Traveller : Secrets of the Ancients

Character background stories - next installment

The Life raft

Next installment…..answer questions or provide feedback in the comments below.

2409: Kagamira subsector

George is traveling to Duam in the Kagamira subsector, posted to a field expedition as part of an inter-institution exchange program.
He is a passenger on the IL Loxahatchee, a passenger liner. The route passes through Luunbu, a system under Amber advisory for pirate activity.

Sure enough , pirates take the ship, and begin spacing passengers and crew who are not worth holding for ransom. George found a life pod and hid there, where Beth stumbled upon him and included him in her scheme to escape. She deregistered the pod from IFF tracking, listed it as down for maintenance in the Loxahatchee’s systems, then launched them into space. The escape worked, but after the first week in the pod, they were convinced that they had traded one tragic fate for another as life support began to run low.
After literally weeks in space, they are miraculously rescued by Stacey’s search and rescue flight during a training run.

George
What did the pirates take from you before you escaped? Who did you leave behind on the Loxahatchee?
You clearly lucked out when Beth picked your hiding space to aide here escape? What did you assist in the escape?
What about Beth do you respect the most? What about her is still a mystery to you after weeks together in a tin can?
Stacey’s System Cutter, INS Kearney was a very professionally run ship, and you were treated well, but what made you seek out the commander for a private discussion? What made you trust her?
What made Stacey likeable under her prim Navy exterior?

Beth
You have had run-ins with pirates before. What made “The Angel” (the pirate captain) stand out, and why did you burn with hatred for each other even before you escaped?
You and George were trapped in that floating laundry room for almost a month. What did you talk about? What about him was interesting, even intriguing?
What happened in that life pod that convinced you to become an entertainer?

Stacey
You were commanding the Kearney on a special training rotation to learn intra-system anti-piracy tactics. Why did you volunteer for that rotation, since you had already decided to follow the Engineer path?
The life pod was almost invisible to standard sensor sweeps; what prodded you to look closer.
When George asked to speak to you in private you almost refused. What changed your mind?
George is clearly a brilliant man, but what about him made him memorable enough to consider when you decided to become a free trader?
Beth showed herself to be resourceful and brave, but what quality surprised you?
Do you enjoy her talent (Entertainer skill)?

Comments

Theodora “Theo” King

 

There is a thin line between love and hate

In a month you talk about everything and nothing. Everything is open game.

His intellect. Many many hours were spend him teaching me archeology.

With all that time to reflect, I realized that i wanted a try as a performer George encouraged me to follow my dream.

 

From George via email:

1. What did the pirates take from you before you escaped?
I was thoroughly unprepared for the pirate incident. Having led a relatively sheltered academic life, I was entirely out of my depth with that gang of cutthroats. The horrific sight of fellow passengers being thrown out to an icy death in the void of space nearly panicked me. Fighting back the fear, I affected the cool, haughty demeanor of an established professor. I Bluffed with my social skills to seem more valuable that I really was, and avoided the first “cut”. Herded with other promising ransomees to a holding cell of sorts, I was eventually interrogated by one of the pirate captain’s lieutenants. The interrogations lasted off and on for 2 days.

I played a dangerous game of intellectual cat and mouse, feigning the haughty scholar so concerned with SOMETHING BIG that he can’t be concerned with trivialities. On the third day I was brought to the cabin of “The Angel”. It was apparent that she saw though my little gambit. The woman possessed a formidable mind and intimidating presence. I resolved to get away asap before being found out.

They seized a note device with some of my notes on the ancients. I think it was properly encrypted.

2. Who did you leave behind on the Loxahatchee? A few colleagues on the expedition. No one I was close to.

3. You clearly lucked out when Theo picked your hiding space to aid her escape – How did you assist in the escape?
I used my meager computer skills to help get the pod launched. Assisted setting life support to slightly below minimum standards (she did the engineering, I did the coding). Dangerous, but it bought us a few precious extra hours.

4. What about Theo do you respect the most? What about her is still a mystery to you after weeks together in a tin can?
Theo was impressively cool during a dangerous and difficult escape. Her all-around steadiness inspired confidence and set my nerves at ease. She seemed a classic Jill-of-all-trades. She was adept at almost everything that needed to be done.
I still don’t seem to know her. She is a bit aloof, hard to know well, even after days in that bloody pod. Not sure what exactly she seems to have a life’s goal. What motivates her? What does she want to accomplish? I almost would trust her with some of my scanty knowledge of the ancients. Perhaps she could be a trusted ally?

5 and 6. Stacey’s System Cutter, INS Kearney was a very professionally run ship, and you were treated well, but what made you seek out the commander for a private discussion? What made you trust her?

What a relief to stumble upon a truly competent officer! Too many Imperial officers have gained rank through favoritism, nepotism, and other isms. Stacey knew her business and made that ship hum.
I asked to speak with her when I heard a remark about the ancients at the captain’s table. She was a splendid conversationalist, but her comment on a particular set of ruins surprised me. I met with her to discuss what she knew, but she cleverly put me off until I divulged some of what I knew. Watching her interact with officers and crew led me to believe she is honest and forthright, while still maintaining silence when need be.

 

From George via email:

Why are you travelling?
To unlock the secrets of the ancients. I am obsessed, and know it.

What made you say Yes when Stacey proposed becoming free traders in a backwater like the Draeb Subsector?

There are planets there that have tremendous potential for information on ancient technology. Some are known and much studied, others not so. On a free trader, I will have occasional access to these worlds, and can conduct my studies without arousing suspicion or comment. I trust Stacey’s competence and intelligence, and her judgement of the marine. I know Theo well, and am happy to have Simon and his artifact close by.

 

You were commanding the Kearney on a special training rotation to learn intra-system anti-piracy tactics. Why did you volunteer for that rotation, since you had already decided to follow the Engineer path?

One of the most important things about being an officer is being able to direct others. Without being able to at least do the basics of everything myself, I cannot properly command and aid my crew. I need to know what I’m doing. This was just another basic I needed to know, so I took initiative and volunteered.

The life pod was almost invisible to standard sensor sweeps; what prodded you to look closer.

Two things: as silly as it sounds, gut feeling. Something just urged me to look again. But more than that, perhaps it’s uninteresting why- I was just demonstrating how the sensors worked to another person on the ship. So, showing all the types of sensor readings was important, which was how I caught the pod on the sensors.

When George asked to speak to you in private you almost refused. What changed your mind?

A few things. Persistence- he was pretty keen on talking to me. Beth’s vouching for him also made a difference. Acceptance that he might have something actually important to say. And then pure curiosity.

George is clearly a brilliant man, but what about him made him memorable enough to consider when you decided to become a free trader?

Well, most of her contacts were in the navy, so they weren’t exactly the best choice as crew. The situation itself made George memorable. But also, he was brilliant- she couldn’t forget that at all. She hadn’t really met someone with the same knowledges and expertise as him, so it made sense to invite him along. His persistence and passion played a role as well.

Beth showed herself to be resourceful and brave, but what quality surprised you?

After hearing about how she programmed the escape pod to go undetected to escape, her intelligence and quick thinking became very clear. She was much more than a pretty face I had first heard about, and I felt bad for underestimating her. Her calm demeanor was surprising too, since I doubt she’d been in a situation like this prior. Either she was good at keeping her cool or even better at hiding her distress.

Do you enjoy her talent (Entertainer skill)?

She’s a good singer. There’s no reason not to enjoy it- I like music just as much as the next guy.

MCOlson MCOlson

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