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"The Fat Dwarf"

Discussion in 'Avatar Biographies' started by Dwarf Simeron Steelhammer, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. Dwarf Simeron Steelhammer

    Dwarf Simeron Steelhammer Member

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    "Its very safe now sir." the IFN recruiter was saying.

    "The IFN has the situation well under control and there are plenty of firebases and outpost in addition to several proper settlements on Arkadia. Its really the way to make it big these days. Start with nothing and end up owning a piece of the planet. Yes sir, will be easy for someone as brave and smart as yourself."

    Simeron sighed, looking down at the many forms to be filled out for the 'free' passage to planet Arkadia in the Celeste system. The IFN were really trying to get people to go there to colonize the new planets and he was sure the stories were just that, stories. Sure, a few lucky souls would hit it big and live larger then life but, the vast majority would be living, at best, comfortably and at worse, scraping by.

    Still, there was the chance he would be one of the ones that hit it big. So he filled out the paperwork, handed it in to the recruiter and looked around at his fellow passengers.

    'Quite a gaggle of geese I am being tossed in with.' he thought looking around.

    It wasn't long before an IFN Marine Sargent came by and sent him and the other men down one line and the women to another where they were poked, stuck, prodded, bio cleaned and fitted into their nice new yellow jumpsuits and shoes. They were then moved unceremoniously to the waiting ships.

    'One last look back.'

    The thought popped into his head as he climbed up onto the lift that would take him to the waiting starship that would bring him to his new 'home', planet of Arkadia in the Celeste system. For better or worse, he was leaving the old, established world behind and striking out on his own to make it big or die trying.

    As he laid back into the cryo tube, he wondered which it would be.

    "Okay Treasure Hunters, wipe the cryo out of your eyes, we're disembarking to the New Arrival center now." yelled an IFN corporal in armor with some kind of rifle in his arm.

    Simeron shook his head a bit and wiped his eyes, following behind the line of men and women plodding along the corridor into the New Arrival Center. There he found all kinds of items, clothing, weapons, exhibits of exotic animals and plants and many helpful people all saying how wonderful the planet Arkadia was. A Treasure Hunter's dream.

    He picked out a nice "rancher" hat, some clothes that suited him and a good pair of boots. A set of good armor including a full helm and a nice hammer, two pistols, one laser and one BLP and a good guass rifle. He looked in the mirror and nodded.

    'Not bad, not bad at all.' he thought to himself.

    He started to head to the teleport to the surface proper when an IFN Guard stopped him.

    "You can't take any of that with you sir." he said with a chuckle.

    "Pardon?" Simeron blinked.

    "You think we're here to give away the best stuff we got to new arrivals while the people that have fought for years here have this kind of stuff?" he said holding up a rifle that had seen better days and tapping his well worn chest armor.

    "Well, I suppose not. Why do they let you put it on and get it all fitted to yourself then?"

    "Can you think of a better way to drive the economy then getting a bunch of dreamers a taste of the good life and the finer things before dumping them into the wilderness to make it happen?" the soldier chuckled again.

    "Besides, do you even know how to use any of that stuff you just picked up? You look all nice and shiny."


    "Yeah, all nice and shiny like a new rookie all fresh and ready to go off and make a name for himself....by getting killed or someone else killed. What's your name anyway? What's going on your tombstone?"

    "Simeron Steelahmmer is my name and I don't plan on needing a tombstone anytime soon. Back home they called me 'Dwarf' because I'm stout and like to use hammers to build things."

    The soldier chuckled once more, "You'd do fine I suppose. Most of the planet is secure nowadays anyway. Make sure to do the starting missions they have down there and you will get some starting gear. Won't last long but enough for you to get your feet under you and a feel for the place." he said as he watched Simeron putting everything but he yellow jumpsuit and shoes back on shelves.

    "Any advice for a 'shiny'?" Simeron asked as he stepped onto the teleportal to the surface.

    "Make friends. Smart ones to help you out, maybe a mentor, and stupid ones."

    "Why stupid ones?"

    "Because you don't want to make all the stupid mistakes yourself Dwarf, some of them are fatal. Best of luck." the soldier replied hitting the transport button.

    It didn't take long for Simeron to move through the starting missions, gaining a bit of armor, a hovercar, a light pistol and a bit of hunting experience with a pair of blades as well as his pistol. He tried his hand at the treasure finder which also found e-mater and ores he noticed and found several teleports he could move quickly around to as needed.

    He also found out that Arkadia might not be as 'safe' as people were being told and that there were "Oratan" on Sentosa, the main continent that still infested mines and other places. He was assured they were only a 'minor threat' but advised to "let the IFN take care of them" rather then try to take them on himself.

    It sounded like good advice.

    He ended up at the Celeste Quarry that seemed to double as both base to hunt some of the weaker creatures on the planet and a trading post/bazaar where many colonists, both new and old, met to do trading, socialize and do business. He saw several people that reminded him of the soldiers advice to get stupid friends as they tried to attack larger, obviously rather dangerous lizard like things and were quickly eaten, only to be reconstituted back at the revival terminals intact if none the wiser. Others were helpful with advice and directed him to Celeste Outpost to join 'swhunts' or sweating hunts to draw in some badly needed PEDs.

    He had a bit of an advantage over some of the other colonist in that he had not started out dead broke but has a small stake to begin with. The advice he was gaining was more valuable then loot to him because it was free and saved him PED in the long run. He found the head of the Greenleaf Mining Company, Neil Greenleaf, who took him on as a mentor and into his company as well as giving him some starting equipment to begin working his mining skills.

    Kevin VII and Jordan too him on some hunts and gave him guidance on what weapons to use and what were the best animals for him to be hunting, even letting him borrow a Cyrene Scorpion until he could afford his own.

    More and more, he learned things to do and not to do. But, slowly, that starting stake was being drained down. He began to wonder how long it would be until he could manage to keep his PED card full enough to supply his repair and ammo needs.

    So he headed off to try "sweating" and found that a group of people could "swhunt" far better then a single person if gaining sweat was the goal. Once he collected this 'sweat', he found several people that used it to make Mind Essence, a substance used by Telepaths to manipulate reality.

    "Well, I'm not going to strike it rich overnight I can tell. But, I do think I have a shot at being comfortable down the road. Think I will take up being a trader that hunts and mines. Guess we will see."
  2. Dwarf Simeron Steelhammer

    Dwarf Simeron Steelhammer Member

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    "You want to learn how to make and craft things, learn to fix them first. And the best way to have plenty to fix is hop on a starship. They're always needing fixing."

    Simeron was sitting at the bar listening to a weathered older settler in nice armor with a rather large and dangerous looking cannon strapped across his back talking to a yellow jumpsuited 'shiny'.

    This 'go to space young settler' advice had been said more then once around him but always with a warning about pirates. It seemed the area between planets was more akin to the old Earth oceans in the days of wooden ships, iron men and sails then it was back in the Sol system. The IFN apparently didn't have the resources to keep the space ways free of those that thought they could make a profit by gunning down and stealing cargo being transported between the various planets.

    Still, it seemed it was the best way to learn for the PED you ended up spending and given a warp between planets was running more or less 30 PED divided by the number of passengers and the risk of piracy was the same whether you were a paying passenger or a "working fare" as he'd heard it called, it seemed that getting a repair tool and some wire to keep the ship repaired would be the best option.

    He had signed on with the Greenleaf Mining Company ran by Neil 'Greenleaf' Stockton and Neil had taken him as a disciple to show him the ropes around the Celeste system and Arkadia specifically. They had talked quite a bit when able given the amount of work Neil had to handle being the CEO of the Mining company, being a mentor to quite a few people and trying to trade and mining himself. Still, Neil had confirmed both the benefits and dangers of going into space.

    AV and Viper, to other people he had come across at the Quarry also had spoken extensively with him. Viper headed up his own company and he and Neil seemed to have a friendly relationship while AV had spoken to him about the 'old days' when piracy was far worse. Viper had talked to Captain Renee, the ship AV worked on and he had found one other, the XXIV, that were willing to sign him on for repair duty so, he had counted his last PECs out, got Neil to sell him an R5 repair tool and a few ten thousand bundles of wire it used to repair things and decided to head off to space.

    Unfortunately, he seems to had the worst luck actually being where either of the ships could 'summon' him at the right time. When he was able to actually get where he needed to be, the ships had either just left or were on another planet looking for fares back.

    Still, it was not like the tool or the wire were going to spoil or rot sitting in his bag. So, when the time came that he was finally able to get on board, he was ready to get to work.

    AV pointed him to the propulsion system, showing him the best place to get the most work done and told him to keep the system repaired by looking for broken wires, cracks that were developing or a host of other warning signs of wear that the machine could easily see. She made sure his supply of wire was ample and said if his R5 wore out or he ran out, there were spares they kept in the ships lockers for sale at a small markup that was quite reasonable given you didn't have to leave the ship to get them.

    "Good luck. We'll talk more as you get a chance. Not like we can just go outside for a walk now is it?" she laughed.

    "Guess not. What happens if we get jumped by pirates?"

    "Fix the holes faster and let the captain and crew worry about shooting them down. Most people think its the gunners that win the fire fights up here. I can tell you from personal experience, its not. Its who has the better repair crew working fixing the damage so, keep your focus on repairing whatever is breaking and we'll be fine Dwarf."

    He nodded and she gave a friendly wink and headed off to meet with the captain. Simeron set to scanning the system from where he was at, finding bits and places where the wear of heading out into open space had already left its mark. Soon they would leave the safe harbor of the space station and be back in open space and then, hopefully, it would be a long, boring trip to the next station.

    Somehow though, he had a feeling it wouldn't be boring.
  3. Dwarf Simeron Steelhammer

    Dwarf Simeron Steelhammer Member

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    "Welcome Aboard the Starfinder II crew. We will be departing Crystal Palace Station in five minutes. If you are carrying valuables, this is your last chance to return to the station and stow them safely in storage lockers. We have word that pirate activity is high and condition is red outside the safe zone of the station. That is all." Captain Renee said over the ships loudspeaker.

    Simeron was lugging his R5 and a large bundle of welding wire it used to repair things past several passenger and other crew. Looking at the ships internal computers and gadgets. No windows on the main deck, the engine area or the gunner chairs level. Only the top most area had a clear view of space where the pilot and gunner chairs for the two main weapons remained. The Starfinder II was a Privateer, not a Mothership so there were no hangars to launch Quads and only six guns to fight off pirates with.

    Aria caught Simeron looking around and giggled, "Sight seeing are we? I thought you came onboard to work?"

    "Well, not too much work to be done while we are still docked. I figured I might as well look around while I could and get to know where things are. I don't see any lifepods."

    "There aren't any. No point really. If the ship is too badly damaged to keep us alive, the pirates will blow up the pods we launch anyway to avoid issues later on."

    "So what happens if the ship is breached?"

    "We suck vacuum for a few minutes, holding our breath, and hope someone in a personal space craft like a Quad gets us or, we get sent to the nearest revival terminal. Not like the old days before the terminals when you just died and could be gone for good at least but, its not pleasant."

    Simeron frowned. It certainly didn't sound very good.

    "But that is why we got you and a few dozen other people with repair tools and plenty of wire now isn't it Dwarf?" she giggled at his frown.

    "I guess. I know the basics with this thing but not much else."

    "That will change quickly once you get to work. Speaking of which, head down to the Reactor and be ready for the Captain's orders. Make sure you follow them or you will end up getting tossed off this ship at the next Space Station whether you want to be there or not."

    "Tickets...tickets please. Last call for passengers to get tickets. Please disembark now or pay me for the trip if you are a passenger." called a woman moving about the small, cramped main area.

    Simeron headed down to his station and a minute or two later he felt the ship lurch some and heard the docking clamps release.

    "Gunners at the ready. Repair crew stand by. I want six on the reactor at all times and four on the propulsion sytem. Aria and Lokia, keep an eye on the new folk and keep your R 20s and the extra wire ready. Reports say its hot just outside the safe zone, we might be in for a rough ride."

    "Aye Captain Renee." both the women responded.

    Simeron stood ready with a host of others with their R5s and wire. He could feel the ship moving slightly as it maneuvered around asteroids and got ready to go to warp.

    "Leaving Space Station safe zone in 30 seconds. Be ready. Gunners report!"

    "Starboard Main Aye, Starboard 1, 2, and 3 hot. Port Main Aye, Port 1,2 and 3 hot."

    "Entering hot zone. Prepare to go to warp. Pirate incoming on port front. We should be to warp before they get in range but keep gun on. Scan for other hostiles. Everyone stay off your comms, use internal ship's communications ONLY! This is an ORDER!"

    The ship turns hard to starboard presenting the three side guns and main gun a clear shot at the incoming pirate. Simeron could hear the warp drive energizing then...

    "Jumping to warp...hold on! Might be a short trip if they've mined us!"

    The Starfinder II began to shake as it accelerated. The 'warping' of space caused things to go odd looking and Simeron felt a little strange. His R5 gave a warning blip noting minor damage in the reactor from the strain of the warping so he began to repair the small tearing and bending the warp caused.

    "Arrival at Calypso Safe zone at Space Station in 2 minutes, 5 more and we will be docked. Looks like a parking lot out there. Repair crews finish up repairs. Passengers prepare to disembark, Gunners stand down once we enter safe zone around the station."

    Aria came up behind Simeron as he finished up his repairs.

    "So, how was your first warp while conscious?"

    "Not bad. Bit odd but I suppose that is how it always is. I could get used to it."

    "I almost never go planetside anymore. I love being in space. You'll get used to it. After the passengers disembark, the captain has a hunting charter coming on board. We'll slow drive to the training grounds here and then you'll really get to use that R5. Those space squids can really tear a ship up."

    "Space squids?"

    She giggled again, "Yep, giant space creatures that look very similar to Terran Octopus. Got a nasty energy blast they emit. They are as big as this ship and could actually blow one up if they got to working on one."

    "Oh goodie. Why do I have this image of Captain Renee being another famous captain from an ancient book calling 20,000 leagues under the sea. Do we need to get out with spears and try to fight hand to tentacle?"

    Aria laugh loud as did Captain Renee who had come up behind Simeron.

    "No, we have a full crew of gunners for that." Captain Renee said.

    "If you like, I can give you permission to man one of the guns but you have to promise me you won't shoot anything unless I give the okay. Also, understand every time you activate one of the guns, you are using the weapon cells in your stores. So you will be sending about three quarters of a ped out into space. And it takes more then one shot to kill these things so, it can get quite expensive."

    "I'll keep that in mind captain." Simeron chuckled.

    "Most likely I will just want to see the outside and what it looks like."

    He moved to the chair she directed him to and sat down, accepting her instruction on how to operate the gun chair interface and soon was staring out into the vastness of space. Once the hunting party arrived, he gave up his seat to one of them and returned to his station.

    "Headed to the hunting ground. Good luck hunters. Entering hot space in 5 minutes."

    It wasn't too long before the ship was undocked and out into the training grounds of Calypso. Simeron was allowed to sit back in his seat before the hunt started and as able to see one of the cosmic space squids and indeed, they were almost as big as the ship. He moved back to his station and the fighting began.

    Blots of energy slammed into the ship, tearing holes and pieces off it. Simeron and others would in turn weld them back into place or broken wires with his little tool. It took a good while but the ship was victorious and, once fully repaired again, set of for the next horror. This was repeated several more times over the course of several hours. No pirates were in the area it seemed, just the squid which suited Simeron just fine.

    The damage to the ship was not overly bad and the crew kept her repiared without much trouble. When the hunt ended, they returned to the Calypso station and the hunters disembarked. The captain moved back to the Crystal Palace station and offered to take Simeron on a short tour. Aria said she would go to because she heard the station had just got a new shipment of some pants she wanted. The two women started chatting about clothes, shopping and other things while Simeron packed up his gear.

    They all headed for the transport pad and Captain Renee hit the coordinates for the station TP and pressed the button.

    "Internal computer error with site to site transport. Safety protocol has been initiated. Please stand by."

    The three looked at each other and the captain pressed the button again.

    "Space Station teleport pad is not allowing you access. Please try again later."

    "That's odd. Let me call over to the station and see what's up."

    A few minutes later and the captain returned.

    "Seems we are stuck here for a bit while they straighten things out over there. The computer has noted we are 'contaminated' somehow from the space squid attack and no station teleporter will allow us to port off till that glitch is cleared."

    "So why did it let the hunters off?"

    "No idea. Its an error in the system on the station is all I can figure. No ETA on when it will be fixed so, you might as well go over the ship systems and make sure all repairs are done and you could even go over the manuals to learn more about repairing it. We're stuck till they get this figured out but, at least everyone else has the same problem because there isn't a single ship that hasn't fought squids before out here. Too bad we can't launch things or you could fly down to the planet."

    With that, Simeron put his things on one of the bunks and began to read technical manuals. Looks like his short little trip into space was going to be longer then anticipated.

    How long remained to be seen.
  4. Dwarf Simeron Steelhammer

    Dwarf Simeron Steelhammer Member

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    Simeron checked his ledgers again and scanned his PED card. Business had been brisk for a time but the last month had been rather disappointing.

    His bids on the auctions had been sniped by others in the last hours or even minutes while he was away, fewer people were buying his offers or goods when he stood at Twin Peaks or Camp Icarus on Caly and the Quarry on Arkadia was just plain dead most of the time. He manage to keep buying the odd item but, between paying for the warps needed to transport stuff between the two planets and the slowing in sales, even the fantastic "crew discount" Captain Renee had given him for the warps was getting to be too much. There just had to be a better way to earn a few ped then sweating animals for hours or the small care packages from Earth he got now and then.

    He closed his tab and sat back in his chair, sipping what passed for coffee while looking out over the landscape through the newcomer center's windows, thinking about his new life out here and whether he should simply return to Earth and live like most others did or if this was really where he enjoyed being instead.

    It had been a decent start, better then most even he thought. He had a good list of contacts, ever growing, for business along with an appropriate set of clothing for a trader, at least in his mind. Made him feel more at ease and at home too. Being from Texas, the rancher hat, cowboy boots and long coat were natural feeling to him over his denim jeans and plain white shirt all colored black and silver. It allowed him to stand out in a crowd along with his torch so the few people that did buy could see him easily without much fuss.

    He had progressed nicely in his hunting and mining skills too. And being a repairman on the Starfinder II had taught him alot also. The ped drain had been constant, even more then his profits of course, which brought him back to his current dilemma. Should he stay or should he go.

    He sipped the coffee again. He hadn't seen all the planets in the system yet even. One trip to Cyrene in his personal ship which was not that bad and then back and forth between Caly and Ark. That left Rocktopia and Next Island along with a few others he had heard about that the IFN was clearing. He wanted to see it all too.

    He finished up his coffee, putting the cup on the counter and dropping a ped and a few pecs to cover the cost and headed out and down to the IFN Depot, sending a message to have his funds transferred out to him from Earth. It was time to go all in and stay, win or lose.

    And he knew just how he was going to do it.

    He got on the communicator after sending the message and started the wheels in motion....

    "Hail Captain Renee, I have a question for you. You know any ships like the II for sale?"
  5. Dwarf Simeron Steelhammer

    Dwarf Simeron Steelhammer Member

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    Simeron pulled off his Musca glove and ran his hand over the smooth metal hull, looking around at the ship. She was well cared for, with extra armor, fully functional guns and all the engineering parts needed to run in the space around and between planets. Be it pirate or space horror, she could deal with it while moving cargo between places.

    "The Starfinder XIV is a good ship Dwarf. And you're getting her for a good price too." Sable told him.

    Simeron nodded in agreement.

    "She's a fine ship, sturdy and built true. She feels right too, cool to the touch but, my father taught me to do a 'feel' test on any animal or machine I needed to rely on. The more I would be relying on it, the longer and better the test needed to be."

    He looked around as they walked, gazing at the various parts of the ship and then they reached the reactor and propulsion systems. Here he removed his other glove and placed both hands on first the reactor, then the propulsion and ending with one hand on each. He closed his eyes, feeling the ships life energy pulsing through the ship and through him.

    'Talk to me gal. Tell me your story.' he thought to himself. 'I'm thinking of becoming your new owner and captain so we have to be honest and get to know one another to see if we fit.'

    The reactor pulsed and the propulsion hummed and then Simeron moved to the structural engineering station, running hands along it with his fingertips touching the control. It beeped and lights flickered and flashed. He could sense the ship measuring him too.

    "So gal," he said under his breath, "you find me acceptable? Think we can change the universe or at least keep ourselves afloat and happy?"

    As if in answer, a tone sounded indicating an inbound teleport and Captain Renee appeared on the deck above.

    "Permission to enter Captain."

    "Granted of course Renee."

    Captain Renee walked down to see Simeron and Sable and nodded.

    "Struck the deal yet?"

    Sable looked over at Simeron and smiled. "I have a feeling we will in a minute or two."

    Simeron looked around once more, running his hand along the hull again and nodded.

    "A fine ship. A good and true ship. Can't hardly ask for more and not be greedy. I'll transfer the full amount to you and we can sign the paperwork and get started showing me the basics of what I need to know to keep her a fine and good ship. The true ship she'll handle quite well I think."

    The entire deal took only minutes and the brief orientation not much longer. She still had a dozen jumps left on her warp drive before it needed to be replaced and had plenty of fuel oil to run slow for a year or more. Both Renee and Sable were added to her new guest list then the two left for the II via the teleport leaving Simeron alone on his new ship.

    He walked up to the pilot seat, sat down and strapped in, getting a feel for the controls.

    "I must down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky, and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by." Simeron smiled remembering the old Earth poem 'Sea Fever'.

    And as he edged the XIV out of her berth and headed out for his first run as her new captain. He left the 'safe zone' around the space station and plotted a warp to Rocktopia.

    "Warp drive engaged."

    As the engine built up the power needed to create the warp and push the ship through it he mused...

    "And Captain Kirk was right again.

    'Even if you take away the wind and water, it's still the same. And the stars are still there.'

    Let's get to know each other lass."

    And with that, almost on cue, the ship answered.

    "Warp activated."
  6. Dwarf Simeron Steelhammer

    Dwarf Simeron Steelhammer Member

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    "TURN THAT ALARM OFF!" Simeron screamed over the klaxon alarm while pointing to the panel behind Frye.

    "We all know we're under attack."

    Fyre quickly turned and turned the warning alarm off and then ran to gun chair #3 which control the bow laser cannon, slipped on the HUD helmet and gripped the control, spinning the weapon about looking for the pirate quad that was hitting the SF XIV.

    Aria was in the pilot seat maneuvering the privateer while Simeron and several other crew members maintained repair on the propulsion and reactor systems.

    He could hear the bow gun fire and Frye cursing under her breath about "pie rats" while Aria talked to the XIV like a mother coaxing a child to follow her.

    "Propulsion is getting hammered now, switch two over from reactor until things even out. We're going to be fine." Aria's voice came over the command speaker.

    Simeron watched the crew of the SF XIV move flawlessly, keeping the systems repaired and fully operational.

    "He's breaking off and giving up." Frye called out a moment later.

    "Finish up repairing folks." Simeron nodded to the two drive systems.

    Once the repairs were done, they pulled into the safe zone about Caly Space Station and sat at the operations table and went over the pirate attack. A single quad was not much threat when the ship had most of her crew anymore. There was a time however that was not the case. A time when Simeron had little to no crew and the XIV was vulnerable. He had seen adding armor to her hide, located crew members and had friends sign up as crew from other starships too. The free training had pulled others to the XIV also.

    All in all, it had worked out well.

    "We'll face more then one pirate eventually or one will find us when there isn't alot of crew on board Simmy." Aria frowned and Frye nodded.

    "At least the new armor is working out nicely."

    Simeron nodded, scratching his beard with his left hand and rolled a pen to and fro in his right studying some papers he had put in front of him. Tables and graphs and charts and ledgers all places about in seemingly chaotic fashion but, to his eye, in just the right spots to give him an overview of the ships business as well as his trading status.

    "Sim...." the two woman gave a huff.

    Simeron looked up, "Hmm..yeah, the armor did a great job as did our crew from pilot to gunner to repair. Wish we could upgrade the guns or get you some help Frye. Wouldn't mind being able to see a few of those pirate quads go boom."

    He tossed the pen down onto the table and picked up his coffee mug, draining the last of his drink before going and getting a refill.

    "I want to do more training with them though." Aria said turning back to the table and pulling out her own book, making a few notes.

    "You will. You know I have set aside almost all of our down time for that very purpose."

    "You need to get up off the dirt more and train here with us Sim." Frye scolded him.

    Simeron chuckled, putting his coffee cup down on the table again.

    "And how exactly would we pay for that lovely armor upgrade or the new warp drive or the enhanced guns or any of the other 1000 things the XIV expects to get from us if I did that? You know I am a merchant captain Frye. I work planetside as well as run the ship, not that I really run it very much, more rubber stamp what you and Aria put in front of me."

    "Is that a complaint?" Aria smirked. "You don't like how Frye and I handle your ship?"

    Simeron looked at the impish grins on both the women's faces and knew when to pull "a badger" as he liked to call it.

    "I never said anything of the sort now did I?" he smiled back as he took a sip of his coffee.

    "And the XIV is OUR ship and you know it too. Just because the deed has my name on it only means that I get to have the fun of approving things and doing all this lovely paperwork the station commanders seem to live for. Unless you would prefer to take over handling that and fly this table for a bit while I sit in the pilot seat."

    He shot a grin at Aria who quickly smiled at him, "That is perfectly alright CAPTAIN Simeron. You just keep your badger butt out of MY Pilot's chair thank you very much. Last time you got it all stretched out wrong and it took me three cycles to get it to fit me again."

    "That goes for my gunner's chair too Simmy." Frye giggled. "Though you do need the practice."

    "I'll get all the practice I need on the creatures out here for the moment Frye. I'll be more then happy to let you play with the quads that are trying to shoot us down. Though we could use another gunner eventually."

    "For now we are doing what is most important, keeping our warp customers safe and getting them from planet to planet without any issues." Aria said stretching her arms over her head while extending her feet under the table.

    She got up and walked over and got her a cup of coffee and a small breakfast cake as well as the same for Frye, then returned. Simeron chuckled to himself which got the attention of both women.

    "What now?" they said in unison.

    "Oh, I was just thinking what the people at the new arrival lounge on Arkadia said to me last time I stopped by there is all."

    "And what pray tell was that?" Aria said setting her cup down.

    "Yeah Sim, spill it." Frye added leaning forward over her cup.

    Simeron smiled, content he had pulled them into his little trap and fully distracted them off the original topic. He sipped his coffee and set his cup down before he answered, deliberately pausing.

    "Oh, nothing much. Just something about how I seem to have picked up a couple of crew I keep locked in the ship and how it must be nice to have a harem."

    He managed to dodge both cups of coffee as he ran over and activated the teleporter to the station.

    And he figured the cake would wash off his coat once he landed on the planet.

    "Must remember to unlock the cockpit faster next time or just use the teleport down. They can move pretty fast when they want to." he chuckled as he entered the upper atmosphere.