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Approaching Minos- Part Two July 11, 2007

Posted by psimitar in Uncategorized.
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Iris sat on a pallet of spare engine parts and ran through the tally-set displayed on her datapad. It was the third time she’d run the logistics count and was nearing the length of her patience with the dilapidated equipment. “I hate this detail…or assignment or whatever this is I’m doing,” she said with all the disdain she could muster. Barely sixteen, she had seen more of the empire than everyone on the small cruiser-class ship combined; something very few could claim traveling coach. Her father would only let her travel the solar system on one of the family yachts or when push came to shove, first-class conveyance.

A whoosh of incoming air and the cloying smell of wasted hydraulic fluid announced the entrance of someone into her personal hell of boredom. “Una, I promised you those reports by mid-morning, but this dumb counting machine…” she stopped mid-sentence. “You’re not Una.”

“You get a prize,” Cyan greeted her. “Reports?” Iris made the sign of the hex with ring, thumb and forefinger on the left hand; a not-too-nice habit she’d picked up on the rebel world of Miranda some two weeks prior.

“Let’s see,” Iris chewed the end of her stylus staring down into the grey slab of plastic spewing data out of its front face. “This number machine isn’t recognizing my allotment algorithms and I need a spa, one I care about and the other…ehh.”

“Cyan, can’t you just captain your way through this logistics problem? You’re an old space salt. I need out of this room. Una’s a slave master!”

“Iris, I’m thirty-two. I’m old enough to be your slightly older brother.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Iris pantomimed walking a cane toward him and handed Cyan her datapad. “Show me what you can do.”

“It’s called an educated guess,” Cyan swiped the datapad from Iris’s gloved hands caked with engine lubricant and set the scanning sensitivity to macro. “First off, you were stuck in micro-mode…perfect if you wanted to monitor rising CO2 levels in the nutrient gellies from cellular degeneration. Vaping useless for aggregating unit supplies,” Cyan handed it back. “Now, do as I say and I’ll make an old space salt out of you yet.

“Charming, but I do need to show Una I’m no useless space-princess.” Taking the hunk of plastic, she hooked a strand of greasy, ink-shot blonde hair behind an ear and concentrated. “Gotcha, micro-mode bad. Now scanning at the unit level.”

“Eyeball it,” Cyan said simply as though that was enough information for her to complete the job. He knew it was, but offered her a little more. “Guesstimate the proportion of nutrient gellies to hydroglobules to dry bars to vegetable wafers and divide the macro-scan total by those numbers.”

“I didn’t know you could do that…without Una slipping a gear,” Iris said busily entering her guesstimates into the datapad. “I didn’t know about this macro mode either. How accurate is this?”

Cyan considered, “depends on how good at guessing you are I suppose. I’ve got about 96% accuracy against the Oro’s overbrain readouts. That is, back when it still worked for us and not the other way around.”

Somewhere deep beneath them in the engine-works, something slipped and screeched to a halt. The engine room’s illumination flickered then stabilized.

Iris swung a glow light into her fist from a too-big utility belt barely managing to hug the rubberized portion of her deck suit. “Ooh, touchy. You know Cyan I think this ship actually listens to us sometime.”

All of the time, is what I’d bet on. Whatever’s the case, this space bucket’s getting us to Minos regardless of our QTL’s inoperative condition in record time,” Cyan said absentmindedly searching through a dry bar bin for an apple but there were nothing but peaches and figs. He hated figs. “Can you go ahead and deduct one unit from your dry bar number,” Cyan asked through the O his mouth made just before biting into the dry peach supplement.

“No problem. Now how do you go back on this thing?”

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Comments»

1. psimitar - July 10, 2007

Approaching Minos is an adaptation of Swords of Silver, an RPG I played through much of college. I’ve condensed the storylines down to their bare bones, preserving (in my opinion,) the overall tone of the story and spirit of the characters.

The cast is a varied one representing the many cultures of the multi planet Sol Empire, based in a solar system very similar to our own.

Iris Chiveaux is from the interior system of Venus, a much older and staid culture of propriety and borederline decadence. Her youthful spirit, resourcefulness and ability to adapt and learn quickly make her a resourceful traveling companion.


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