(10) To Be Named

The Crusader Campaign 061-1122 to 062-1123)

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061-1123 : Adabicci / Lunion / Spinward Marches

   It is late evening.  The party on their arrival at Sir Geoffrey's estate is starting to break up, and everyone either staying in his guest rooms or returned to Nightshade.  This is an early end for one of Geoff's parties, but it was thrown together in a couple of hours so it is understandable.  The guest rooms are certainly different from the ship.  They are all outside rooms, with a nice view out of a natural window.  Furnishing is luxurious, and they're even bigger than the staterooms on Nightshade.
    But before the party ends completely, Kalida Siena, Marchioness of Nakege, finds Geoff and asks if he's adding anything interesting to his private bar.  He has a very interesting new collection of wines, he says, and gladly agrees when Kalida asks about sampling some.  He asks if she remembers where it is -- she does, and goes on ahead while Geoff finishes off saying his goodbyes to the rest of the guests.
    Misha Ravanos catches her on her way out and asks if she wants company, but the Marchioness declines.  He goes on to his room.
    Most of the crew have chosen to remain on shore.  Jack returns to the ship, as does Edward "Shark" Teeth who wants to examine some recordings from earlier tonight.

    The private bar is set up in several levels, screened from each other.  There's a top level overlook out towards the back of estate, a second level in modern eccentric, and a third inner area which is furnished in dark colors centered around a fireplace.  The inner level is the one that has always appealed to Kalida.  The wine cellar is accessible off this inner section, odd as it is to have a cellar on the third floor.
    Discreet servants stand ready to fetch whatever she might want, but as usual Kalida goes to browse the cellar herself.  She goes through the heavy door beside the fireplace and into the cellar.
    This private lounge is not shielded, of course, and she wants somewhere that cannot be overheard.  She glances over to one of the bookshelves; behind that will be the room she wants.
    In the meantime, she examines the cellar.  Geoff has expanded this room substantially since last time she was here, taking out some interior rooms to make space for it.  She notes with approval several interesting looking wines of which she has never heard, one of which she picks up for tonight.
    Kalida doesn't notice the time passing, caught up in exploring the vast selection, but it's about half an hour before Geoff arrives.  She hears him arrive in the lounge.

Kalida and Geoff
(Referee and Kalida's player only)

   Kalida returns to her room for the night.

    Shark, meanwhile, is analyzing the tapes of Sir Geoffrery talking with his security guy.  He needs Robert Morris' help for processing the recordings, because good as the remote sensors are, they're not really up to pulling one conversation out of a group of people.  It is, of course, not in Robert's native language; this makes it more difficult.
    Robert has been investigating the local network.  He finds that Sir Geoffrey has a conventional Imperial setup.  He's located pretty much everything, but hasn't bothered to look into it all yet.
    The conversation goes along these lines: Geoff tells the security person that the ship out there is classified and has obviously been assigned to them for some purpose.  They are to cooperate with them and keep them safe, whatever they need to do.  The Marchioness has been assigned this project, she's the person for the job, and whatever they need, do it.  He goes on in the same theme for a while.
    It's now approaching midnight local time.  Even so, Shark calls his captain.
    Misha is in a luxurious suite, relaxing.  On being assured it is an interesting interruption and worth pontentially waking him, he listens to the important part of the recording as Shark plays it for him.  He doesn't, however, think it's worth contacting the Marchioness and letting her know yet.  The two of them retire for the night.

062-1123 : Adabicci / Lunion / Spinward Marches

    Morning breaks bright and sunny, albeit after a long night with the long rotation.
    Kalida knows they have good coffee there, and is looking forward to breakfast.  Today it is being served out on the lawn where the party was, or of course in the guests' rooms on request.
    Those staying in the house all opt for breakfast on the lawn.  Their host is already there; they are the only guests at this meal.  He adds that he thought they might want a quiet day today, since they've been on the ship for a while.
    Misha is having some trouble adjusting to the idea that "outside" is luxury here.
    Vonish Kehnaan is up early and helping prepare it, which is enough to drag Shark, Jack, and Robert from Nightshade for the occasion.  Vonish does seem to be having a good time.
    There are no organized plans for the day, Geoff says.  He adds that the rest of the family might pop over later, just to say hi.  He again insists that Kalida takes some of the wine, and in fact he's taken the liberty of putting together a selection for her.  He says again that he really wants to find out where last night's wine came from.  Kalida resolves to pick up a case of Blockade Bourbon for Geoff's birthday -- what better present could there be?
    Light small talk follows.  Robert of course speaks through a translator, relayed through Nightshade, as he can no longer speak galanglic.
    Geoff tells them they're welcome to go wherever they like, and that respirators and filters are available at all the exits.  He adds that in this area, the increased humidity takes some of the edge off the air.
    Shark muses to himself that he won't need that, not with the hood of his zack.  Early in the morning his thoughts drift to Goose, and how they use black tech there.  He wonders if a zack is black tech, and whether the Arden Society knows about zacks.  He then wonders about whether Akim Gavrolovitch could write about black tech as long as it was fiction.
    Eventually the conversation turns to golf, and Geoff enthusiastically invites them to join in.  Kalida is, however, the only one who plays.  Geoff says they'll put together a foursome that morning and Kalida can try out his new course.  They can certainly get at least 9 holes in before the family arrives, and even then they're no reason to break up a good game.
    Misha asks if Sir Geoffrey has a library.  He is glad that the noble does, and Misha says he'd like to spend the day there.  A servant will show him the way and make sure he has everything he needs.  Shark will accompany him.
    Helia is not present at breakfast.  It'll be a while before she's likely to be needed, so she's taken the opportunity to take a shot of klatrin.  She'll be out for a while.  Grand Admiral Baron Bridgehead is of course disgusted, but will look after her in sick bay as best he can.  The Baron adds that they have other pilots and astrogators on board should she still be out when they leave.  He has no confidence in the predictability of klatrin effects.

    The library, Misha and Shark find, is almost more a collection than a library.  It doesn't show many particular areas of interest, but it does have quite a large number of interesting or obscure old books.  It's almost random in subject, and they can't find any pattern to them.  It's quite difficult to find anything, as it is not well catalogued at all.
    Robert takes a look, and what he determines is that if there is any pattern, it's a tendency to the quirky and obscure.  There are more books from the Spinward Marches than further in.  Local histories, books interesting for their sheer age, but many of them have some sort of oddity to them.  It is a pattern of eccentricity.  Almost any book could be pulled off the shelf for one to exclaim, "Look, this is interesting."  Checking the books themselves is very difficult for Robert, of course, as he has to pull them off the shelf, open them, scan them, and wait for a translation.
    Shark finds some books on Ancients, and looks among them for anything on Victoria.  He does find plenty of books on magic, most of them quirky local descriptions, including apparently practical textbooks for magicians.
    Robert suggests looking to see if there is any book of the kind that got them into trouble on Rhylanor, but they find nothing on Willi Marsh.  He also finds nothing with any samples of script language.  He resolves to catalog Sir Geoffrey's library for him.  This will take many days, but they will be here for a while after all.  He remarks to Shark that if they find any books they really want, they can take them back to the ship and read them in.
    The collection does include a leather bound collection of every paper that Marquis Marcus Crestworthy has published, including all those that were of restricted publication.  Shark eagerly spends the day reading those.
    Misha's looking for a much simpler thing.  He's looking for books on his reading level, and has a good time with the ones he finds.  He even takes a couple of books to the "outside" lawn room, where he settles down for a good read of several books on various local folk tales.

    Out on the golf links, Kalida is having a good time with Geoff's new course.  While her technical game is not too good today, she does have a wonderful time.  She comes last in actual score on the first 9, but comes out a thousand credits up on the side bets.  Geoff suggests that since it's been a while since Kalida has played, that they might want to take a break for lunch and finish off the game afterwards.
    As they are walking in to lunch, a very smart efficient-looking gravcraft hurtles overhead and drops out of sight behind the trees by the house.  Geoff mentions that would be his father, the Duke.  He observes that he's just in time for lunch, perfect timing.  Geoff makes his excuses and goes off to welcome his new guests, and asks Kalida to tell the others that the Duke will presumably join them for lunch.