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Newtorch station, Inner Oort Cloud, Sol System

Second orbit, fifth day, April 15th, 7.30AM Earth time.

A brilliant crystal lance sailed through the void, mighty donut-shaped rings spinning endlessly around the haft, housing the several hundred scientists, staff, and guards keeping safe the future of Lor technology. There they lived and worked in strict, regular shifts, coming and going, eating and sleeping to refresh their tireless dedication. A phalanx of ships patrolled far outside the sight of any being, searching unceasingly for any sign of an approaching threat.

At the lance's tip was a white diamond, where the force field was strongest and the gunnery lines were thickest. The size of several battleships welded together, that was where the most dangerous part of the station's mission was kept.

Newtorch station was one of several throughout the Republic, uncovering new ways to draw energy from the world and power the bustling interstellar civilization. They often ended up examining things strange and powerful enough that risking star systems was all too possible. Inevitably they ended up on the fringes of inhabited space, far from either help or victims.

Thefts were possible too. But the sheer danger tended to keep everyone away. Except, of course, the daredevils.

"Next shift incoming, sir!" called out the surveillance monitor "and none too soon!"

"Just the facts, Bey." replied the station captain with a wry twist of his purple lips. Hands clasped behind his back, the stubby Lor watched the small, regularly spaced dots draw near and allowed himself a slight note of self-praise: nothing had happened that had endangered the crew, the only faulty source had been safely ejected and destroyed, and they had a marvelous new subject: the gem from Sirius. It could power an entire fleet if they could get the transferal right, and then...

"Bey, how many ships are in that convoy?"

The sudden edge in the officer's voice got a puzzled look, and a quick response "Eleven, sir. Usual number-"

"That's one too few! Alert the ships, tell them there's an infiltrator!"

'Sri Steward of Earth, you have an incoming message.' Mentor's voice had all the warmth and wisdom that came from the unthinkable eons it had seen, but it was still as commanding as a drill sergeant, clear as ice and cut Kyle off from sleep like a knife. 'Blockade Fleet Admiral Kalf has urgent news, and a request. Your system is in great danger.'

Edited by Arichamus
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This would have been a very good morning to sleep in. The night before, half Kyle's team had pulled some heavy overtime to finish the designs on a new engine. And once that had been complete, a quarter of the team had gone out to celebrate with some not insignificant drinking. This was not the worst amount of alcohol he'd imbibed, nor the worst hangover - there had been that spirit on a station orbiting Javiran that turned his skin yellow and caused something like death metal to play in his head - but it was still somewhere on the list. Then again, duty did call.

He rolled out of bed and, by some miracle, did not hit the floor. "Give me fifteen minutes to a half-hour, Mentor," he said. "Then I should be ready for takeoff."

It was closer to fifteen minutes - while Kyle still had drums pounding in his head for awhile, he was used to being woken rudely and having to force some sort of clear mind. With the stench of last night off of him, some clean clothes, and enough coffee to cause a statue to vibrate, he was good to go. He ducked out into the alley behind his apartment and pressed a finger to his emerald-colored metal bracelet, the one that never left his wrist. Energy flared out into the air around him, forming a bonding matrix that would hold together the metallic plating that emerged from extradimensional space.

Cavalier took off, blazing over the skies of Freedom and swiftly piercing the atmosphere. "There, that should be good. So, what's the concern?"

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As Earth shrank and then vanished from view, distant streaks took the place of the other planets and vague hazes suggested the asteroid belts, the voice of Mentor returned.


'He shall tell you himself. Admiral Kalf has taken this incident very personally, and would see even my aid as that of an unwanted and unneeded outsider, for all he would never say so. Passing your suit's transmission signal to the Blockade flagship...'


For what felt like a long time, there was only silence, and the Star Knight's own breathing. Then suddenly the sharp hum of Lor subspace rang out in Kyle's ears, and a harsh, high voice spoke.


~Star Knight? Ah, link established, good! This is Fleet Admiral Kalf, chief representative and enforcer of the Lor Republic in this sector of space. I apologize for the sudden call to action, the Mentor tells me you were rudely awakened. But there is no helping that, a dangerous criminal has just seized an object of nearly unfathomable power, and unless we stop him and his accomplices, well...the risk to your star alone is hard to overstate. I've had the necessary data sent to your armor, should be there any moment.~


A faint chime and blinking message on the HUD's corner indicated this was so. First appeared a cross-section of a blue gemstone, vaguely similar to the Star Stone, but far smoother and with a darker heart shifting in the depths. A picture from what looked like archaeological dig shrank the Lor scientists examining it into insignificance besides its enormity.


~This is the object. The Blue Star of Sirius, Socil to the Lor. Found...eight months ago on one of the outer worlds of that system, in some kind of temple that outdated even some Preserver satellites we found around the main star. It generates tremendous amounts of energy( I understand some of your race would classify it as 'magical') by some sort of extradimensional link. There is no waste, and tapping it does nothing to reduce the output. In theory it could power our entire civilization.~


There was a long, slow breath.


~It is also easily destabilized unless in very specific surroundings, and we have reason to believe there is something alive and malicious living in it. Fortunately it's still asleep, but the longer it's unshielded the more likely that gem will crack and loose its cargo on the universe. We told the thief this before they escaped, but, well...~


Another beep, another flashing message, and the gem was replaced with the image of a well-built piratical green-skinned man in a vest with no shirt, an outstanding mustache, striking good looks, and the most maddening smile Kyle had seen outside of some really, really slimy second-hand ship salesbeings who had you in the palm of their hand, and knew you knew it.


~This is Prince Zanvir the Fifth of Teltross, a fiefdom of worlds recently conquered by the Star Khan who got kicked out of the family for being an insufferable troublemaker.~ Admiral Kalf's tone left no room for doubt what he thought about troublemakers ~He has been kicking up and down the borders and frontiers of the Three Powers for a while now, calls himself the Star Thief, the Ultra-Man, and has enough of the family powers to back it up. Lately he's been prowling around your system, but we kept him out until this happened. He's just careless and ignorant enough to think he can control the Blue Star. We need you to intercept him and his crew, and either get him to see reason or get that thing away from him!~


There was another pause for breath.


~Only a slight deviation of your present course will send you across his path. Are there any questions, Star Knight?~

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A magical artifact. An ancient temple. People stealing things they didn't understand. Possible peril from something not dead, just sleeping. Cavalier had seen some real crap with the Runabouts, and this was far from the first time he'd seen all those markers. Though he hadn't quite seen them all in such close proximity. Throw in someone who was probably on the Star-Khan's Christmas card list - if somewhere towards the bottom - and things started reaching peak levels of rotten. Still, it didn't sound like it was reaching "call in backup" levels - yet.

"A few," he said. "Any idea of how many crew members Zanvir has, and what sort of heat his tugboat is packing? Also, let's assume I get this gem back but still have to get to the planet. Is there any way of field-rigging a way to contain its energies, or is that pretty much the province of the temple?"

Man, magic. Still makes my head hurt.

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Admiral Kalf managed to suppress most of a snort.

~That will be unnecessary, Star Knight. We already have a research facility at the very edge of your star's orbit perfectly capable of holding the Blue Star. No known force that could stand a chance against our defenses gets halfway here without us knowing about it. The unconventional assaults, of course...but it's much harder to sneak into an inhabited solar system than you'd think, especially celebrities like our Ultra-Man.~


~As for his crew, they are the brutal dregs of dark-side space-ports, arena worlds and lawless systems. None of them should be a challenge, especially not intellectually. By our life-sign readings there were 5 others on board his smuggling ship, the Celestia. The ship itself is only slightly larger than a fighter, built for stealth, but its main cannons are stolen from a mid-line cruiser so don't underestimate it. That and the on-board cloaking device, it hides the ship from our scanners and renders the accursed thing invisible to most naked eyes.~


A note of confidence crept into the bitter words.

~It's slower than your armor, however, which should give you a critical edge.~

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Okay. That would be interesting. Cavalier was still getting used to the idea of boarding a ship while being fired upon - he'd undergone the training exercises, like any other Star Knight, but it wasn't something he had much field experience in. He tended to come across ships while they were sitting stranded and docile, not shooting with both barrels and speeding away. But it might be possible to rig up a stealth field. And hey, at least if he got his hands on the gem, he knew there was a way to contain its energies.

"I think I can handle the cannons," he said, in a way that made it sound like he almost believed it. "Now how about Zanvir's crew members? Any intel on his posse? Species, capabilities, particular weapons brandished during the initial raid?"

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At the question of the crew, Kyle caught a faint tapping noise, and Kalf murmuring under his breath in the familiar way of somebody preparing to read something off a page.

~Nobody you've heard of I think, there's two Dotrae-Lor, a Zultasian Zanvir broke out of a lab planet somewhere, a few Edgers~ the generic name given to people on the fringes of Republic-Unity-Khanate space whose family trees often defied most understood geometry ~and some kind of robot called 'Core-A4'.~


~They're better than most of the rabble in the space-ways, but only by virtue of being somewhat quicker shots. Their armaments are remarkably standard fare, blasters, some light shields, nothing even as exotic as a neuro-pulser according to these readings. They didn't need them for the station though, except to scare off the scientists when Zanvir got them in...~ suddenly, another blink in the helmet's HUD and suddenly Cavalier was looking at a picture of an elegant white space station with a small hole in the side. The picture zoomed it, revealing that the hole was roughly a dozen meters in diameter.


~Almost makes you wonder why they had guns at all. I suspect it was for the look of the thing.~

Edited by Arichamus
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"They might have had the suspicion that whoever pursued them might be packing more heat," Cavalier said. Well, not more heat than the spaceship itself - seeing the hole it had punched in the side of the station wasn't exactly a reassuring sight. But maybe he'd have maneuverability when they met. Still, better safe than sorry. He sent a silent command to his suit's programming, and felt the thrum of energy rushing to his joints and external armor. He'd have to get right up close to the ship and punch through the hull, but at least there'd be less of a chance of them blowing a hole in him before that time came.

"Still. Perhaps it's time we see who's got the heartier hardware." He broke from his path, and rushed off in search of Zanvir.

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One of the biggest problems of policing the galaxy was a very simple one: finding the criminal. The infinite vastness of space, the sweeping plains and tunnels of planets and asteroids, the blazing stars and devouring singularities, they presented a maddening amount of places to hide.


Luckily, this time it was narrowed down to a relatively thin band of space in one solar system. Which was, admittedly, still pretty big.


So it was that just seconds after the mighty armor of Cavalier had reordered itself, his helmet tingling with power that let him see by the drifting fire of suns, a field cracking about him that shielded the Star Knight from unwelcome eyes, that he saw the massive flaming blue gem hurtling towards him, attached Mentor-only-knew how to the top of a sleek, silvery craft racing straight for him!

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The good news about going about the galaxy in a suit of armor rather than a spaceship was that you had much more maneuverability; the bad news was, you needed it if you wanted to avoid getting splattered against some ship's windshield. He pulled upwards, avoiding the bulk of the speeding starship. Then, just as the bow of the ship passed under him, he dove down, aiming for the ship's back. He landed swiftly and tried to establish a grip - which was easier said than done, given the speeds on this thing.

Would probably be better if I trailed it and waited until it came to rest before boarding...

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It was only in trying to get into the airlock of a moving ship without setting off any of its computers that Cavalier recalled that this really, really wasn't his thing. He knew how to move through hallways without his footfalls ringing all over, and he'd been taught some basic evasive maneuvers and stealth on Citadel. But infiltration was very much not his bag, even with a cloaking device and enforced radio silence. Still, no better time to learn...

Actually, yeah. Whoooole lot better times to learn. But, guess I gotta.

With that, he started working on the override pad for the airlock, hoping he could get in without setting anything too loud off.

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With a satisfying twinkle, the small airlock door slid open, admitting Cavalier into the ship.


The airlock itself was the picture of smooth comfort. A bit on the cramped side at first, but subtly enlarging to fit the Star Knight as he passed from the outer hull into the ship's living quarters.


Even from the first Kyle had felt the faint rumble in the floor that meant an argument, and as he slipped into the elegantly-contoured silver hall it blasted onto his ears in full force.


"That is a dwarf planet, Core-A! Do you doubt my stellar wisdom?!"

~"Negative, Prince Zanvir, I merely doubt your ability to see"~




Hardly six feet from Cavalier was a dashingly-handsome man, the spitting image of the criminal he'd just been briefed on, green face twisted with rage and moustache quivering with indignation at a stocky purple robot who looked back with a flat yellow slit and crossed arms. From around the corner of two other corridors branching off deeper into the ship, the faces of the rest of Zanvir's crew could be seen, all of them quietly enjoying the debate.


A nearby viewscreen showed the object of the quarrel: a smooth, very complete-looking depiction of a green-blue orb. Next to it was a simple two-word query: "Warp To?"


Considering the circumstances, Kyle almost missing his footing on the slick(for all the friction-fields in place) metal floor was perfectly forgivable. And his quick recovery meant only a vague look flashed by him from the arguing pair.


The ship was small enough that the instrument panel-ridden bridge wasn't far from the airlock, and clearly visible even from where he was standing with its sleek and atrociously expensive-looking seats. Obviously, the Celestia hadn't been built with repelling assaults in mind.

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Man. Can't believe I'd be longing for the days when the crooks looked like refried blubber. I mean, I suppose Prince Zanvir could be a decent guy... who just stole a cosmic power source because he's mostly sure he can keep it from unraveling and blowing crap up...

Cavalier adjusted some of the systems on his suit. All right, keep it in your pants. You've got a job to do.

He was somewhat taken aback by how top-of-the-line the prince's ship was - and how utterly vulnerable it was. The Starforger had its share of issues - the showers sometimes came out colder than the void, the heating was never quite right, there was that time the drinks maker had developed sentience - but it at least had a layout that could fool boarding parties. This thing, however, might as well have had neon arrows built into the floors reading, "THIS WAY TO FUTURE HOSTAGES."

So, either the prince was completely clueless, or had reason to be suicidally overconfident. And, seeing as there were six of them and one of him, he didn't want to dive in, just in case the latter turned out to be true. Okay, so... Step One: find Blue Star. Step Two: figure out if ship is EMP-shielded, and if not, cripple it. Step Three: Either pull some diplomacy out of your butt, or get ready to go all Die Hard. Maybe we should revisit Step Three later...

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The helm was one of those super-modern ones, with some of the most intuitive panel setups seen outside luxury cruisers. Thanks to that, the invisible Star Knight was easily able to follow the simplified readouts and dati-splays. The occasional angry word


The Blue Star had an entire monitor to itself, in pride of place above and between the two big chairs, and for good reason. Judging by the warp of gravity around the ship, not to mention the exotic energies helpfully detailed in a scrolling list beside the pulsating crystalline cross-section, some kind of dimensional anchor was keeping the gargantuan gem both inside and outside the space occupied by the ship, allowing for nearly weightless transport and near-perfect security.


The power source for this mind-boggling setup was, of course, the Blue Star itself, though thanks to the conflux of power the Celestia's own deceptively small fusion core was involved, keeping the current of invisible energy going. There wasn't much record for what happened when you forced a shut-off for something like this, but the problems were both immediate and hard to work around. Of course, there wasn't much to stop Kyle from moving the Blue Star out of the ship(the current of otherworldly power between the two could be likened to ropes tying a pair of rocks together), and then making with the sabotage...


...Besides the issue of doing it on the fly, with nobody(including the robot) noticing, and leaving him on board with a bunch of people that much more inclined to hate his guts.

Edited by Arichamus
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Cavalier looked up at the arrangement, slightly boggling. Going by the power output, the Blue Star was cranking out a lot of juice... and, while the Celestia was effectively telling spacetime to go take a flying leap, it was also managing to contain said energies, with all the possibility of blocking a nuclear explosion with tin foil. With all that mojo flying about, he didn't want to think about what would happen if he took a wrench to it. He could try moving it out of the ship, but that would probably draw someone's attention, even if he moved at top speed. Besides, this could be magic. And that may not be my strong point, but I played D&D enough times to know how often alarm spells screw you.

So, with the options remarkably lacking, he took a seat on the floor near the helm, stealth field still active, and kept his eyes trained on the Blue Star. Someone had managed to hack together an improvised field to keep this thing from going critical across several dimensional axes. Perhaps they knew how to deconstruct it without starting a second Big Bang. Besides. It might help to know where the hell they intended to take this cosmic rock.

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He didn't have too long to wait.


~"Your Teltrossian Supremacy, I request that you look at these readings in the following contexts: one, the majority of wor-"~

"Core-A, I request that you look at every other major body in this system. (some repeated beeping sounds) See? Only those gasers are of decent bulk. That orb is tiny! A mere half the size of Zurkas' smallest moon! This sector is full of dwarf planets, that's your problem!"

~"-fourth, the local clusters are noted for relatively large gas worlds and small rock worlds-"~

"What? The local clusters- my mechanical manservant, what do they have to do-?!"


A few minutes later


Core-A stalked into the small bridge, calling over its rounded shoulder ~"So it is settled, Earth is small-rocky, not a dwarf. Productive meeting. I shall join you in the mess shortly. Do not steal my oilings."~


Stopping by the left-hand chair, the robot put a hand on either side of its baseball-shaped head, and lifted the entire thing off its neck with a rattle of bolts. Placing it on the chair's console and activating a small holographic interface with a few swift button-presses, the body then about-turned and marched off purposefully back down the hallway, leaving the head to manipulate the lights pulsing around it.


~"*zzt*. Power is increasing, not good"~ it muttered, its glowing slot-eye swiveling back and forth over the displays ~"I should reorganize these computations. Otherwise we run-over and...explode. Best if that exhaust energy goes into the dimensional fold. To work, Core-A4!"~


With that, the rhythmical tapping of light-based buttons everywhere began, following a graceful, electronic pattern as the machine carefully adjusted the lattice holding the extrasolar engine at bay.

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Earth? Well, this was probably the last place Cavalier expected them to take the magical exploding space rock, and he could imagine the authorities would be thinking the same way. There were a few options here, and none of them were good. One, they had a buyer for this thing on Earth, one who'd likely be able to use it for more than a weapon of mass destruction - and he didn't want to think about what this thing could do if it was properly focused. Two, they didn't, and they were going to use it as a weapon of mass destruction.

He wanted to step forward and interrogate the robot... but that was the thing about robots. He was pretty sure this one was wired into the ship's security system in a way that he might not be able to subvert. Plus, this guy seemed to know how to contain the gem's fields, which put it one up above him. He maintained his vigil, trying to pay attention to Core-A's movements and how they might be aiding the thing's containment.

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  • 3 weeks later...



The details of 'how' aside, Core-A's goal quickly revealed itself to the watching Star Knight: keep the Blue Star barely inside the Celestia's thin force-field envelope, without getting either too close or too far from the ship, so the field could absorb and disperse the excess energy.


Unfortunately, such a simple plan was obviously pretty tricky. Even while solving equations on the holo-screen that looked like they'd stump some of Earth's super-brains, Core-A was obviously have a lot of trouble keeping that delicate balance from tipping into dangerous extremes.


From outside, he could hear the cheerful laughs and bawdy jokes coming from the dining hall. The crew seemed surprisingly calm about the situation they were in. And Prince Zanvir's laughs, rising far above the rest like rolls of thunder, was downright gleeful.

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As much as Cavalier hated to admit it, this was one nut he couldn't crack. These calculations looked like the kind of thing that might give Stephen Hawking a sprained brain, and this robot was handling them like a pro - but even then, it looked like he was juggling a lot of plates to keep the gem from going critical. Just trying to do one of those might give Cavalier an aneurysm; trying to do both might result in a very big explosion.

That just left one question - if the ship was heading to Earth, who was the buyer? As Zanvir's laughter echoed through the halls of the ship, a bit of advice from his troubleshooter days came back - "No one will be more open than when they're drunk and think they're with a friend." So, he headed off to the celebration, still cloaked, to listen for who might have the best gossip.

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  • 2 weeks later...



Sneaking into the mess hall, Cavalier's audio pick-up was steadily assaulted by waves of hilarity, from the booms of Zanvir to the electronic cackling of Core-A to the sniggers of one of the heftier Edgers. They were clustered around a thick rectangular table that looked like it was supposed to be white, but given the way it was being treated, the multi-colored food piled on it and all the laughing bangs and kicks, looked like it was headed for an early grave.


"HahahAAAAA! Oh star****, Ultra, that's AMAZING! What then, how'd you get out of the restraints once the governor was asleep?"

"Child's play! You see, my felonious friends, the Ultra-Might allows me to reshape matter at will! So, with but a great burst of that power, I turned it and the rest of the prison...into shrrons!"


Finding a good hiding spot was easy enough. Zanvir occupied the seat where the captain would normally go, at the center of the table with a stout control panel-studded datacolumn behind the chair in case of emergencies. There was just enough space for a comparatively slim Star Knight to position himself behind it, hear everything, and remain hidden even if the cloak dropped.


"Bwa-ha...haaaaaa. By the #$(@-spiders, Zanny! It's 'nough to make me think this'll work!"

"Indeed!" Leaning his chair back to rest his crossed legs on the table, the Star Thief took a hearty drink of something purple and intoxicating "Once we're on Earth, it will be, like my latest escapades, the simplest of matters to simply track down the target, in this case my good friend Captain Silvia the Stormbreaker-" a chorus of whistles and howls broke out, requiring some to grab a bottle and smash it over someone else's head to restore order "Stop whimpering G'udge, you've taken worse and grinned. Anyway! Once I find her, I will do some harmless mischief with the power inside our new acquisition, perform some daring theft, an impossible feat or two to rub it in, maybe meet a nice human, and sail back to the edgeworlds!"


Springing onto the table, Zanvir thundered "Gentlebeings...success, to CRIME!" Cheers and greedy drinking noises rang out in answer, the talk quickly falling back onto ribald adventures. Most of which involved oddly large amounts of collateral damage to other people's stuff.

Edited by Arichamus
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Great. It was either the layabouts or the truly demented who decided to dedicate their grand and glorious toasts to crime. Given all the effort that had gone into cracking this cosmic A-bomb, Cavalier was willing to put his bets on the latter. But at least he had an idea of what they were aiming at. Stormbreaker? He'd worked with her on that rescue operation out by Pluto - the one that had turned really, really weird, what with the mushroom bugs and all. He knew she had something of a rough past; was it possible she'd pissed off Zanvir? There was a chance it might be a friendly rivalry... but, between the way he was talking about her and the megatons on that gem he was hauling, he kinda doubted it.

Fortunately, he still had her number... kind of. He peeled back through the suit's radio frequency log, which - given his travel record - was kind of like peeling the layers on an onion the size of a Volkswagen. In time, however, he managed to find the "call sign" of the good captain, and patched her in via subvocal comms.

"Hey, Captain," he said, "it's your friendly local Star Knight. You wouldn't happen to know a guy named Zanvir, right? Stole his loot, towed his ship, swept away his girl and/or guy?"

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Captain, incoming call. It seems to be an urgent hail from the sector's Star Knight, ma'am," a two-headed comms-woman calls over the intercom, awakening Silvia from her rest. Her work has taken her all across the Earth, operating at myriad times of day, leaving her internal clock far out of tune with... whichever line the earthlings based their clocks off of.

"Signal him to wait," she commands, not letting the grogginess of just waking after two hours' sleep creep into her voice. No, her tone is every bit as firm and commanding as ever. The comms-woman dutifully complies. There is no visual or verbal response. Just the universal signal to hold, however the Star Knights' communicators translate that signal.

She's not about to speak with a Star Knight visibly disheveled from her sleep. She takes the time to wash up and brush her hair, first, then straightens her pale green silk nightgown and throws on a white terry cloth robe. A private garment, not meant for outside observers' comfort, it has the sleeve of her missing arm replaced with something more akin to a scarf, that she can throw around her neck when she wants to curl up in a warm, soft robe. Though right now, it's simply wrapped around and tucked into her belt.

No need for anything more. The wait has been sufficient to convey how his call is being received without being rude. She walks over to her vanity, takes a seat, and hits the button for the intercom. "Comms, patch the Star Knight through to my quarters."

The mirror converts to a viewscreen, showing Cavalier a stern-faced woman who obviously just woke up, and is clearly not particularly glad of it.

"Good morning, Star Knight," she greets the young man with a clearly exaggerated tone of formality. "It is a pleasure to speak with you again. Perhaps if you are looking for old war stories, you should should arrange to meet for tea?" She remains civil, but fills the statement with enough barbs to strongly suggest how she thinks he should have handled the matter, in lieu of a direct hail.

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"Yeah, tea," Cavalier said, trying to be very quiet. "We can make plans for one of those fancy tea rooms, the kind that has cakes and sandwiches." He realized he had disturbed Stormbreaker at a quite inopportune time of day, but he'd just have to write it off as part of the line of duty. And hope he didn't get roasted alive in his armor. "Look, I'm on assignment dealing with an old... associate of yours. Guy named Zanvir? He just boosted a crystal full of unstable, possibly mystical power from its hiding place and is dragging it towards Earth. Apparently he wants to catch up on either the good old or bad old days with you, and the way he's talking about it, I'm leaning towards 'bad.' Got any idea why he might be after you?"
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Well. It seems this Star Knight is not adept at taking hints. She'll have to file that away for future reference.

Very well. Tending business in her bathrobe it is.

"Prince Zanvir and I have shared the same line of work with similar informants for quite some time." She keeps her voice brisk and businesslike, eager to get this disturbance over with. "This has led to a certain level of competition, which is par for the business. However, despite his... 'vices,' he is a professional. I very much doubt he is planning any manner of elaborate revenge with magic crystals against me. If nothing else, he no doubt has real enemies to deal with first. If I see him, I shall invite him over for a meal and discuss his latest heist. If his target is unacceptable, then I assure you, the matter shall be dealt with. Harshly." Pirates, after all, are none to fond of going to the law for their enforcement. Outsiders can't be expected to understand their code anyways.

She taps a couple buttons on a console hidden inside a drawer. "Tactical is sending you information on the Celestia, Prince Zanvir's ship. If that is all, Star Knight?" Her tone grows pointed towards the end, the voice of one who has much to do, but who would very much like to get back to bed.

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"Um... yeah," Cavalier said, just now realizing the extent to which he might have stepped in it. "Thank you very much. I'll pay you back for this twice over - at a civilized hour, too." He cut off the communication, slightly kicking himself. A part of him wanted to be more authoritative - he was a Star Knight now, there weren't many higher secular authorities than that - but at the same time, he didn't want to piss off his erstwhile allies in this sector. Which, he may have just done.

Oh, well. He'd have to make up for it when he was done stopping Zanvir from possibly inflicting extensive amounts of collateral damage in the name of the heist of the century. He drew up the plans for the ship, trying to see if there was something he was missing.

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