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October 31, 2019 Lantern Hill "This seems awfully high-profile," said Judy uncertainly as she looked out the window of the historic mansion rented out on behalf of the federal government. "Tell me again why we're meeting the space people in the middle of town, on a night when the streets are crowded with people?" Judy had dressed for the occasion so she could 'pass' if spotted. Dressed in denim and a jacket, she looked vaguely like an outlaw with her domino mask, black cowboy hat, and the bandanna she was not leaving tied over her face unless absolutely necessary. "It's the easiest way to do something covert in Freedom City," said Ashley with an easy shrug, looking downright unrecognizable to her Claremont 'friends' in a black jacket and white dress shirt, a look that matched the other agents who were along for the ride today. "That is, do it in plain sight. The average person who spots their ship coming in, if they spot it at all, will think it's a superhero thing, and superheroes are too busy dealing with the usual Halloween magic BS to dwell on a ship they know is friendly. And if anybody does spot the Lor, well, they're just partygoers on their way to a party." As she spoke, she and the rest of Judy's team were heading down the corridor and towards the central atrium of the mansion - the better to be there when their contact arrives. "Ah guess that's why Ah don't do the planning," said Judy philosophically. A part of her rather wished they'd gone on to the haunted house Mia had been talking about, but of course going to an unvetted spookhouse wasn't something she was gonna be able to do in Freedom City - or ever, for that matter. Oh well, she thought, probably nothing scarier there than at the Hell House at the church back in Oklahoma City! She took another look at Ashley, narrowed her eyes, and said, "Agent George, are you wearing makeup?" Ashley smiled thinly, glad Judy was remembering to stick to protocol. "Ms. Cahill," she said with a smile, "I am officially off-duty once our guests are finished with their work and you're on your way back to school, which means there's a Halloween party out there with my name on it." Ashley was, in fact, wearing makeup - a striking red lipstick and a smoky eyeshadow, and she'd even freshly dyed the tips of her hair pink before coming out again. If she slept in on Friday, she could probably stay out as late as she wanted. Or...whatever. "Nice," said Judy, smiling back. She had never really liked Halloween, so she wasn't put out at the idea of missing Claremont's Halloween party - it wasn't like she could eat candy anymore. "Well Ah hope you get yourself a good treat." She distinctly detected a blush on her guardian's cheeks, and smiled even more broadly. Maybe she'll loosen up a little bit if she gets a boyfriend! It must be hard for her to find a date...
Stomping through the airlock Fa'Rua slammed a fist against the close and cycle button and strode purposefully toward the cockpit. Her face was a stormy mask of seething outrage as she made her way through the ship. Jolan looked up from his console questioningly and sighed, "I take it then the interview did not go as planned?" He didn't need a diplomats training to see the truth in his words, nor a twins bond. He'd felt the oncoming storm since she left the colonial scout corps offices of course. So he wasn't surprised at her demeanor and had practiced carefully a response, "Fa'Rua such things always happen for a .." ""Don't you say reason." she coldly cut him off as she slung into the pilot seat, "Buckle up, I'll show them who can't perform under pressure." and slammed the emergency docking release. "I hardly think exiting the base without tower consent is going to improv...." Her brother didn't get a chance to finish before the ship dropped occ eht docking ring and she punched the engines to max quickly overriding the inertial dampeners to press them both into their seats. Over traffic controls complaints she wove effortlessly through the heavy traffic and shot free of the station making for the system rim as the computer started the jump calculations needed. As soon as they broke the heliosphere there was teh lurching twisting sensation of the space fold and they were flung thousands do parsecs to a distant lifeless system, "I don't want to talk about it Jolan." she growled as she stood and stopped toward the rear of hte ship, "I'll be in my bunk start the long distance scans." Flinging herself onto her bunk she glared death at the bulkhead for a long minute before flipping open her com pad and sliding into private mode. She flipped through the recent photos and conversations and let out sigh and thumbed open the chat window again. Hey you. You around. She hadn't bothered to check the terran time before sending the message. Nor did she wait for a response before continuing. What in the void is wrong with men. Why do they expect us to be twice as good as some square jawed jock still trying to figure out how to hold his flight stick to even consider us competent. Temperament under pressure my sweet ass. I'm under more pressure getting up in the morning then these old men have seen on their worst day. Sorry if you're busy I just needed to vent to someone who might get it and not spout platitudes. The messages came in fast and would leave whatever device Ashley had set to receive them buzzing enough to likely draw more than just the owners attention if she wasn't alone.
Evening 09/14/2019 Earth Time Inner orbital rings Psi2 Piscium and Claremont Academy Fa'Rua looked down at the scanner bank again them to the ships chronometer with a heavy sigh. Hours yet until she could wake Jolan for his shift. Hours longer before the ships scanner array confirmed this was another lifeless system with minimal resources and no viable colonial options. She thumbed open the Extranet Connection and drifted through the articles about the rebuilding efforts and rising crime on CoVic before closing the browser in disgust at the discourse around the Lor Senate elections. After another long minute of staring at the crawling progress of the scanner she popped the 'nt open again and dove into the more esoteric reaches and eventually a side loop to the terran internet. She smirks nd filled out the form on the lonely hearts site and started scrolling through the entries looking for someone who would be tolerant of a, long distance, relationship at best. She stopped and reread one before nodding to herself, "Well then. That'll fit the bill." She opened hte chat client and fired off a quick message: No judgement but what've you got against Andorians? She hit send then winced as she quickly ran the calculations for earth time in the temporal region noted in the profile. Who knows maybe they too were a night owl.