On March 5, 2013, Wing Commander: New Horizon MUSH was shut down due to lack of activity. Thanks to the staff and players for your support. We had a good run and created some amazing memories. Keep in touch on the Facebook page for the game, which will be preserved.
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Participants: Hiram Rhodes, Verlic Ragitagha
Location: Space Port, New Zurich (private ship)
Date: April 12, 2012
The door to the cockpit would slide open at about this time, as a large Kilrathi moves out of the pilot’s seat; the smell of arakh-ette’s drifting from the enclosed area - one even hanging from his lips, already lit. He takes a deep drag, as he steps into the boarding area. He looks down at Hiram. “Mister Rhodes, I presume?” His voice is deep, yet strong. He offers a polite dip of his head to Hiram, extending a paw in greeting. “Verlic nar Ragitagha. Pleasure to finally meet you.”
Hiram Rhodes shakes Verlic’s paw, obviously unused to it. “Verlic nar Ragitagha. Forgive my ignorance—how do you prefer to be addressed?”
Verlic chuckles slightly; a deep gutteral sound, as he retracts his paw, folding his arms over his chest. “Verlic is perfectly fine, when we’re face to face like this. And you?”
“Hiram of course. I’m glad we can meet, face to face. I don’t think the proposal I carry from my superiors could be communicated otherwise.” Hiram glances to the arakh-ette, and fishes a crumpled plastic case of cigarettes from an inner pocket. “I presume you don’t mind.”
Verlic shakes his head, motioning to the cockpit behind him. “I don’t have much in the way of luxury seating, since this is a cargo hauler, but.. I’ve got a few seats in the cockpit. Help yourself.” He steps back, and sits back down in the Captain’s seat - which Hiram would notice has been modified so that the flight controls now run directly to the Captain’s seat, instead of any of the pilot seats. “Cigarettes, arakh-ettes.. doesn’t matter on my ships. Just don’t start a fire.” He chuckles.
Hiram Rhodes talks around his cigarette, squeezing his frame into a seat as best he can. He lays his datapad on a wide knee. “And how is the cargo business, Verlic? Sometimes sitting in my office I don’t see from the hauler’s eyes, if you know what I mean.”
Verlic shrugs slightly. “You’ve always got your risks of pirates and smugglers, but.. all in all, it’s pretty quiet, and it pays for the upkeep on the ships.” He nods slightly, shifting his arakh-ette from the left side of his mouth to the right side, as he inhales deeply, exhaling it upwards so as not to blow it in Hiram’s face. “Plus, as of right now.. it’s the only way I can work on getting the money I need to acquire that loan from your Helios people.” He chuckles once more, before folding his arms over his chest, watching Hiram now.
Hiram Rhodes’s skin seems unusually flush, but it’s unclear for what reason. “Then you might be particularly interested in why I asked for a meeting today.” He taps a few strokes on his datapad, looking down as he talks. “Tell me, Verlic,” Hiram says. “You’re a scientist, a researcher from what I know. Do you have particular areas of interest?”
Verlic tilts his head slightly, taking another drag from the arakh-ette. “I don’t focus primarily on one field. My studies encompass a wide-variety of subject material, ranging from a better use of weapon-based technology, to a more controlled form of fusion manipulation. Ultimately, I wish to see my skills offer a safer and more peaceful future for the next generation of our combined species to live in, without having the temptation to incite another pointless war.” He lifts a hand up, gripping the arakh-ette, as he dabs some of the ash off the tip, before placing it back in his lips.
“Fusion manipulation? I’m no scientist, Verlic, that is I try to keep up with what’s current, read the industry news and so on. A man in my position can’t help but do so. Information is the lifeblood of the economy, so the saying goes.” Hiram takes a drag on his cigarette, and has to muffle a cough that shakes his chest. “Excuse me. I was saying, Fusion. I take it the purpose is energy production?”
Verlic nods slightly. “Quite alright. People who are scientists often give a Kilrathi who states what I just said very much the same response.” He smiles slightly, his pearly-white fangs showing, before he takes another drag from his arakh-ette. “Yes, energy production is the end product with fusion manipulation. It’s dangerous, however.. because, once the means of producing another viable energy source is discovered.. everyone is going to want it, so I’m working on trying to come up with security measures for it, as well. A means to effectively distribute the technology in a safe manner; perhaps through governmental licensing. Still undecided, though.”
“Hm. Interesting, very interesting.” Hiram slides a finger across his datapad, and it suddenly throws a projection against the port bulkhead wall. The image seems to float just a centimeter in front, the curves and projections of the wall distorting the image. It’s obviously a schematic of some kind, plans for a piece of hardware, but the scale isn’t immediately apparent. “As I said before, Verlic, what I have to say may interest you with respect to your current predicament. Your financial predicament, I should say. Helios—that is, an executive of Helios, who has contacted me, and wishes to remain unidentified for the present time—is looking for an engineer. A particular engineer.”
Verlic takes one last drag from the arakh-ette, before snuffing it out in the custom ashtray he built right into the Captain’s chair, at its armrest. His crystal blue eyes lift, and come to rest on the projected schematic. He absently pulls out another arakh-ette, studying the schematic, as he places the item to his lips, and sparks it to life with his lighter. He takes a deep inhale, studying the image. “.. and I’m the ‘particular engineer’ that this executive is looking for..?” His eyes pull from the schematic, and come to rest on Hiram once again. “Mmm. What’s the intention behind bringing this item to life, and giving it functionality? Or are you not at liberty to say?” He cants his head slightly, before taking another drag. “.. and when does this executive want this thing completed, and how much is he offering for said completion?” Yes, he was asking questions that needed to be asked, but it was evident that he was a bit excited at the prospect of working on a—what he likes to call, ‘toy’.
“Well, intention can be a slippery word. I’ll be honest with you. I don’t know what this thing is for. Frankly I don’t even know what it -is-.” Hiram uses his datapad to rotate the projection and regards it for a moment, his cigarette dangling from his lip. “But as you know, Helios is an upstanding institution. With a long history. I have no doubt the intention is an honorable one.” Hiram regards Verlic. “I’ve simply been asked to find someone who could— possibly—build this. A prototype, no more. To, ah, test its viability, you could say. Do you have a lab of some kind, a workshop?”
Regarding Hiram as he speaks, his eyes turn back towards the schematic. He studies it intently, trying to discern what, exactly, it was. (Will roll a science check after pose). He gently bites on the tip of his arakh-ette for a few moments, remaining silent as he studies the hologram, before he looks back to Hiram. “Yes, I’ve heard nothing but good things about Helios. As for a lab? I have one being built back at HQ. I could commence designing the prototype there.” He cants his head slightly once again. “So, this executive instructed you to find someone who might be able to build this.. but didn’t give you a credit value to attempt to entice them further than simply making a new concept?” He reaches a paw up, scratching at the back of his head. “Huh.. odd..” He looks back to the schematic once again. “.. I’ll need the schematic uploaded to my datapad, with system specifications that your executive is expecting to see come out of this thing, as well as an expected date of completion.” He looks back to Hiram.
Hiram Rhodes rubs his chin. “Truth be told, the timing is, you could say..urgent. So it’s been expressed to me. ‘As soon as possible’, you could say. Of course, we understand that time is money, and we are ready to pay, but the nature of work like this is you don’t always know what something will cost. Be that as it may we’re prepared to forward an amount that should get you on your way. “You mentioned a headquarters, though.” Hiram cants his head. “Of yours, or some other organization...?”
Listening to Hiram speak, he nods slightly after he’s done. “Yes. Headquarters. Pathfinder Services. Not necessarily /mine/, but for the.. time being, I’m among their ranks. Can’t really say in their employ, because I don’t get paid..” He rubs his chin. “And the CEO’s been absent for quite some time, now..” He waves a dismissive hand, obviously getting a bit annoyed just talking about the absent Leader. “Right. Well.. I’ll need at least enough credits to get the resources to start working on the item.” He looks back to the schematics, narrowing his eyes slightly, still trying to figure out just what the hell it was. “As for cost.. you’ve stated you’re prepared to forward an amount. Go ahead and do that. I’ll tightbeam you the account. Never know when someone is listening. As for final cost.. well, we’ll figure that out once this thing is complete.” He looks back to Hiram. “Are we in agreement?”
Hiram Rhodes frowns slightly, knitting his brow. “Pathfinder...Pathfinder. Yes. I know who you mean. I’m afraid that simply won’t do. I’ve been instructed that development of the prototype must be secure. I assume for the usual reasons of intellectual property protection. Do you have an alternate site?”
Verlic watches Hiram for a moment, before glancing over his shoulder. “.. I suppose I could convert some of the space in the loading bay to a research center.” He thinks for several moments, before looking back to Hiram. “Being as you stated that you understand my financial predicament.. I’m sure you can imagine that obtaining a research facility is quite difficult.. however, I have been keeping an eye on a location here on New Zurich. No one seems interested. Quaint little area in the Residential District.” He leans back, taking another drag of his arakh-ette, slowly releasing it, as he looks over to Hiram. “I could have it operational in a couple days, and commence working on this.. prototype.. afterwards. Only person who will have access is myself.. and anyone I permit.”
Hiram Rhodes nods firmly. “Excellent. I’m glad you appreciate the nature of this work.” He manipulates his datapad and the projection vanishes. “I’ll forward all the information I have. Perhaps you have some final questions, Verlic?” Hiram says.
Verlic nods to Hiram, pulling out his own datapad. He enters the command to unlock it, before tapping a few keys. Once completed, he tucks the datapad away. Hiram’s means of tightbeam messages would beep, indicating that Verlic sent him the account information to deposit the forward to get started. He tilts his head, rubbing his chin slightly. “.. I still want to know what that thing is. I think I might have the basic concept behind its design and purpose, but..” He rolls his neck slightly, cracking it, before shrugging. “I’ll figure it out, I’m sure.”
As Verlic talks Hiram manipulates his datapad. “There. I’ve forwarded the schematic and specifications. Account transfer in just a moment..” “..and transferred.”
If Verlic examines the schematic on his datapad, it’s clear that full analysis will require more study, but initial impressions point to some kind of resonance or frequency magnifier.
Verlic nods as Hiram speaks, taking another inhale from his arakh-ette, as he folds his arms over his chest, thinking on the events of the next while. He’d have to get the lab erected and operational, and then commence designing this thing. Speaking of, he produces his datapad, looking over the schematics. “Hmm.. interesting..” He rubs his chin with his free hand, a slight smile coming to his lips. “Very interesting.” He looks to Hiram, tucking the datapad away. “Well.. we’ll be in touch, Hiram.” As he speaks, his datapad beeps again, indicating the funds were received.
Hiram Rhodes nods, stands, tucking his datapad away and crushing his cigarette into an an ashtray. “Certainly, certainly. You’ll see more of me, I’m sure. I’m responsible for the, ah, progress of this project. Welcome aboard Verlic.”
Chuckling, Verlic nods to Hiram as he rises up as well. He extends a paw once more to the man. “Looking forward to it, Hiram. Thanks.” He would nod, and if Hiram accepted the paw, and when he releases if he did, Verlic would walk him to the exit ramp of the ship. “We'll be in touch, Hiram.”
With a wave of his hand, Hiram says farewell.