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The First Run

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Broadcast Message

To: The Crew of the Hollen's Prize
From: Yulo Queren
Subject: Greetings


Welcome, all! I am Yulo Queren, owner and Captain of the Hollen's Prize. She's a fine ship. An older model but in excellent condition, recently retrofitted after some lucrative runs.

It is a tradition of mine to take the crew out for dinner and drinks the evening before departure. I invite you all to the Scorched Haglin at 1800 hours tonight, station time, where we shall all have a chance to become acquainted. I'm sure you have many questions and I shall endeavor to answer them at that time.

I look forward to meeting you all.

-- Captain Yulo Queren

Autumn paused as the simple invitation flickered on her data slate, slapping the side of it to stabilize the image once more and growling softly at the machine, until properly intimated it returned to a semblance of working order.

Tilting her head to the side she read the message and tried to recall what she knew about the place before deciding it didn't much matter. If the local rumors held true, this Queren fellow wouldn't be able to afford a expensive dinner anywhere with a dress code anyway.

Sniffing at the slightly damp air Autumn smiled, it'd be nice to have a proper sit down meal for a change, it seemed lately all she'd been living off of was ration packs and the odd take out meal since arriving here.

The wristcomp's screen came alive, the machine alerting her through the neural interface, a simple specific tactile sension delivered through the ulnar nerve.
It looked that she did indeed receive the position of the ship's doctor.
The advert required a person with basic medical training; a mediocre nurse who could stitch a wound would have been enough; Queren would not have been able to lure anyone better than a med student with the pay anyway. In fact, she downplayed her credentials to avoid appearing vastly over-qualified and hence suspicious.

Helia gave a heads up to Cassie, and the cat leapt up from the comford of her robe's folds, and proceeded to rest on top of her luggage instead. Truth be said, the medic could not get used to the woolen garment - but it was supposed to be temporary anyway, the undyed natural fabric and outdated style meant to make her appear to be from some backwater world. With the hood, the masses would not even link her race's distinguishing marks instantly with the footage from a war zone. True, the fighting had stopped, but the imagery was still vivid in the general populace.

She proceeded to pull her trolley with the luggage towards the meeting point. "You could walk for once, couldn't you?" she jived. Cassie just purred and nestled deeper into the bags.


Ten minutes before the agreed time, she entered the Scorched Haglin.
"Captain Queren's table, please."
The waiter pointed dispassionately towards their reservation, and Helia checked the surroundings.

The table was near to an emergency exit, with clear view of the entrance. Good.

Jerome first became aware of the flashing light on his compad, sitting on the table by his head.
He was not sure how long it have been flashing, but it was best he check it. 

Ah, he had gotten the job, and a free dinner to boot. 

Scorched Haglin.

Well, maybe he would be picking up the drinks at least.  He hoped certain regulars would not be there tonight - he didn't want any trouble with his new employer - he really needed the money.

A few minutes allowed Jerome to pull himself together, though the aftereffects of the prior night were still evident.  No matter,
he tidied up his room, checked his pistol and proceeded out to the 'Hag.

Quan read the message a second time, just to make sure. Dinner! And drinks! It had been a long time since he'd worked for someone who went out of the way for such niceities. Most of the jobs he took these days were corporate runs, just check in, dock it, check out without seeing so much as a smile out of anyone.

But dinner and drinks! He chortled in his pitch-dark cabin, checking his chrono. The set time wasn't far off - not enough time to go out and buy something new to show off to this Captain Queren - but far enough to get ready.

He took some time in selecting the right clothes: the gray shirt that was light enough to look decent but rough enough to be purposeful; the dark green pants, with pockets big enough to be toolboxes, which made him look practical while contrasting with just the right shade against his purple skin; and the nicest jacket he owned, "nice" here being defined in the loosest sense, but it wasn't much wrinkled and the iridescent silvery black was pleasing to the eye. It took at least ten minutes to pick the right lenses. Quan was going to pick the goggle pair with the elastic strap so he would look utilitarian and business-like. But then he switched to the more stylish spectacle pair, which looked like a thing to show you were classy enough to wear them ironically rather than out of need. Then he switched back, then twice more before settling on the specs.

He put the specs on last, just before turning the standard lights on in the room. He blinked in the mirror as his eyes adjusted and grinned sheepishly at what looked back. "Captain Yulo Queren!" he said with a glare. "Quan, pilot and astronav! All systems ready, sir!" He shook his head and laughed at his joke before opening the door and heading out to the Scorched Haglin.


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