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 Post Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 8:17 am 
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Arkady glances over and comments in English: "We may want to trade, or hand out a few presents. But gentlemen, I have heard that ammunition is less reliable as it gets old; no one wanted 50 year old bullets that I recall."

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 Post Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:15 pm 
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"Why would anyone pack bugs on a colony ship?" asks Doctor Vanderbilt.

"Doesn't matter," says the Captain. "We've got two-way radios. Set it so it's always transmitting, smarten it up a bit, and tell the guy it's a gift and a good luck charm. Doesn't need to be invisible if he doesn't know what it is."

"We don't have a single charged battery that's not part of the array powering the cryogenic pods," points out David. "You've got a couple of good engineers in your team, you might be able to charge something on the way, but between keeping a radio and a truck going you'll have plenty of work on your hands as it is..."

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 Post Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:32 pm 
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"Basic transmitters are pretty easy to build out of spare parts if need be. I've done it before. As for charging up batteries, as long as we can keep the truck running, we'll have an excellent source of power. Throw one or two spare solar panels in the back for redundancy, and we'll be alright."

Nate turns to Arkady.

"So far we haven't had any problems with our ammunition. It was designed to last a very long time afer all, and was stored at almost absolute zero for most of the time. Not alot of chance for degredation at those temperatures."

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 Post Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:46 pm 
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Felix nods at Nathan and Captain Argent.

"Get me a small box of cheap two way radios, I can work with that. Five days is a lot of time to make technological magic happen. Bling them all out to varying degrees and give the biggest and fanciest looking ones to the people who look important or otherwise have chips on their shoulders to match. Bigger and fancier, the more batteries it can hold so the longer we'll get useful intelligence out of it."

Felix ponders.

"Between a couple solar panels and the alternator on the truck, we should be able to charge up enough batteries for disposable radio gifts quite easily as well as maintaining the operation of the scouting radio to keep you guys in the loop. So long as we don't go overboard on it we should be fine."

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 Post Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:36 pm 
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Arkady nods at the comment about ammunition, then comments wryly regarding the radios: "I was thinking about toys, actually. Do the locals have the metal needed to make one of those American spring toys...Slinky? I doubt it."

A bit more seriously, but still in a light tone, he turns to the group in general. "There is something I must say; please not to react until I finish. The three Earthlings who speak Elene did not enter six thousand words into the translation program. A days work? Who had a day? Someone, with power and subtlety, seems to be helping us. I think someone is serving us tea." He picks up his teacup, mimes sipping, and says "How many ways is she not a wolf child? Clean? Unhurt? Not just playful, but knows the tableware only the well to do could afford? Six years old, and scared of things a thoughtful adult would fear?" He raises the cup, admires it for a second, then nods to Piper and puts it back on the saucer. "As I hope to meet my Savior, I believe she is a very old intelligence. Older than we are, perhaps. A child worth playing with, I think." He switches to Elene, and says to her: "Would you like a sweet to go with this? I think we have rock candy somewhere."

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 Post Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 1:29 am 
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Both Captain Argent and David look at Nathan and Felix with the slightly glazed expression of an administrator who's more than happy to let the engineers handle this sort of engineering detail.

In response to Arkady's words, David says - slowly and thoughtfully - "Whoever entered all those words also entered their translations. Which means that - that person - must be able to speak English as well as Elene."

"She is surprisingly intelligent for her apparent age," admits Captain Argent.

The mention of rock candy grabs Piper's attention, and she nods, firmly and rapidly.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:28 am 
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Arkady nods and gets up to go get some candy. As he goes he says in English: "I must find some candy for the tea party." To Nathan and Felix: "Please to tell the rest what Sir Bevier said about magic as a big gun. It would be good for them to know." Off he goes to find some rock, or hard, candy; hopefully in the ships stores.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:52 pm 
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"I'll leave that to you, Nathan," Felix says. "I'm gonna grab the chosen supplies and get the vehicle ready."

With that said, Felix heads out to the warehouse to grab a backpack scouting radio, a bunch of small personal radios (plus one really nice looking one for the Regent ), tools for modifying electronic equipment, and locates a turret he can mount on the back of a vehicle as well as a number of weapons to bring with. He'll also grab a fuel tank to store methanol in for emergency fuel. He also grabs a decent sized handheld telescope for long distance viewing if it looks like there are plenty of spares available. After that is all said and done he heads to an appropriate vehicle bay to try and find a suitable vehicle that will take them to the Capitol of this strange nation on this dangerous world. Preferably a light to medium sized truck with a wood gasifier engine if available, since wood seems to be quite abundant.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:25 am 
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The ship's stores are surprisingly empty of any form of rock candy. Arkady even checks Irina's personal locker; everything that should be there is there, except the rock candy. There isn't even a funny-coloured stain.

Also, the lock on her personal locker appears to have been picked at some point.

Piper looks expectant, apparently waiting for rock candy to materialise.

--------------

Felix has no problem grabbing a backpack radio (batteries:empty, will require some maintenance before use), a box of small, personal radios with brightly-coloured plastic covers (all batteries dead), tools, and weapons. He can't find a completely assembled turret, but he can find the parts he needs to build on and throw them on the back of the truck.

Talking of the truck, for some reason none of the vehicles in the vehicle bay have wood gasifier engines (they're all electronic, battery powered, battery dead). However, there are also a number of alternative engines which can, with the expenditure of some time, be installed in any of the available vehicles - including wood gasifier engines, steam engines, petrol engines, engines that run off fuel cells, and others. It would normally take a few hours to do the replacement safely (though, genius engineer that he is, Felix can probably cut down on that time quite significantly. Either way, it's probably polite to let the Baron know how long you'll be).

There are two other potential problems with a truck. The first is that the vehicle bay entrance comes out about one story above ground level, and some few metres away from the path. (The door does fold down to act as a ramp, but there are trees in front of it which would get in the way). The second is that the path through the woods was never made with a truck in mind - if Felix chooses the wider trucks, he gets more cargo space, but there's more chance of finding that the trees on either side of the path grow too close together to permit the truck's passage. He can just about fit everything (including a few days' supply of food) into one of the narrower trucks, but it won't leave any spare space left over.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:59 am 
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Felix tries to estimate how long this is all going to take. Repairing the backpack radio (and ensuring it has all the functionality he needs), installing a wood gasifier engine, and clearing the trees out so they can drop the ramp (he can either use an axe or a chainsaw fueled with methanol, the latter of which would be faster). He compares it to the time he'd need simply repairing the backpack radio and fiddling with the smaller radios.

It might be easier to just slap a cart on the horse of one of the Knights and put everything in that with the trio walking beside the cart for the journey. Not to mention the time stalled by doing that would be a godsend.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:08 pm 
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Arkady's eyes rise a bit as he examines Irina's things, and he turns to Piper. "Someone has eaten it already, and we will not be able to make more until the ship's garden can grow sugar beets. But little mother, my Irina did not eat her own candy. Did you?"

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 Post Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:18 am 
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Felix: Engineering: +5 Roll: -1 Total: +4

Normally, it would take a good engineer a day to replace the engine on one of the trucks. Being an engineering genius, Felix suspects he can find enough shortcuts to get it done in a few hours. Attaching the wood gasifier is then just a matter of putting the gasifier in the back and connecting up some pipes - mere minutes.

If someone else would be kind enough to take down the trees while he's working, then by the time he's done he'll be able to drive the truck out.

Fixing the radios can be done now, or tonight when the group makes camp (it wouldn't be hard to pack the necessary tools). It will be a lot quicker than replacing a truck engine, either way.

--------------

Piper looks cute and innocent.

That is to say, she looks deliberately cute and deliberately innocent.

And doesn't meet Arkady's eyes, apparently fascinated by the ceiling.

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 Post Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:06 pm 
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"Little mother, if you are hungry, we have food. We will happily share it with you. But this?" He gestures towards the locker "You wanted candy, and so you took it from someone's things? Taking what you want from other people just because you want it is not what good people do; it's what that baron and the men behind him do." He closes the locker and asks: "What will Irina do when she wakes up, is very hungry, and wants some candy?" He shrugs. "You mean well, little mother; but you need to be careful or you can hurt people."

After a couple of seconds he says: "Perhaps the locals make sweets, if so we may be able to get you some. If not, well, we will be growing sugar beets eventually; when we do we can make more candy. Come along, I should help the others get ready."

As he goes, Arkady glances at the translation program to see what sort of words have appeared and if the translations are essentially apt.

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 Post Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:52 pm 
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Felix makes sure everything he gathered is stacked up nice and neat off to the side of the work area (as well as makes sure a woodcutting axe or three are in the general supplies they'll be taking with them), then heads out to the main group to tell them what needs done and that he needs someone to go outside and start clearing trees.

After that he heads outside to inform the Baron and Sir Ulath of their status. He eyes the situation to see if anything has changed before heading down.

"We're preparing our delegation to set out as soon as possible," Felix informs the Baron. "A carriage is being prepared for the journey and should be ready in the next few hours, barring any sort of problems. While we're working on that inside, my colleagues will be out shortly to start clearing trees to make way for the drawbridge to lower."

Felix gestures at the spot where the vehicle bay door will open to let the vehicles out.

"If there's anything you'd like to ask or discuss, I have a spare moment before I must see to the preparations."

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 Post Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:33 am 
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Piper looks down at her grass-stained feet, the very picture of contrition - until Arkady tells her to come along, at which point she follows happily, giving every appearance of having entirely forgotten the entire incident.

Arkady checks a few words in the translation program. The translations look good - there's a few places, where a word in one language has multiple meanings while the word in the other language has only one, that will be tricky - but every Elene word that Arkady checks matches as well as can be expected with an English word (and vice versa).

The translation for "computer" is marked in Elene as "extremely precise abacus".

--------------

The Baron, despite being (still) on horseback while Felix is standing in a doorway over his head, nonetheless contrives to look down his nose at Felix. "You will send servants to care for our horses while you give us a tour of your..." he waves his hand vaguely at the spaceship, "...building," he says, managing with that one word to suggest that it is a very inferior building indeed.

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