IF YOU'RE PLAYING IN THIS GAME, DON'T READ THIS!

(This goes for Judd, John Moore, Vince, Mike, and anybody else who has played or might play... Go read the Albatross logs!)

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**Nov 5, 154**


What, by the stars, is a "Guy Fawke" that it should have a day? And why did the Bug see fit to try and put explosives ("fireworks") in the soup in honor of "Guy Fawke's Day"? Yeesh!

**Nov 12, 154**


Headed for the nearest station to report the pirates.

Picked up Irari researcher -- clueless fellow, Student of PseudoMammalian Fauna. Dropped him off on his planet to study his critters, after we sold him a stunner. Shot down one of the critters -- sky-colored things, hard to see -- fended off the rest of the friggin' flock-or-whatever (one grabbed at my face, but I'd pulled the biosuit hood up), stunned the one that grabbed Dirk's blaster. Had Kelly come and read the things -- they weren't scared of Dirk's blaster, even though he'd taken one of them out with it! Not sentient -- wolf-like, about. But Telepathic. Left the Irari there, with luck nothing will eat him, and someone will check in on him in a year or two.

**Nov 19, 154**


Well, it looks like I *am* my own "Guardian Spirit" -- I knew I didn't know enough about med-tech, or brain-wipe equipment, to be the one who put the words in my head. But I *did* know a way to leave words in my subconscious, and *that* didn't get wiped! Couldn't have been -- the 'wipe left my opinion of scalies intact, and what I think about taking stuff from people who don't Deserve It, and my skills, of course. Clever, clever, clever! But I still don't have a clue as to what my name is -- probably *couldn't* add that in with the rest of the information, since it might have been a link between conscious and sub that let the brain-wipe affect the rest of the information that I'd stored. Explains why they hadn't found my stuff -- I must have hidden that even from myself, so truth drugs wouldn't have worked. Ah, Seth, you friggin' idiot! Why'd you have to get blown up before I got back for the 'tapes? Novatech's gonna *pay*!

**Nov 20, 154**


Oh, dear... Novatech makes friggin' *nasty* things -- "correctional implants"... Why'd they even *bother* with the brain-wipe? Couldn't get the parts right away? Had to do some sort of calibrations? Wanted to analyze my stuff first? Of course... That would mean that *they* took a braintape too! Be useless to make me loyal to *them* if I didn't have any clues about what was going on! Did I know they were going to do that? I had to have known they were going to wipe everything -- and if I can figure it out now, I'm *sure* could have figured it out then... They let me alone for several hours, I think -- so I had time to prep the guardian spirit. I wonder if *I've* got the tapes, on one of those disks I took? I hope I've got the only copy! They operated on me, I'm sure, to get my implant com (keep me from calling for help, undoubtedly) -- they might have enough to grow a clone and put the tape in *her* and the behavior-modification implant...

Sweet stars... If they do that, I'm *dead* unless the clone's mind is just Houston. An Evil Twin would *know* where to look for me, how to trace me -- know what the PW was to the Byte account, know what the PWs were on this computer! (There's an invisible "Personas" file with a PW that I don't know!) She'd have all my skills -- and know them all, and wouldn't have the skill-degradation that I think the brainwipe left... Perfect assassin. Even if it were an even match, could I kill her, knowing that her mind held everything that I have lost?

They might wait a long time, to see if they can remove the implant and still get the effects... They might not dare, though -- they already know I'm tricky. What if she doesn't look the same? What if I look the way I do because of design, rather than genetics? She wouldn't be taller, at least, but could be shorter... Her voice would probably be the same -- I need to listen to my voice more, learn to recognize it quickly.

**Nov 23, 154. 0800 shiptime


We are picking up another passenger, oh goody. Human, this time. Jim Setton, human, dark haired, shortish, stocky, attractive -- if you like the type. Bit of a macho image. Looked at me (not that that's unusual), but not for very long. Seemed... Don't know -- like maybe he thinks he knows me? He was waiting at the station before the Calder Mining stop, but he didn't make any comment about the Albatross being two weeks late. I wonder how long *he* was, or *wasn't*, waiting. Bug his room -- fuzzes out and goes dead about 5 minutes after he moves in. I was friggin' right -- there's something fishy about him... Oh, Kelly... Ask Kelly to rummage around in this fellow's mind -- who he thinks I am, what he's doing here. We'll catch him while he's eating, and I'll distract him.

**Nov 23, 154, 1340 shiptime


Well, according to Kelly, he likes me a lot -- not surprising, men do that. And he thinks I'm someone called "Sherry" (Sheri? Sherinford?), and he's worried that I'll blow his cover.

[[He'd given "Sheri" the "I'm undercover" signal, but she hadn't given the "acknowledged" signal! She hadn't noticed he was signalling, and had forgotten the codes anyway.]]

**Nov 24, 154, 1900 shiptime


Cornered him. "Avoiding me? My actions depend on yours, a bit."
Him: "What's the matter with you, Sheri? Three months ago you vanished and dumped all your cases on me..." Etc.
Me: "I'm in a bit of trouble, hiding out right now." I mention that I have a slight memory problem...
Him: "You're not in trouble with the 'Big O' again, are you?"
Me: "No. {mutter} I don't think so -- depends on who's been hired."
Him: "You left your stuff at New Garavar -- you *do* remember leaving New Garavar?"
Me: "Vaguely." (He buys this, or at least doesn't comment.)
Apparently I've left my case load (must be Sherinford) to him -- not many people have called, though.

How long am I going to be gone, he wants to know.
Me: "A while. A while."
Him: "You going on to Calder?"
Me: "Yes." (Of course! I'm the one flying the friggin' ship! Stupid question...)
Him: "You're not involved there, are you?"
Me: "No." (Dammit, how am I going to do the Hedoni act with *him* around??? Much less pick up any crystals... Blast! What if he's supposed to be ferreting people out like the contact-fellow?)
Him: "Good. She's absent-minded, but I don't think she'd hire two people. We'd just get in each other's way."
Me: "Don't worry."

Him: "That outfit is flashier than any of your other disguises I've seen -- I almost didn't recognize you in that get-up."
Me: "What, don't you like my outfit?" {smirk}
Him: "Oh, sure, I like your outfit. I just remember what happened the last time I liked one of your outfits a little too much. My arm still hurts."
Me: "Awwwww, didn't it heal right?"
Him: "I don't mind doing a bout or two with you, but not for *blood*."

Me: "Oh, by the way, if you could give my bug back, or replace it at some point...?"
Him: "I'd wondered if that was yours."
Me: "Yup -- have to keep an eye on the passengers, you know."
Him: "Or the captain -- didn't think he was your type. {muttering} Didn't think anybody was your type."
Me: {raised eyebrows} "Oh? I don't know..." {smug}

Him: "Are there any personal computers on this ship?"
Me: {surprised} "Besides mine?"
Him: {muttering slightly} "Oh, yeah, that's right, you've got one now."
Me: "Why?"
Him: "Can't tell you that."
Me: {shrug}
Have to remember to put the computer in the hideyhole in Hedoni's trunk.

On to Humario -- home of ursinoid aliens. We have a language tape for them, and they have really nice jewels and jewelry. Only two days out of our way for the Calder stop. "Jim" doesn't mind. We land tomorrow.


Personal Log, after crisis


[[The following is probably done during the two week period after Calder; after the incident with the Diagnostic thing talking to the computer, the computer was stored until after the SH letter was sent.]]

**Nov 25-28, 154, written on Dec 9, 154**


We get to Humario -- time to go out and have a snowball fight! Would've taken Kelly sledding if we'd had the time (tropical waterball's never had snow!), but oh, well. We've *all* been on the ship and stations for too long -- nearly two straight months for me, and this is all I've known since I woke up in a friggin' station... More, maybe a whole six months, for the rest of us (well, besides Kelly). We ask T'kik to watch Jim. I tell Jim to watch out for the Bug. Him, nodding: "Right." Hit Parvari with a snowball & finally drag him into the fray. Ho -- we've got company -- big bears and little bears. A little bear is driving the sleigh (it's being pulled by some sort of badger-looking thing...) Warren won't talk with these "middlemen" people. Okay, *be* a friggin' idiot, Warren! *I'll* step forward and greet this lot. "Sir Butler" the head bear gets translated to -- he invites us to the castle. We get to meet the Lord. (The little bears seem to be servants of some sort, the big bears come in shades from dark to light -- the lighter the bear, the higher up it seems to be in status.) I get to give greetings. We get invited to stay for a feast. I ask if we can inquire after the whereabouts of the "sage" (xenoanthropoligist that was dropped off here a while back). Answer: "No." Ooooookay. Don't argue with the eight-foot-tall fella with the sword & crossbow (even if I do have the {presumed} Reflex Armor activated on my biosuit -- Kelly noticed and pestered a sort of truth about that out of me).

We get shown to our rooms. There are fireplaces here -- set way far back, probably because sparks are dangerous if you're a furry person. Kelly decides to help out the little bears who are trying to light her fire; she lights it herself. *We* don't get any fires lit for us after that -- she seems to have scared them half to death. I return their hose and flint&steel gizmo. I *think* they're understanding me through the translator, but when they reply, it doesn't translate! Some kind of "lower caste addressing higher" dialect?

Banquet -- buncha raw carcasses dumped on a table, and the big light bears dig in. Wander over and hack off a handful, just for grins -- can't be worse than ship & station food. Get some of the drink. The meat, besides being colder than any sane human would eat, tastes like tough chicken. Not worse than standard suit rations. The drink is *strongly* alcoholic! Yow! Nice artwork on the mugs, too. I ask Kelly if she can cook my hunk of meat a little for me -- find out how the stuff tastes that way. She's worried about her control, so I put on my biosuit glove. Good thing, too, since we get a gout of flame a few seconds later, and one of the big bears comes over to ask us to please not demonstrate our stuff till later.

We get treated to music, which sounds like Kintarans brawling. Warren, the friggin' idiot, tries to play some human songs on one of their instruments and gets the instrument snatched away from him by one guard (at the request of the Lord, I think), while another tells him with body language to go back to the little alien ghetto over here. Great. Now I can't hand over the translator to him without messing up the deal entirely. Listen to an epic tale with a lot of smiteing in it that doesn't translate too too well. Watch the fire-jugglers! Yow! Attempt to "applaud" the way the other big bears do, by tossing & catching a knife. Drop knife. Oh, well -- been a day since I've had one of those friggin' pills, so obviously my reflexes are a tad off, not to mention sipping at that drink at *all*.

The "trading" is a friggin' hassle & a half -- *I* am the speaker (Parvari doesn't want to do it, and Warren is clearly not to be trusted here). Not to mention that I'm the one with the palest hair. First thing the Lord wants to know about is my "liquid metal" -- my biosuit! It's set for Quicksilver-silver... (Possibly another good reason for me to be the "leader" of this lot.) Quick discussion, determined that we can make such a thing, sort of, for Big&Furry -- we'll have to have measurements. Warren will have to take 'em. "He must not touch me!" says B&F. "Understood," says me. Good thing the scanners have a decent range. We promise a larger, heavy laser pistol and a few smaller ones. We give a dozen radios. B&F wants to know about what to do when an item has lost "spirit" -- we supply appropriate "hearts" (batteries) for his "fire-bow" (laser pistol).

This is a "gifting" society, Warren thinks -- we give gifts, they gift us in return with stuff of "equal" value... Compliment him on something, and that will probably provoke a response... "Your jewels are very fine, I have not seen the like before -- they outshine the stars..." (Stop gagging, Kelly!) We get shown some jewelry. Eight *lovely* pieces... Warren comes up to check them... The lot of them are worth, dear me, about 500K credits or so... Gape gape, boggle, boggle, until Kelly says, *Stop gaping! Say something!* in my mind, scaring the living daylights out of me. Right... "All these?" I ask in my most boggled voice. "Take what you will," replies B&F. Right... Uhhh... Not the best piece -- look at that, sigh, and set it aside. Pick 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th best, though. Kelly gets a sense that Lord B&F is pleased and maybe a trifle smug about this setup. We've got *plenty* of profit, so we don't ask after anything else.

Warren takes the stuff & Derek back to the ship -- Derek is going to help with the "liquid metal" armour for Lord B&F. Derek asks "Who's going to take care of you, Silver?" Kelly pipes up, "I will," matter-of-factly. I drawl, "And there's Parvari, of course," with a nice leer. "Can it, Silver," quoth the poor Captain. "But I can't! My expressions don't fit in cans!" I reply. "Pilots! Why are they always the crazy ones?" Parvari asks the sky. Silly -- *he's* the back-up pilot.

Next morning. No Parvari. We knock, no answer, we go in, and nobody's there -- the bed's been slept in, but of our captain, there's nary a trace. Kelly prepares to do something witchy... (Probably like what she did with my utility belt.)

I need to be looking for the Captain, obviously, not hanging around doing gifting crap... Ah! Warren's about to become a blond, and I'll dose him with just enough perfume to hide his scent, and see if I can scrounge up something that looks like armor and appoint him as my 2nd in command or something... I can probably get away from talking to Lord B&F on the grounds that it would dishonor me to not be in the search... I wonder why they took him? He seemed the least dangerous? No armor like mine, no witchy powers like Kelly's? Dark-colored, too, hence "lower-caste"? Wonder what they'd think of Scherazade in the Quicksilver outfit?

T'kik spraypaints a shipsuit, Warren actually has some cologne that doesn't stink too badly, and I turn over the translator to him.

Kelly gets the impression of lots of short dark arms dragging Parvari off the bed. We catch a dwarf, but no luck questioning him... ARGH! (Takes two stunner-blasts to take the dwarf down when he tries to escape, and then he stops breathing! Kelly jump-started him, though, thank the stars.)

Discover servants' tunnels, go wandering around with Kelly and Derek, freak out the kitchen staff.

[[Unbeknownst to all, Jim has a double purpose for his trip to Calder -- firstly, Selene has discovered that *someone* in the Organization is trying to get samples of the strange crystals in that system, and secondly, around October 10th or so, a letter came in that said someone had failed on the passwords to Scherazade Harami's computer several times, and it was therefore probably stolen. The Email path led to the Albatross. Well, the Albatross is headed to Calder, so why not kill two birds with one stone?

Diana's Bow drops James Occident off at a station in time to catch the late-running Albatross; he has appropriate tools to find the computer, and has the "maintenance password" program. So when everyone but T'kik leaves the ship again, Jim goes prowling with a "strange bit of equipment" (an Artemis sensor, to find the computer). T'kik spots him and pesters him with nosy questions. Jim wants to look at the bridge. T'kik says all right -- it can introduce him to the computer... Jim seems more interested in the communications logs, and not the "Eliza" style program T'kik is running, but T'kik doesn't let him mess with that... Jim suggests that he'd like to see more of the ship -- say, Silver's quarters? And why would he want that, T'kik asks. Jim suggests that playing some practical jokes would be entertaining -- like glueing all of her stuff to the ceiling, or something. [In truth, he decided that since he couldn't find the computer, Sheri was the person most likely to be able to hide it.] He sets off towards Silver&Kelly's room. T'kik protests that the door will be locked. Jim says "Oh? No, it's unlocked." and opens the door, slips inside, and closes it again, then disables the electronic control for the door (much like Kelly did... but without the psi).

T'kik gets the power-tools it needs to winch the door open physically, also collects most of the rest of its drones, toting blasters, stunners, etc. T'kik gets the door open, and finds Jim looking inside Silver's "Serena Hedoni" trunk (mostly at all her outfits) [at close range, he was able to scan the trunk and find that it had a shielded compartment in it! Bingo! but he hadn't gotten that far down...]. Beside him are the disassembled remains of a trap Silver had set for the Bug -- a fire-extinguisher and little sign: "Gotcha!" that had been set if the trunk was opened the wrong way. "Was this for you?" Jim asks T'kik, indicating the remnants of the trap. T'kik flies a stunner up to the back of Jim's head and fires, but thanks to a crit-success on an HT roll, Jim is totally unaffected, and turns around and grabs the stunner. Discussion -- Jim looks boggled at some of the outfits that Silver has in her trunk, T'kik asks if it should model some of them for him, Jim asks, "Would you?" Jim claims to be a New Garavaran Intelligence Agent, shows an ID to that effect. T'kik and he enter a discussion about whether he has any jurisdiction if a New Garavaran registered ship is on an alien planet. Jim claims that he's investigating Silver, that she's some sort of pirate, stolen several ships, that sort of thing. Eventually, through letting the blaster slip from head-shot to familyjewels-shot, T'kik gets Jim out of the room, back into the passenger room, and welds him in. Jim wants to talk to the Captain -- the Captain is busy, says T'kik. T'kik then gets on the comm to everyone.]]

Whilst wandering the tunnels, T'kik calls up -- that friggin' idiot son of a mangy Kintaran and a moulting Unar Jim was messing with my trunk, posing as an Intelligence Agent, and saying I was a "wanted criminal"! I COULD STRANGLE HIM! Most likely got his ID out of a candy-box! AIE! I don't friggin' need this!

Right -- Warren and Derek and Kelly can go looking in the ATV, and I'll take the ship up and check out the heavy-metal mountains with T'kik, after I finish dismembering our passenger.

I manage (I think) to get T'kik to agree not to listen in on the vidcom -- Jim's been welded into his room by the sweet darling Bug. I have to promise to let T'kik have a unmolested audio-only "bug" in my room, though...

The conversation quiets fairly rapidly, since I go on the defensive -- Jim thinks the computer was stolen from Scherazade!! I failed once too often on the PWs, and it sent a call for help to Artemis! Really confusing, though, since Scherazade is still paying for it. I could scream. (He also gritches about the trunk: "What are you doing with a shielded compartment?? That's a smuggler's trick, Sheri!") What eventually occurs... He doesn't think I/"we" (Assuming that Scherazade and Silver/Sherinford were seperate people) could have changed the persona-lock so that it would work at all for me -- thinks I'd need the equivalent of about three degrees in computer stuff. Can't let him uncover *another* persona! He's already seen the Hedoni trunk! (And dismantled a perfectly good trap that I'd set up for the Bug, too.) He starts to have a fit because I gave Ms. Holmes -- Pres. of Artemis -- a fake ID for a computer that she hand-built (no wonder the thing's so expensive!) (To quote, "Sheri!! You didn't give SELENE HOLMES a *fake ID*--!"). Tell him I'm Scherazade's illegitimate twin sister (I'm paying her for the computer, she's paying Artemis) and let him stew on that for a while.

(Random from that mess: "What kind of a case are you *on*, Sheri?" "At the moment, saving my hide, mostly.")

Meanwhile the ATV group finds some tracks, mining-trail, whatever. They think that the captain may be in these mines. Bring the ship over. Land on a glacier. Yeah, right. Take a pill. Fly over, land -- tricky, but NO PROBLEM! Convince Bug that I want a laser rifle. I want to shoot something that won't have problems like the Pres. of Artemis getting annoyed because an annoying passenger didn't make it back.

Wander into the tunnel... Finally T'kik raises Parvari's implant comm -- and the captain himself! -- on the ship's comm. We wander about checking things -- the biosuit is set on "ninja". He's locked in a room, can smell some sort of "rotting fruit" smell, can hear thumping sounds... We find a storeroom, but he's not there. On the way out, a dwarf tries to stun Derek! I do a running dive into the tunnel (infared contacts on from way before this all started, for what that's worth), fire stunner, knock the little fella out, and go after his buddies. Dirk, in nasty-mode, follows shortly thereafter, but he has to stop and mark his way and I don't. He has to bother with the flashlight, too.

Wander around in tunnels, tracking dwarfs. Warren and Kelly find the xeno-anthropologist's lair and his computer which has better linguistics info (has the dwarfs' language as well!) and a map of the area! Earlier I suggested that the Captain was deliberately kidnapped as a hostage in some sort of revolution run by the Xanthro and armied by the short&furries. Warren finds some stuff here that indicates I may be right. The map indicates that there are some mining activities near a residential area, and that's a fairly logical place for Parvari to be -- mining noises, food smells, etc. Get a visual, wait for Dirk to catch up, and start heading for the residential area.

We're in the area when we get another person on the radio, saying, "Ship crew". We're supposed to leave our weapons and powercells in the tunnels and leave the area and the Captain will be released. "But I'm lost. I can't find my way out," I protest. No problem -- one of the "Small Folk" will lead me out. Feh. Okay, toss the powercells -- I've got the biosuit and the needler... But he's *not* getting the laser rifle! Turn off the comm that I've got and listen -- faint echo of the fella! Head for that. He "just wanted to talk to the captain" when Parvari woke up, the small guys hit him a little too hard, etc. Warren and he get into an argument about the workability of this revolution.

We get to a store-room type place. Our Xanthro, Simon Henry (argh), is talking into a hand-com. He doesn't have any weapons! Send Dirk in -- bare hands, not blaster, I'll wait in the tunnel to see if he tries to escape... Dirk lunges at him, misses, I step out of the tunnel with the biosuit back to Quicksilver. "Don't kill him, Dirk." Simon looks at me in terror, so I tell him, "I'm the good guy, I'm going to keep him from killing you!"

Then we hear a thump and a "That you, Dirk?" from a door off to one side. "Captain?" "Yeah! No kill, Dirk, no kill! Just hurt him some!" Seems Parvari holds a grudge, and has a headache. I send Dirk to knock the door down while I make sure our captive doesn't escape.

We are all re-united, I insist that Simon gets his stuff back (still can't handle depriving people of their things...), I tell Simon about what we gave Lord B&F, and tell him that the next time a ship comes, he should call them on the comm and tell them to come trade with the dwarfs (who are being "exploited") instead.

Parvari got a couple of kegs of that alcohol somehow -- didn't pay attention, too busy trying to figure out what the heck I was going to do about Jim.

Give Lord B&F his bio-silver. Take off. Tap into comm and hear Jim spin this wild tale that he's New Garavaran Intelligence (HA! but his ID *does* look real!) and that I'm some sort of pirate. About when Parvari looks like he's believing it, I short out the comm. T'kik arrives soon after to fix it up (the comm-tap is hidden in the trunk, Kelly is watching over things).

Go to Jim's door. "I can make things really sticky for *you* too if you don't stop telling the captain stuff!" He says, eventually, that I *am* a pirate -- stole a smuggler-ship from the Organization once, and "How do you know I'm not an intelligence agent?" "You're a private detective!" "Ever heard of covers?" He wonders if he can get the captain to let him (Jim) take me into custody... I tell him to quit freaking my captain, or I'll make sure that Parvari's too busy to answer the comm for the rest of the trip. "Two weeks?" "There are ways.... I'd think that *your* imagination would be quite equal to the task." "I didn't think that sort of thing was your style, Sheri." "Ever heard of covers?" and walk off down the corridor.

Later -- "Any good reasons we shouldn't leave you on Calder?" "I'd have to call Selene to come and pick me up." And it's not like he couldn't send her gobs and gobs of mail from there, either....

Be real nice to Parvari -- he's nervous when I smile at him even in a mostly non-smirking way! Argh. At least he doesn't seem to be likely to turn me over to the son of a scaly.

[On to December]