Session 1 2

Zinda Tegram starts running routine checks on the fighter. Forward thrusters, check. Lateral-left thrusters, check. Lateral right thrusters, check. Vertical thrusters up, check. Vertical down thrusters, check. Reactor coolant levels, nominal. Camera web, nominal ……
Zinda Tegram is going to be at this for a bit.
Hrrin knows that fighter. But this is Mu Cephei. What's Zinda doing here?
Hrrin: Hrrin checks her chron. At least a few hours 'til the layabouts are back from their long lunch. She walks up, squats next to Stern Lanze, and waits for the right moment to pass Ms. Tegram a spanner.
Zinda Tegram continues her check. Particle accelerator assembly…no pass.
Zinda Tegram absent mindedly signs for a spanner to take the casing off and check for dust.
Hrrin: One hairy hand presses it to Zinda's.
Zinda Tegram takes it without looking at the mechanic. "Wait a minute…hair?" /me looks down to see an alien face.
Zinda Tegram: "Hrrin?"
Hrrin: "Greetings, Zinda. Are you well?"
Zinda Tegram: "I guess? What are you doing here?"
Hrrin: "A detour, before I settle into a new home. There is a substantial expat population in Collins."
Zinda Tegram: "You're lost aren't you?"
Hrrin: The cat's voice is…a little stilted. "How can I be lost? I know exactly where I am, why I'm here, and where I'm going. As I said, a detour."
Hrrin: A beat.
Hrrin: "I may have made a wrong turn."
Zinda Tegram nods. "I am sure you will find your way to your new home."
Hrrin: "I am not in a hurry. Mu Cephei is…-what is the word? Nostalgic?"
Hrrin Hrrin squats down next to the diagnostic display, scanning it to see if there's anything else what needs doing.
Zinda Tegram frowns, but does not say anything. She is not sure whether it would appropriate.
Hrrin: "Refresh my memory. You spent -how long- living out of this tiny thing?"
Zinda Tegram: "6 months, roughly."
Hrrin: Hrrin wrinkles her nose. "…did you ever get the upholstery replaced?"
Zinda Tegram furls her brow. "I have kept it clean, yes."
Hrrin: "Feh. Never you mind it, Tegram. Sensitive nose."
Hrrin: "What, then, brings a warrior as yourself here?"
Hrrin: "I was not aware construction companies needed caravan guards."
Zinda Tegram: "Blackmail. The confederation threatened to take my pilot's license and ship if I didn't come back to them. It's not the first time."
Hrrin: "I should hope this isn't…some sort of regular thing."
Hrrin: "What, precisely, are you attempting that calls for riding herd upon?"
Zinda Tegram raises her chin slightly. "My continued freedom in the cluster is contingent on my training their hopeless pilots. My contract had expired, but they requested I return, for what the messenger would not say. I did not think it wise to refuse them."
Hrrin: "So it seems we're both stalling here on Cephei, then."
Zinda Tegram: "Indeed."
Hrrin Rask'thar gives one toothy feline grin. "So how long do you need to draw this out?"
Zinda Tegram sticks her head back into the gut of her craft. "Draw what out?"
Hrrin: "Well, if training and weaning their kits-for-pilots is so onerous, and you had rather not return immediately, then you'll need a good excuse to remain at this red star for a while longer, yes?"
Zinda Tegram: "I am not stalling for time. I am waiting until the confederation bureaucracy registers my presence."
Hrrin: "Ah. Even better!"
Hrrin: "So long as the parts of said confederation bureaucracy responsible for revoking one pilot's liscense don't finish up first, eh?"
Zinda Tegram: "They won't."
Hrrin: "Rrrr." Hrrin makes a thoughtful sound, and returns to her work.
It is about then that Hrrin notices people - bunnies, mostly - staring.
Zinda Tegram turns around leans back on her ship before smirking.
Hrrin: Hrrin resists the urge to smile, it goes over poorly with most new people, and asks, palms open front of her. "Can I help you?"
WC GM: The bunnies back away, a bit wide-eyed. One of the smaller ones whispers, "Mommy, her fur looks soft. Can I pet her?"
Hrrin glances to 'Mommy.' How's she feeling about this? Do I have an easy out?
The mother is uncertain, but not openly hostile. She's considering it.
Hrrin: Hrrin has absolutely no idea how to react to Lepus. Open-eyed curiosity a lot less common of a reaction than typical. And there is a certain matter of…dignity. "Do you let yourselves be patted by human children?"
Zinda Tegram quietly walks up behind Hrrin before stroking her fur. "Sooo soooft~"
Zinda Tegram can hardly contain her laughter.
LagoMother: "Err…no one's…ever asked?"
Hrrin: "Then you understand precisely how I feel right now," she responds, shooting a death-glare at Tegram.
Hrrin rolled up 4dF: - - 0 + (Base: 1 Total: 0) (Intimidation)
LagoMother: "…ah." She turns to her child. "No, dear, she doesn't want to be petted. Come along now."
The mother turns away, towing her kid.
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: 0 + - + (Base: 1 Total: 2) (Resolve)
Zinda Tegram keeps going. "Ooooh my! How could I not realize how soft this was!"
Hrrin: "This is incredibly offensive and extremely undignified. Please stop."
Zinda Tegram watches the mother walk off before cracking up. "OK, OK…"
Hrrin: Hrrin does, however, smile and wave to the kid as they go.
A few of the bunnies are smiling - but to their credit, none of them are actually laughing.
The child waves back and smiles.
[OOC] Hrrin: Awww.
Another - a male, Hrrin thinks - approaches. "What is a…Kilrat? Kilrah?…sorry, I haven't heard the term in a while. Anyway, what's one of you doing here? I heard you were moving in on Collins."
Zinda Tegram: "She's lost."
LagoGuy: "You're not trying to set up a colony here, are you?"
Hrrin: "I took a detour."
Zinda Tegram cuts off Hrrin.
Hrrin: "Goodness, no. But I did grow up aboard ship, and wanted to visit your habs here."
Hrrin: "A ship is not a station, but they are more like the other than planetside living."
Hrrin: "It's 'kilrathi,' for the future."
LagoGuy: "Oh! And…right, 'Kil-ra-thi', got it. I heard you'd lost your home planet too, but, ah, wasn't that more recently?"
Hrrin: There is an awkward pause.
LagoGuy: "And, err, more suddenly? No evacuees?"
Hrrin: "Kilrah shook itself apart in a catastrophic tectonic incident."
Hrrin: "Its geology had always been very unstable."
RandomLago: "Humans say they bwew it aww up!"
The Lago in front of Hrrin shoots the random speaker a LOOK.
Hrrin facepalms and grimaces.
Said random speaker is quickly cowed.
Hrrin: "Thank you."
LagoGuy: "Sorry about that. But, ahh, that *is* what we were told."
LagoGuy: "Do…umm…I know this might be a sensitive topic, but do you have more details? Did they 'blow it up'?"
Hrrin: "It is accurate." Her voice is a bit flat and strained, but she carries on, trying for something less awkward. "I was in Sol System at the time, and the Temblor Bomb's deployment and details were impossible to avoid."
LagoGuy: "I see. Umm…what were you doing in Sol, if you don't mind my asking? Isn't that the human home system? Were you trying to blow up…Terra, was it?"
Zinda Tegram sits back. This is new history to her.
Hrrin shakes her head, fur bristling just a bit with emphasis. "No, no! I didn't have anything to do with the Hakaga fleet's invasion. That was before I'd arrived in Sol, and -well after- I'd gone AWOL."
LagoGuy: "Oh." Beat. "What's 'AWOL'?"
LagoGuy: "Is that between Kilrah and Sol?"
Hrrin: "But one lone craft crash-landing, surrendering, and claiming not to be an enemy combatant and to have no interest in war, sabotage, or espionage…it did make quite a stir." Hrrin smiles a bit. "Acronym. 'Absent Without Leave."
Hrrin: Hrrin glances at Zinda. This part, she should know. "I was a flight engineer for the kilrathi military. Was."
Zinda Tegram leans against her craft, silent.
LagoGuy: "Oh! You were in the military, then you left. Got it. Ah…what's Kilrathi like, other than the military? The humans said that's all the Kilrah Empire was: one big military, no room for anyone who wouldn't serve."
Zinda Tegram eyes the crowd watching.
Zinda, not being engaged in the conversation, sees it first. The other Lagos are still gathered around - but instead of watching, they are listening. VERY carefully. Words, tones of voice - Hrrin is establishing what the Kilrathi are in their minds. And the emphasis earlier on 'colony' - wait, weren't some of the Lagos leaving for Collins? And their situation here…
Diplomatic minefield spotted.
[OOC] Hrrin: Awesome!
[OOC] Hrrin: It's a good thing Hrrin is used to navigating those…
[OOC] Hrrin: Somewhat.
[OOC] WC GM: Yep. Lucky for the Kilrathi on Collins, even.
Zinda Tegram pushes herself off the ship and taps the shoulder of the Kilrathi, before subtly nodding her head at the crowd.
Hrrin: Hrrin catches Zinda's eye, and nods, almost imperceptibly, before continuing on.
Zinda Tegram continues to her post at the ship, from where she continues watching.
Hrrin: "That is very close to accurate, yes. But even an army needed more than its blades and ships: engineers like myself, medics for the wounded, and all manner of supply and bureaucracy and construction. Owing to longstanding, pre space-flight cultural traditions, males nearly always held combat postings, and women such as myself 'got everything else important done,' as we joked.
Hrrin: "But even a farmer monitoring agricultural machines had their duty framed in terms of service to a greater machine of purpose."
[OOC] Hrrin: Ack, double-use of word. Not quite the right phrasing.
[OOC] WC GM: Eh, it works.
LagoGuy: "So…when you left…oh! So it's like, you left home because you had to? Kinda like you didn't have a home, even before it blew - err, before the tectonic incident?"
Hrrin nods, paradoxically relaxing. The stakes are higher, but the ground is more familiar. "Much like that, yes. My 'home' was the enormous repair and space construction vessel I grew up aboard, and I didn't stay there after I was grown. And I know I'm not the only one of my people looking for a home now in the galaxy-I understand most of the Collins kilrathi are expatriates or refugees as a result of the war."
[OOC] Hrrin: I want to bring up Ghorah Khar, that planet/system that Hobbes helped successfully defect and join the confederation, but I'll figure out how to bring it up.
LagoGuy: "But you left…before the end of the war. On your own." Beat. "Why did you leave?"
Hrrin is looking to make it seem as if the kilrathi might have common ground with the lagos-victims of circumstance, in need of homes, -not- dangerous military aliens. But as for herself…
Hrrin: She looks down. "There wasn't much respect for anyone or anything not of warrior occupation, or aristocratic background. The rest of us: technicians, common people, the craft I loved to work on…were treated as nearly interchangeable."
Hrrin: "The shortest version of the story is that I wanted a place to be that would, that would honor and recognize the things I found important. And I knew the Confederation had welcomed Kilrathi defectors before."
The Lago speaker looks around the crowd. Quite a few are wearing surprised expressions.
Hrrin: Good surprise? Bad surprise?
Abruptly, with blinding speed, the Lago HUGS her!
Hrrin: Panicked floof!
Zinda Tegram smiles slightly at the heartwarming scene.
[OOC] WC GM: If you want to resist, beat a 6.
[OOC] Hrrin: On fudge, or?
[OOC] WC GM: Yeah.
[OOC] WC GM: Guy's tagging his aspects like whoa to give her this hug.
[OOC] WC GM: His and the crowd's.
Hrrin rolled up 4dF: + - 0 - (Base: 3 Total: 2) (Agility)
[OOC] Hrrin: Nope!
[OOC] WC GM: Yeah, she's hugged.
[OOC] Hrrin: I is hugged.
LagoGuy: "That's…that's so sad…"
Hrrin: "I..sir?"
He eventually lets up, and looks her in the eyes. "You are welcome among us."
Hrrin is hugged. She's a little stiff and surprised, but relaxing at the look in his eyes. "I…thank you."
Hrrin: "Perhaps I should have your name?"
LagoGuy: "Call me Karlt."
Karlt: "…that's with an L, not an O."
Hrrin: "Karlt?" The consonant mass is easy enough, but the L a little unexpected. "Hrrin Rask'thar, nar Salaam." She extends a hand. "Do you shake, as the humans do?"
Karlt shakes her hand. "We…have adopted many customs from them."
Karlt: "…and a language. More of us here speak their tongue than our old one."
Hrrin: "There are certain advantages to it."
Hrrin: "I am told the same thing is happening in Collins on Salaam, if not so smoothly."
Karlt: "Most of us have no reason to hold on to the old ways. We're just grateful to be alive."
Hrrin: "A sentiment I've shared." She pauses. "Is that easy to do, with one's doom looming large and red out the window?"
Karlt: "This far out, *we* are safe…for now. But so many of our brothers and sisters remain trapped."
Karlt: "And not all of us agree. There are some who would hijack the machinery for…"
Karlt blinks. "…say. That lady there." He indicates Zinda. "She a friend of yours? And…is that fighter over there yours? Are you two fighter pilots?"
Hrrin: "I can fly small craft well, as a result of my journey to earth, but I am by no means a 'fighter pilot.'
Zinda Tegram: "I am a pilot."
Hrrin: "She's a -very good- pilot."
Hrrin brags on behalf of her friend.
Zinda Tegram: "That fighter is mine."
Zinda Tegram gestures to the fighter seemingly with no cockpit.
Karlt: "…hmm. And not Confederation, even if human…"
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Zinda is flat with strangers.
Zinda Tegram: "It is of human origin."
Zinda Tegram: "It was my father's, after all."
Karlt: "…we…may have a job for you, if you're interested. The Confederation military would scare off, ah, certain elements - they'd just hide."
Zinda Tegram glances out at the crowd.
Karlt: "But you might be able to get close to them, investigate."
Hrrin: "Ah?"
Karlt: "…we should not speak of it here, in the open. I'll go get some things you should see, meet you in a few hours."
Zinda Tegram leans back against the ship. "Please tell me more."
Hrrin: Hrrin scribbles something on a card, and hands it to Karlt. "Contact information, just in case."
He takes it. "How about - the cantina, the one with the crappy flight simulator, in four hours?"
Karlt: "I should have the things by then."
Hrrin: "I look forward to it."
Zinda Tegram nods wordlessly.
Karlt nods. "See you then." And walks away into the crowd. It disperses quickly - Karlt should still be in sight, but there is no sign of him.

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