem to help himself. "Yeah I uh, got a bounty there recently and one of the store owners gave me this shirt and a bunch of snacks." Feng said in response to Ghato's comment on his shirt.
    "So that's pretty cool." He said with complete lack of excitement, despite loving snacks.

    With out really listening to who else was getting hired and for what he sat down at the bar and ordered a 'Bayou-Moonstomper' some clearly alien beverage consisting of a green liquid with a silver tinge to it. He'd have enough time to get to know people on the ship, for now he needed to get to know his drink. Feng knew better than to order a strong drink but celebrating was something he was a professional at.
    He considered putting that on his résumé.

    Feng drank half of his drink in one breath and looked over to the captain to whom he was a seat away from. "Roaring Feng." He almost never referred to himself as that name but the alcohol already had the wheel. "Your security guy made a guh-rate choice, just wait until you hear all the shit m'gonna do." Feng said sloppily, not really sure where he was going with it, he eye'd the captain a little bit as he spoke and then continued "You remind me of a guy I know, he's all... roboty like you." Feng said referring to Walton Quaid who had given him his nickname and was his previous employer.
  12. Mari 4 took a seat and listened to the man lecture her.

    She bit her lip a bit, wanting to respond to what seemed like accusations. But she didn't, not this time. She normally might, but her evaluation of the situation told her it was in her better interest to keep quiet unless an answer was absolutely needed. In her mind though, Ghato seemed like some training officers, and some operational officers, that liked to play the game, play mind games, thinking it would get the most of their personnel. Mari didn't agree with that, she believed more towards treating her people like they should be treated. Treated with honesty and trust.

    She believed in honesty and trust, but those were the values that ended up getting her discharged from the Self Defense Forces. Maybe there was a reason to play mind games this time, or play along. She laughed in her mind at the thought of looking like a hard worker for the sake of image; it was preparation and timeliness, in her life, that got things done more than hard work. But, the only answer she'd give, now, was short.

    "Thank you sir", she said, as she stood up and walked away from the table, and towards the bar.
  13. Jack Nolan was watching from the door as the other applicants said their piece, more interested in the diversity of species milling about in the room. As a xenobiological researcher, possibly working on a ship with this diversity would be a wonderful and monumental chance to improve his research. He watched as the Captain gave a very cut-and-dry lecture towards an applicant, of whom looked to be an As'storian. Interesting lot, they are. Not very friendly towards humans but invaluable research candidates. The way that their bodies produce minerals in the forms of horns and tails intrigue him and could provide some advancements in dermal plating bio-technology.

    He watched on as a clone, by the sounds of it, was interviewed. The interviewer didn't sound to pleased with her in terms of application and skill. He's never met a Mutarian before and knows little about their anatomy and biology, so that would be an interesting discussion, should he have one with the man. There are far too many sentient species in the galaxy for him to memorize the anatomy and biological functions of them all; besides, the real fun lies in the non-sentient ones. Those ones that have developed various tactics and traits over countless generations that keep sentient life off of planets. Those are the gold mines of research data.

    After watching the clone's interview, he decided it was time for his own presentation. He walked in, pushing his glasses up on his nose, heading for the table. He was wearing what he always wore: a black, wool coat; jeans and a blue undershirt. For a doctor, he never felt the need to dress fancy nor wear a lab coat everywhere. Sure, while he was in the lab doing experiments, coats as such are necessitated but here, no.

    He reached the table and sat down across from the two and pulled out a small hologram device and some memory chips.

    "My name is Doctor Jack Nolan. I am a xenobiological researcher, freelance. I specialize in the anatomies of non-sentient creatures and their functions in an ecosystem. I am versed in knowledge of twenty-odd sentient humanoids and demi-humanoids and can operate, to some degree of efficiency, on those beings. I am not a surgeon, nor a medial doctor. While I can administer rudimentary medical procedures, those tasks would be better left for more specialized individuals, such is Mr. Dutch. I am a researcher, first and foremost, ma'am, and as such I would prefer to be doing that on the ship instead of being a legitimized medical operator."

    Captain Maya let him finish his introduction and nodded.

    "Mr. Nolan, I had to do a little bit of research on you before you came here. You have published a handful of theories and experiments but none ever really took off, with the exception of the one you did back in your college years. Why should I hire you?"

    "Because, and with all due respect ma'am, my research saves lives. The research you are referring to is a synthesis of a compound derived from the R'yleh species on Drak'nor V which reverses and stops memory loss. That compound is often applied towards persons who are subjects of mass bio and cybermechanical augmentations, such as yourself. My research is keeping you, you. Why? Because subjects of mass bio and cybermechanical augmentations lose their sense of self after some time. For humans, after we reach our standard maximum on life, our bodies start to shut down production of various chemicals and cells. The augmentations you have slowed this process down tremendously but a handful of decades postmortem-threshold, time catches up to you. You weren't the only one who has done their research, ma'am. I do know that you suffered from an incident nearly a century ago. Time nearly got to you before I did."

    Maya just looked at him. He had a point, albeit it carried a subtle threat to it.

    "You still never explained to me why I should hire you." She said coolly.

    "You and your crew would be the first people in line to get their hands on a newly synthesized item that would better your lives. I'm an investment, Captain Maya. An investment with a great deal of potential and a greater deal of drive to complete a project. You provide me with the means to find experiment on, to examine, to learn."

    "Why not just hire a freelance ship to take you to and from, then?"

    "Simple: Captain Maya Onasi, owner of the starship Belarus and owner of Belarus Enterprises, goes where she wants when she wants. You are not as restricted as others. If you would rather, I can simply pay you and book semi-permanent passage aboard your ship. That way, you don't pay me but I pay you and can still complete my research with you still reaping the benefits. Quite frankly, I don't care whether I'm employed or not. I just want to complete my work."

    Maya nodded. An investment, for sure. Maybe she will take him on as a passenger before hiring him, see if he's worth his mettle.

    "Alright, Dr. Nolan (Please, just call me Jack). Alright, Jack. You can be a passenger on the ship for the time being. Prove that you are worth the investment and I'll hire you. As for paying me, don't worry about that. Consider that your payment for the investment for the time being."

    Jack thanked her and stood up to leave, turning to speak before he left.

    "Oh, those datachips on the table there, those contain some theses I am currently working on that may be of interest to you. Forgot to share them during the interview. Peruse at your leisure."

    He walked away, heading towards his apartment to finish packing and double checking to see if everything was secured.

    "You know, I'm surprised she never asked about my various insanities."

    "I don't think it would have made much of a difference either way. Mad scientist and all."

    "True, plus our file does say 'medicated' on it."

    "We never take those pills."

    "Who's to know?"

    He chuckled and kept walking to his apartment. Luckily, it was down the street and only took him a few short minutes to get there. He gathered all of his belongings, the ones that mattered, and headed back towards the bar with his briefcase (micro-wired to his wrist [hidden by his coat sleeves]) in hand. It had all of his research, in several media copies, and two days of clothes in it, microsealed for storage space. He figured it would be easier to follow the Captain back to the berth instead of attempting to navigate the spaceport on his own as he would likely get lost.

    . . .​

    Captain Maya pocketed the datachips and stood up from the table, turning to Ghato.

    "I'm going to call Vix and see how everyone on the Belarus is holding up. Cover for me. I'll be listening from over there and will nod if I approve."

    She walked towards a booth and sat down, facing the interview table and pulled out her holocom.

    "Vix, how is the crew holding up, specifically our new Navigator? Any issues? And did our new recruits find the berth ok?"

    She listed out her questions short and to the point, looking at the hologram of a sphere, waiting for its response.
  14. Mari 4 wanted to get past all the tension of the interview process. She was hired after all, but wanted to really unwind, at least a little bit. And, she had no idea what would be available on the ship. So, she was determined to enjoy this bar, while it was still here.

    She found an open spot, next to some others she wasn't paying attention to since their back were to her, and took the seat. "Bartender!" she shouted, raising her hand. "Earth beer, please".

    "What kind?" the bartender asked. Mari thought. "Asian?" she asked. "What country?" the bartender asked in return. "Japan?" she said without hesitating.

    The bartender paused. "We don't have any Japanese beers on draught, but we have one brand in cans. Would you prefer that or Korea's Hite on draught? Mari said "the can then", without hesitation.

    The bartender gave her the can. It wasn't Kirin, her favorite brand but it was her second favorite, Asahi.


    "To success and safe sailing among the stars!" Mari toasted to herself, loudly.
  15. Pure bliss.

    That was the simplest way to describe how it felt for Vix, immersing herself in innumerable equations, calculating anything she could think of from theoretical troop movements of a war simulation to the Artificial Life systems of a virtual ant farm. It was exhilarating, calming and frustrating all at the same time. It was bliss.

    That's what she was doing when the captain buzzed her, and she put all formulas on standby.

    "Hello Captain." She responded, 'glancing' at the feeds from the internal cameras, which she had delegated to the background. "It looks like everyone's settled in alright for the most part. I see no urgent problems so far." She turned her attention to her integration into the systems of the ship. "Also, my integration is 97% complete. We should be ready for takeoff and advanced drive in two hours."

    Vix hesitated for a moment, though it was nearly unnoticeable. "Captain, I've noticed the Navigator tends to get agitated. My advice would be to color shift the lights in her quarters to a more calming subspectrum."
  16. Maya chuckled at Vix's synopsis of the navigator.

    "Maybe you should change it up one day. Maybe she won't notice. It's also good to hear that your integration is nearly complete. I don't want to be here for as long as I need to. It's a loss of time and profit. Contact me if anything is amiss, got it?"

    She waited for an acknowledgement before closing off the comms and returned to her seat at the table, awaiting the last applicant. While waiting, she decided to strike up a conversation for whoever was willing to participate.

    "So, what are you all looking to see out in the stars? I already know what Dr. Nolan wants, but what of the rest of you?"

    She lowered her sternness and took on her 'I actually care about my crew members' demeanor.
  17. Feng had only had his one drink, he somehow managed to contain himself not that it mattered as he was drunk already. "Y'know cap, I jus wanna see's some places and find sum that cool old earth shit." Feng said in response to Maya's question "Allllsooo, I wanna mayge sure my parents know'm doin' them proud, you fugers." Feng raised his voice slightly at the end as if his parents were somehow listening in on him.

    " The usual... y'guys seem cool-" he said while making a flailing gesture to encompass the whole bar with one arm "We should all worg t'gether sometime." He made a small, dumb laugh, pleased by his own joke. "Ahm gunna get my shit." Feng stumbled out of his seat and once he reached the threshold of the bar uttered "Peace" sloppily and went to, supposedly get his shit.
  18. The Eight-Arm Tap.

    Erin always wanted to visit here sometime. It was partly because of the exciting stories that her friends would bring back after their visits to the place - which almost inevitably take place once anyone has a holiday long enough to arrange a trip out of the system. But for the most part, it was because how bars in sectors with heavy traffic tended to also be congregations of diverse members of species of nearby systems, and the not-that-nearby systems, and beyond.

    Though, this was not exactly the scenario she had in mind.

    Erin staggered through the door, and came close to flinging the case of equipment and documents she carried across the room upon stopping. She had an interview. A very important interview - and having to think about a interview makes it so much harder for her to appreciate anything else.

    “SORRY I’M LATE -”

    Neither did being late.

    Her voice trailed off because it occurred to her that announcing her lateness in a volume that would drive all available ears and whatever other air-pressure sensory organs present in her direction was not an overly brilliant idea.

    Trodding towards the desk, she used the time where she took those few small steps to tidy her jacket and hair, finding it very difficult to do so while holding her briefcase at the same time. She eventually settled on stopping in front of the desk, placing the case on the floor nearby, and then using her free hands to figuratively straighten her collar for the last time.

    She waited until the slight nod that signalled that it was fine for her to start speaking to begin.

    “Erin Lovell of New Enerhodar, Huygens IV.”

    And there goes the only sentence of the interview she actually had prepared. She treaded through her thoughts, trying not to show it, while uttering the concatenations of the results as seamlessly as she could manage.

    “Medical Doctor, trauma surgeon. I’ve had six years on the Emergency Medical Service team on Spaceport 32, and two more before that on apprenticeship in the last years of my studies on my Homeworld. Served on a few ships, short term.

    “I’m here - because service on usual shuttle spacecraft was pretty great. The Rafael travelled through some more troubled part of the sector last year, so. Well you know, a crew of half a dozen species, laceration, avulsion, penetration and puncture wounds and whatnot. So much better than what I have to deal with back at the spaceport, when things progressively worsen through a dragged out flight and when it’s on my hands it’s a mess of infections already, and I don’t even get to -

    Going a bit off track here. Return to topic.

    “- So I, uh, reasonably expect the Belarus to be even more exciting.”

    She wasn’t sure if the accidental unfortunate implications that result from the pair of sentences was noticed, but by the time the realization came to her that one existed it was already too late to attempt to avert it.

    “And that’s...mostly why I really want to be on this spacecraft. As for persuading you that there is enough reason to hire me, well.”

    She paused and thought for a moment and found those reasons almost entirely coinciding with what she had already said - including the parts that she really felt but did not mention. She bit her lip for a second and resumed, in a rephrasing:

    “Point is probably that terrible things sometimes happen in spaceflight. And’ll probably help a lot to have me on board.”

    She did, however, also notice the existence of other potential fallacies that existed in her narrative, and there was a short appendix to her supposedly concluded self-introduction:

    “- yes, that includes me giving my best try of not getting myself killed.”

    That wasn’t really necessary in retrospect.

    “ - And no. I will most certainly never be late again.”

    At that point she already had almost entirely lost track what she had just said and what effect it was supposed to have on the interviewer. So she ushered another smile, turning her head to a side and a bit awkwardly looked at the captain (carefully avoiding her eyes) and awaiting the verdict, hoping for the best.


    Those few agonizing seconds weren’t entirely unpleasant, though. The reason for that was that most of the time she found it justifiable to have her eyes trained on the two people behind the desk. First, “bloody legend” was the phrase she would use to describe the case of captain Maya Onasi under any circumstances that Maya Onasi was not sitting behind a desk in front of her. Star reaver Vixen, 2085 - people talk about how far bionics and medicine had advanced in the last half century like it was a great achievement, yet the best large-scale body repair job she knows of was conducted eighty-strong years ago with technology that matured at the end of the last century. And now the bloody legend Maya Onasi was behind a desk in front of her.

    And secondly, the other interviewer was a very handsome Mutrarian.
  19. Maya sighed and rubbed her temples, looking over at the Huygenian's resume and record. She had the technical know-how, but her self-interview was atrocious. Still, that is what she wanted to see from her applicants: the unabashed truth. She did seem a little bit like a scatter-brain though, and she wasn't sure how she would fit in as a ship-board medical officer. She could not afford to have people dying because her doctors forget that there is work to be done. Though, as she looks through the records she has on her, there haven't been any major infractions that would warrant any worry.

    "You know, that might have been the sloppiest self-interview I have ever been witness to. Congratulations on that. My biggest concern about you is the fact that you seem to be slightly...aloof. As a medical officer, that could prove fatal in the field. I want to test your concentration to stick to a single, important task real fast. Describe to me an instance that occurred on your last voyage; without side-tracking. If you can do that, I'll take you."
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  20. Wonderful, I made it here... late... with EVERYONE already interviewed...

    These were the thoughts that ran through the head of Marcus as he made his way into The Eight-arm Tap. The crowd there was already making him uncomfortable, the type of din in here was nothing like he was used to, the sound of running engines and moving machinery. Being around so many people was not something he was well accustomed to, but this was the area in which he would have to meet his potential new boss. He breathed a deep sigh as he finally spotted the captain and made his way there. She seemed to be busy with someone else at the moment so he took an empty seat nearby and waited for her to be done.

    You need to get this Marcus... this may be your only chance of seeing everything... to travel and explore! You NEED this...

    He thought to himself as he took another deep breath, flipping on his holo-mobile and preparing the files and images he would use with his interview.
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