Spinward Reach

Welcome to the Grove

Season 1 : Episode 4

[1118:022-25]
Bendor (2336), Glisten

The time in spent in jump is interesting. The towering Gashiini Ambassador, who, like most members of his minor race, displays little understanding of personal space or privacy. Fortunately, Jatta is able to keep the half-ton ambassador out of the crew’s hair. The Gashiinis’ diplomatic entourage dominates the passenger areas.

Upon arrival in-system, while waiting for landing clearance, Artur confirms that the Golden Holiday is holding station just off the Bendor high-port. Only through the intervention of the Ambassador, is the Red Queen able to avoid the three day health verification quarantine instituted by the hypochondriac society of Bendor. Having arrived four days earlier, the crew assume that the Golden Holiday has already been cleared.

No sooner than the ship settles into her berth, the crew is met by a local dock worker followed by a Bendorian diplomatic contingent sent to receive the Ambassador. Once the Gashiini diplomatic missions disembarks, some of the crew set off to find out more about Bendor. Artur and Jatta both remain behind to off-load the cargo and replenish passenger stores. Jatta mentions to Artur that the low berth systems on the Red Queen have different resuscitation hardware than most standard units. Het assures Artur that he is fully capable of operating them, and that the Marines in cold sleep are safe. Artur says that he will take a look at them later. Lyta is the first member of the crew to encounter the virtual interactive telepresence network, more commonly referred to as the Grove. The Grove is used for all interpersonal contact, business or otherwise, by the local Bendorians. While the Grove system is efficient and easy to use, the long distances involved and lack of face-to-face contact makes utilizing Lytas’ telepathic abilities difficult. Ryre slips off the ship to avoid the cargo unloading. Bypassing the Groves he goes straight to the non-Bendor region of the starport know as the Full Contact Zone (FCZ). In the FCZ, Doss reluctantly relinquishes his flare grenades, but is allowed to keep his cutlass. The Grand Concourse is filled with various stores, casinos, bars, restaurants and hotels that cater to foreign visitors and, like the weapons check point, it is all protected by gleaming white security robots.

While reviewing various cargo options on the Laurel Groves Exchange, Lyta encounters a virtual Jatta looking for supplies through the local Ship Chandler. As they compare notes, Artur calls, wondering if they have seen Tam. Tam has taken the opportunity to explore the Bendor high-port while Artur was busy off-loading cargo. Despite promising to stay in touch, the boy’s wrist-comm has been left behind in engineering. After several inquires Tam is found, in the Apple Grove, in the midst of a group of children enthralled by his stories of mud-pies and the virtues of dirt in general. Jatta offers to look after and return Tam back to the ship, once his session is done. Lyta returns to the Laurel Grove to finish up the ship’s business. Back in the FCZ, Ryre stops at a bar for a beverage, but before he can enjoy a single drink he is harassed by two men wearing Quine Corporation jumps-suits. Both men claim to know of him from Belt-9 system, and are from a hostile camp. The harassment quickly escalates to violence, and the lone Ryre soon finds himself on the receiving end of an ass-kicking. As Ryre begins to feels his consciousness falter, he chooses to release what his mother called the “Rage of Huri,” and goes into a berserker rage. When he wakes from the frenzy he finds himself in a virtual detention cell. Lyta, Artur and Ryres’ Bendorian legal advocate, Iain of Dermott, are with him. Iain informs him that he stands accused of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and a possible attempted murder charge. Iain is currently in negotiations with the parent company of Quine Corporation to have the charges reduced, on the basis of mitigating self-defense evidence. Although, the savagery of Ryres’ attack during his uncontrolled rage has made things rather more difficult. When Rogan arrives he is displeased with Capt. Ryre, but tells him not to worry, if the negotiations fall through, he has a company lawyer on the way. When asked how good of a lawyer, Rogan states “The best that money can buy…for the money I’m willing to spend.” While Artur dresses down his Captain for getting into a bar fight without him, Lyta’s wrist communicator chimes. It’s Jatta and he sounds apprehensive. “That man from the Golden Holiday cargo exchange is here and…" Lyta never hears the rest of the message as the signal is suddenly cut off.

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