Swordbearers On the Move

* Friday, June 12th, 2071. Another long summer workweek has finished in New Atlanta, and many are leaving work to relax for the weekend. But some folks do not exercise this option, in effect never going off-duty, including one of the groundskeepers of the Historical Oakland Cemetary... or the two people just now arriving in the parking lot of the same...

* Gary steps out of his car after having put it on recall to his apartment, carrying a rather slight duffle bag. His formerly shoulder-length hair seems to have been trimmed into a more severe, off the neck military cut. He doesn't seem to have been entirely happy with this development, either.

* Ripley is in a taxi, shifting left and right nervously. "No -- the tunnel! Take the tunnel! Ahhh!:

* The birds in the trees overlooking the parking lot do not comment on Gary's change in hairstyle.

* The Taxi-Driver snorts, and takes the ramp that goes -onto- the superhighway, instead of the tunnel that goes under it. "This way's quicker to where you want to go, mac...."

{Ripley} No, it's nineteen *minutes* longer, especially with the traffic jam.

* Gary doesn't much notice them either, making his way into the cemetary.

* The Taxi-Driver blinks, checking the GPS/traffic map display... "the -hell-??" He frowns, pulls over onto the outer shoulder, and starts backing up, back down the ramp, letting the other cars shoot past and up over to get stuck in the jam...

* The cemetary is much like Gary encountered two days prior, if having a few more people quietly communing with the dead or playing in the park that's a part of it.

* Gary walks past them, looking much like a typical off-duty serviceman with luggage, if said serviceman was tall, on the thin side, and had nearly white blonde hair.

{Ripley} Forget it. Just forget it. {he tosses a bill at him, opening the door and jumping out. He pauses before running up the ramp. "And don't swear."

* The Taxi-Driver blinks at all this, and catches the bill. "Uh, right?" He then shakes his head, mutters something unprintable, and drives off to find a -sane- fare....

* Most of the folks in the cemetary don't spare Gary a second glance. WEll, save for those who admire him in uniform. The afternoon sun hangs in the air, and crickets chirp, making the area feel like a slice of ancient southern antibellum.

* Ripley runs up the ramp, and jumps *off* the elevated highway, hooking his briefcase over a cable to the ground, sliding down in a shower of sparks.

* Gary keeps wending his way in towards the Obelisk, noting the others in the cemetary absently.

* There's more than a few cries of alarm at Ripley's acrobatics. Normal folks just don't -do- that, but before they can even get a good look at him to report, he's gone gone gone....

* Ripley lands on a bus, surfing as it wends its way towards City Center.

* If this was a surfer-flick, "Wipeout" would now be playing. But since we're in a -totally- different modus, it doesn't. But admittedly, Ripley could hang ten anytime...

* Ripley jumps onto a different bus, getting closer.

* There's several families, other folks, a few couples, a groundskeeper working off near the Obelisk, a robin staring at Gary just a liiiitle obviously....

* The bus passes the City Center, and along Memorial Drive, to the left... oo, look! The cemetary!

* Gary doesn't pause, or obviously notice the robin just yet, though his pace does slow.

* The robin flits over from its branch, and flies over to perch on Gary's shoulder. It chirps.

* Ripley jumps, turns and lands, where he crosses himself and stands up.

* Gary ensures he's out of human sight before looking over to the bird. {mumured} "And who might you be?"

* The robin chirps again, its voice managled a bit by trying to form words out of an avian beak. *q* "hal'qim, s'r. d'min't'n 'f 'r l'rd l'wr'nce. d'tched t' 'ss'st s'nsch'l."

* Ripley makes his way fluidly towards the Obelisk.

* The sunbeams bear down through the trees along the path that Ripley walks, making the entire area feel like an almost natural church, blessed by God.

* Gary blinks and smiles a bit. {q} "Good day then, Domination...."

{Ripley} :smiles a bit, moving carefully still, and drinking in the sight of it with joy in his heart.

* Halqim chirps again, bobbing its host's head in a nod. *q* "'n you, s'r. s'nsh'l 's w't'ng..."

{Gary} {q} So I assumed... {resumes walking, with attached bird} Do you know if the Wheel Ripley is there as of yet?

* The path leads to the Obelisk, the copse of trees nearby, the grounskeeper still doing his circuit, and Gary with a bird on his shoulder.

{Halqim} *chirped* *q* r'pl'y's 'n t'h t'thr, s'r....

* Ripley smiles a bit more. His shorter hair still... *feels* unkempt, and his uniform looks like he jumped on buses, but he *is* there.

* The groundskeeper starts making his way towards the approaching folks. And robin.

* Gary nods again, acknowledging. {q} "Understood. Then we'll see Gehoriel, therefore."]

* The groundskeeper (yes, it's Gehoriel in his Vessel) reaches the threesome, looking up at them through his spectacles, his blue eyes peircing. He nods, clking his tounge a bit. The robin looks... embarrased.

* Gary smiles slightly, and pops off a quick salute. {q} "Reporting for duty, sir, with bird it seems."

{Ripley} Good afternoon Sir. {he salutes as well}

* Gehoriel chuckles and nods, returning the salute and sizing up the two humanformed angels, checking to see how much luggage they're carrying, and if it's 'uder the limit' for going celestial. "You're both ahead of schedule. Good."

{Gary} It does help, though, sir. {slight smile}

* Ripley carries a briefcase and... well, did I mention the briefcase?

* Gary is carrying a military issue duffel bag...large, but hopefully not overmuch. It's what any military personnel would use to take along personal effects in.

* Gehoriel nods. "Indeed. For a moment, I was wondering if I'd have to lend you some extra help in taking your equipment, but I see you're travelling light. Good."

{Gary} I have little in the way of personal effects and this makes things rather more efficient transportation-wise, Guardian. {slight nod, smile}

{Gehoriel} Very well, then. You two know where you need to head once you exit our Lord Commander's Cathedral?

{Gary} Halls of Progress, I would presume, and therefore to the Io Tether Upper Locus, unless I am mistaken, sir?

* Gehoriel nods again. "No, you got it correct, Giri." He looks around the cemetary... for the moment, they appear alone. "And I beleive you two know what you need to do next."

* Gary nods, saluting. "I do, sir. Walk in Honor, and wish us luck."

* Gehoriel salutes back. "Go with Honor and Serve the Lord, Bright, Wheel."

{Ripley} And you, Guardian. {he grins} Looks like a good travel day.

{Gary} I should hope so, yes....

* Gehoriel looks up at the sun. "Indeed. Now go, go, you don't have all century, you know." *chuckle*

* The robin cheeps, and flutters off Gary's shoulder.

{Gary} I am. {slight smile} {salute} Good day, Seneschal, Domination.

* Gary insures they're still unwatched by mortal eyes, and drops vessel, waiting for Ripley to do the same.

*** Gary is now known as Giri.

* Ripley does the same, whirling into passionate blue and silver fire.

* And for the twosome, the Locus awaits, and for them, Heaven....

* Giri nods to Ripley once, and his wings scythe out, as he ascends.

* ... and the world changes... and they find themselves in the small chapel in the Cathedral of the Sword, the same confederate stained-glass window as before, and the whirling form of a Kyriotate, who salutes them with one arm and hand as another holds a scabbarded sword.

* Ripley spins his way up, metaphorically racing, though the ascent to Heaven is itself not so variable. He salutes the Domination as he arrives.

* Halqim nods to them both. "Greetings again, Sir Bright, Sir Wheel!" He smiles with several mouths, and is clearly younger than the two older angels.

* Giri smiles, saluting back. "Good day again, Halqim."

* Halqim nodnods. "The Seneschal has been informed that you made it up safely... go with Honor to your destination."

{Giri} And you as well, Domination.

* Halquim salutes again, and bows for good measure. Since when did just-fledged angels of the Sword look so -young-?

{Giri} . o O (They used to look older than this. I'm sure of it.)

{Ripley} Excellent, Sir Domination! Enjoy and go with Honor! {he wheels off, looking every which way at once}

* Giri looks wry and takes off after the hyperenthusiastic Wheel, his long legs managing to do a pretty good job at it.

* The great Nave of the Cathedral of the Sword spread out before them... and to the right stand the tall, broad portals that hold the massive exterior doors.

* Giri heads dat way, and enjoys the scenery en route, his mirageish wings caped.

* Ripley spins and sports, marvelling at the wonders of the General and the Lord.

* And beyond the portals spreads the entirety of the Eternal City, the skies of Heaven, and the glories of the other Words that serve His name....

* Giri looks for the direction (this day) of the Halls of Progress. "Shall we, then?"

{Ripley} Yes yes! Come! This way! It's a short cut!

* Giri doesn't argue with an Ofanite, spreading his wings. "Very well..."

* Ripley wheels off to the Halls of Practice, cutting through the bazaar....

* Giri hmms and hits the air, keeping a bit higher altitude, so as not to upset any other angels or souls on ground level, especially as he doesn't have an Ofanite's agility.

* The Bazaar around Marc's Skyscraper/Cathedral bustles with activity below the two angels, the give-and-take of mutual agreement and barter forming a harmony in the heavenly air.

* Giri beelines through the air above them, trying to keep Ripley in his view, at least, his wings flashing intermittently in the Light like sun off a blade.

* Ripley races and darts, but knows the best paths and never comes *too* close to another, before reaching Lightning's Hallowed Halls.

* Giri takes the resonance of an Ofanite as given, and follows that path to the Halls of Progress.

* Ripley waits for Giri to land as he swirls before the gates to the Halls of Progress.

* The Halls of Progress soon rise before them, a holy tribute to efficency and grace, with an undertone of leashed energy, thrumming and powerful, that of man's creations and the power of Lightning harnessed for Humanity's and Heaven's benefit.

* Giri is very fast in the Celestial realms, and backwings neatly into a landing only a matter of percieved seconds after Ripley.

* A Grizzly-cherub and an Elk-Cherub stand before the gates, and nod to the two arriving angels.

{Ripley} Well met, Illuminated Guardians!

{Grizzly-Cherub} Grrreeetings, Servitors of the Sword.

* Giri bows at the waist slightly in Japanese style. "Good day, Guardians."

* Elk-Cherub nickers a bit, and bows his brace of horns in greeting. "And to you as well, Wheel and... Bright, is it? Who is it that seeks passage?"

{Giri} Bright, aye. Giri, Bright Child of the Sword.

{Ripley} Ripley, Wheel of the Sword!

* Grizzly-cherub arches a furry eyebrow, and then nods, consulting a little display from a wrist-relic. "Ah, yes, we were informed that you were to be arriving today to use the Io Tether. Please, enter then, Swordbearers of Heaven... and Walk in Illumination."

* The Elk Cherub folds its wings back, as the doors slide open. "Follow the lighted markers to reach your destination, and Walk in Rationality."

{Giri} Walk in Honor, both of you.

* Both cherubim nod, and back away from the entrance.

* Giri bows to them again and walks through.

{Ripley} A thousand thanks, brave Guardians! {he whirls through}

* The interior of the Halls of Progress bustle with activity, many interior cooridors kept clean and clear of debris, up-to-date signage indicating what is down which direction... and a series of blue, pointed shapes, which in the right light look like swords leading the way, points down one particular corridor.

* Giri looks wry at the parallelism, but follows the markers, meanwhile giving interested glances to the surroundings.

* There is the occasional display or viewing window with which other servitors can observe the goings-on behind them without affecting the experimenters. There are also comment questionnaires posted at regular intervals. Behind one display, two Cherubim and a Reliever, are working on a reliquary tracking device. Behind another, a form of plasma-sword is being tested (commonly known as the "Heavensword"). And along one hallway that the two angels head down, they can see behind one series of transparent walls ranks of heavenly power armor being put through diagnostics, each one proudly bearing the sigil of Laurence on one shoulder, and that of the Order of the Cassini Divsion on the other.

{Ripley} {q} So impressive...

{Giri} {vq, to himself}....Oh*ho*. So Kafziel *is* being busy. {louder} Indeed. This must be the new artillery for the Lord Commander's troops.

{Ripley} {q} Brightly will it shine.

{Giri} {q} Indeed. {small smile}

{Giri} {q} We Need them, you know.

{Ripley} {q} Do we?

* The path continues to the heart of the Halls of Progress, and towards great wide doors that open at their approach. Inside is -clearly- the Upper Locus of a Major Tether, if the size of sculpted metal archway at the other end of the room, filled with Lightning that falls like water to the floor, is any indication. Status displays read out the environmental state at the lower end of the Tether, as well as current nearby celestials. A pale elohite, its eyes amber, nods to them as they approach.

{Giri} {q} Yes. We do. Without Lightning, we would have no refinement of our ability to bring the fight to the enemy. No technology. And no way to keep He Who Should be Unnamed in these Halls from perverting it all to the side of below.

{Giri} {q} We can't go it alone without their support. {nods to the Elohite} Good day, Power.

* Giri is impressed, yes.

* The Elohite nods to the twosome. "Giri, Bright of the Sword, and Ripley, Wheel of the Sword?"

* Giri inclines his head. "I am the first, yes."

{Ripley} And I the second, and proud to say, oh Power.

* The Elohite nods. "Very well, then. Turiel, the Seneschal, will greet you when you arrive, and guide you to the transfer point. There may be some disorientation if you are unfamiliar with the location, since you will be unable to assume your vessels until you reach it due to lack of an atmosphere."

* Giri nods, pondering how much time he'd have in Celestial in the Corporeal Realms.

{Giri} Understood, Power. I presumed it would be...unwise to do so.

{Ripley} The breath is life, or so it always has been said!

{Giri} . o O (Mmmm....nice big snort of sulfur and sulfiric acid. It'd be an experience. {pause} A very brief one, but an experience.)

{Giri} . o O ("How did he die?" "His lungs explosively decompressed on Io." "Good way to bite it.")

{Ripley} Will the tether protect our Celestial forms, or will we be swiftly forced into flesh, Master Power?

{Giri} Which would be, as presumed, Very Bad?

* The Power nods, and moves away from the portal. "The Tether's nature is such that you will not be forced unncessarrily. When you are ready, please Descend, and proceed with efficency and Illumination."

* Giri bows. "Thank you, Power."

{Ripley} Thank you, Master Power. Walk with Honor -- well lit honor!

{Giri} And walk in Honor, from myself as well. {he makes his way for the portal}

* Ripley darts forth as well!

* Giri makes his way for the portal, steels himself, and makes the Descent.

* Ripley dives down with reckful abandon.

* The Lightning ripples, and the world Changes for the two of them... and they find themselves in the middle of the vastness of outer space, the glinting light of the sun still bright but just one star among many.... MUCH more notable is the GIGANTIC mass of Jupiter whorling overhead... and far far below the two angels turns the chaotic shape of Io, giving the two servitors of the Sword an idea of what Sheol might look like on a 'good' day....

* Giri hovers there in the hard vaccum, deciding he can allow himself a few seconds to elipse at the view. "....."

* And all around them, permiating their very beings, is the almost -quintessential- nature of Lightning, as they are in the center of the Io Electrical Circuit, the solar system's largest, cycling between the planet and its moon.

{Ripley} ...who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name... Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Io as it is in Heaven...

* Giri nods, and for once, crosses himself reverentially, his wings flashing in the sun's distant light as he tilts in mid-hover, the pinions V'd above him.

{Ripley} We must find the Seneschal, as we were told. Here I know not, so the paths are not mind to divine.

* And quickly perceived to both angels is another approaching angel.... this one an Ofanite like Ripley, but HUGE, his rings all the shades of Jupiter's clouds and Io's sulfur cones, the junctures laced with sparks of lightning, and his voice veritably booming even without air to carry his words. "He is right here, Bright and Wheel of the Sword! GREETINGS! I am Turiel!"

* Giri nods. "Either Turiel will find us, or we Turiel. ...Ah. He did first."

* Giri salutes. "Good day, Seneschal."

* Turiel whorls about, his multitude of rings saluting back. "A Good 24 Terran Hour Cycle to you as well! Come come, this way, this way! Can't stay about up here all day!"

{Giri} I wouldn't *think* so, no. {smiles a bit, darts after the Sensechal like a spacegoing minnow}

{Ripley} Yes yes YES!

* Ripley whirls after his Choirmate with sheer joy.

* Turiel vectors down towards Io, and towards a small speck that wasn't noticeable before, that appears to be locked in orbit between Jupiter and Io, right smack in the middle of the Io Electrical Circuit... and then they pass through metal and plating, solid and sealed from outside threats, and appear in a small, minimally appointed room.

* Turiel's fires turn tangentally towards one another, a 'twist' between as his Vessel manifests. Red haired, built like a linebacker but moving about with almost balletic grace, his eyes lit with the spark of Lightning. "Don't worry it's sealed against the electrical arcs take a quick breather and we'll get you over to Rhadymanthis sooner than you can get your vessels on!"

{Giri} Are we safe now? {nods, then puts on vessel, taking in some breaths}

* Ripley drops into himself. "Thank you, Seneschal. Wow -- this is *incredible.*

* Giri smiles. "It has been. This is the first time I've ever been unprotected in outer space. I highly recommend the scenery."

{Turiel} This waystation is rated for twenty-thousand atmospheric pressures the majority of combat Songs and weapons fire and shielded! *He grins, turning about* We tested it back in the 1800's to make sure and aren't due for another century at the least. *He then bows* Oh yes and thank you!

{Ripley} You're welcome. {he grins} Which way to the egress?

* Turiel then claps his hands. "Right! Now let's send you off!" There's a slight ripple of Disturbance from the Ofanite as a Song goes off. "I've informed Mehahel of your immenant arrival... in a moment, we shall send you to the Bridgestone!"

* Turiel raises his hands, and spins about once, Singing... and the strength of the Song is such that both members of the Sword can recognize it as the Song of Location, sending ripples through the Symphony.

{Giri} Thank you, Seneschal. {smile}

{Ripley} Thank you. I am honored to walk your path

* Ripley smiles, and spends that bit of Essence needed, stepping through...

* Turiel bows. "And may your paths always be clearly illuminated, noble angels of the Sword!"

{Giri} And walk in Honor, Seneschal. {smiles, bows, and spends his part of essence as well, following Ripley}

* And for the two angels, the world once -again- changes... depositing them in another room, this one more spacious but also more fortified, at the base of a carved piece of meteoric iron, clearly the Bridgestone mentioned, as a man in a jumpsuit watches them appear.

* The man, wearing a carbine-rifle slung over his shoulder, regards the two appearing angels in mortal form. He consults a display device next to him, checking their appearances to photos. "Giri and Ripley, of the Sword?"

* Giri salutes. "Aye, indeed."

* Ripley salutes as well. "Yessir."

* The man regards them, tilting his head almost felinely, and then nods, stepping forward, clapping on the shoulders. "Mehahel, Guardian of Lightning. Welcome to Rhadamanthys Station, you two." The two angels can also feel the tranferral of a measure of essence as he does so.

* Ripley grins. "A good welcome indeed, Guardian. Hi there!"

* Mehahel chuckles. "Hello yourself, Ripley. You two already had arrangements made for where you're going to be staying for the week before you ship out?"

* Giri smiles gratefully at the transfer. "And thank you, Guardian. And good to be here. And aye indeed, I believe."

* Ripley nods. "I'm supposed to be with the trainee pilots."

* Mehahel nods. "Then I won't be keeping you here much longer. Exit's out that door, take a left down the hallway, then follow the 'emergency exit' signage to get out of the building. The alarms will be deactivated for the next 5 minutes. Pilot-trainees usually hang out 'round the Hub, but you'd have to confirm with whichever group you're flying with as to wether they'll be actively there. Both of you'll be looking for TriOp, eventually?"

{Giri} Yes.

{Mehahel} Right. Their offices are about half a klick Turnwise, in Corporate Section Four. If you need more specific directions, call us here at xxx-xxx-xxxx, and we can arrange for a guide and better maps if you don't have 'em on you.

* Giri nods. "Right.

{Ripley} Good enough. And I've been studying it. If we cut across corridor nineteen and take the ladder to the next level, we can cut eight minutes off the time.

* Mehahel quirks an eyebrow. "Suit yourself, then... proceed in Illumination."

* Giri looks slightly wry at Mehahel.

{Giri} Walk in Honor, Guardian.

* Ripley grins. "Go with honor!"

* Mehahel chuckles, and waves to the two angels as they head out...

* Ripley walks out, considering his path carefully, and noting with pleasure the oddities of moving on a station.

* Giri follows after, noting with his own eyes the surroundings.

* It feels about 1 earth gravity where they are at the moment. The hallways that they're in are relatively spartan, so clearly this is some form of hidden facility. A sign to the right points the way to transit tubes, so clearly they should go -left- like the nice angel said. The feel of the place is of an underground facility... and the floor subtly curves upwards, only noticeable along long straightaways. There can be spotted an 'emergency exit' sign to the left...

* Ripley goes with his gut feelings on this.

* Giri goes with his charge's gut feelings on these, knowing better than to distrust an Ofanite's.

* Ripley weaves between and among people as they slowly begin encountering them.

* Most people don't spare them even a curious glance, having their own tasks to worry about. The majority here wear station personell insignia, mostly leaning towards maintenance-work.

* Giri slips, more than weaves, keeping his eyes out.

* Ripley spots the offices and weaves for them.

* Giri? You just don't seem to notice the guy anymore. He's as bad as a Mercurian of the Wind in working through crowds.

* Indeed! There can be seen a TriOp corporate Logo near to those double doors. Those large, thick, double-doors flanked by two TriOp Corp Security men.

* Giri heads on up. "Good day."

{Ripley} Good afternoon. {he grins, taking out his credentials} I think we're expected?

* One of the security guards looks at Giri, his eyes hidden behind a partial helmet. "You too. And you might be?" He and his compainion (both armed) look suspiciously at the two, but the second peers at the credentials.

{Guard-2} Huh. "John David Ripley"? *he pulls a scanner from his belt, and scans the barcode on Ripley's credentials.*

{Ripley} That's me. {he grins a bit more} *Amazing* place. It's my first time out this far.

* Giri mms a bit and pulls out his credentials. "Gerald Naismith, Security."

* Guard-2 chuckles a bit. "Yep, it checks out. And you ain't seen nothing yet... you been topside?"

* Guard-2 accepts Giri's credentials after handing back Ripley's.

{Ripley} Not yet -- I'm looking forward to it. {he grins} And after we're debriefed -- where's the good food. I'm *starved.*

* Giri smiles slightly. "Let me guess, a lovely Jovian view?"

* Guard-2 scans Giri's credentials. "These check out as well." He smiles. "Welcome to TriOp, gentlemen."

* Guard-1 shrugs. "If you go in for that sort of thing...."

{Ripley} Thanks. {smile}

{Giri} Thank you. {smile} It'll be a pleasure.

* Guard-2 nods, and applies his palm to a palmprint-ID box. "Head on in, and take the elevators up.. that'll get you to human resources and they'll get you squared away."

{Giri} Many thanks. And a good day.

{Guard-2} There's a corp cafeteria, but I don't recommend it. *slight chuckle* Try "Astro's", it's about a half-klick Widdershins.

* Guard-1 nods. "You too." You get the impression his eyes are rolling behind his visor.

* Giri looks wry at the first Guard again, expending more of his considerable daily amount of wry looks.

* The double-doors hydraulically open. Man, those are thick doors. The inside is considerably better appointed than the metal hallway the two angels have been walking down.

{Ripley} And thanks. {he grins, going through and looking around}

* Giri does this thing as well, his trained senses taking stock of a great deal of it.

* There is moderate carpeting. There are display screens on the windows. There is a receptionist's desk, with door behind it. There are potted plants. There is a bank of elevators. There is a poster with "Perfection Through Genetics" and a double-helix mounted in a frame. There's a picture of TriOp's founder. There is a bank of elevators. There is a redheaded receptionist.

## Giri rolled 3d6 = 9 (1 6 2).

* Ripley looks around, then smiles to the receptionist. "Long day?"

* Giri can also notice the nice extra security cameras and sensors hidding in the acoustical tiling....

* The receptionist looks, up, and smiles back at ripley. "Mmm? Yeah, but it's okay... Welcome to TriOp! How may I help you?"

{Giri} . o O (Aha...hmmm...)

{Ripley} We're here to check in. I've got my credentials right handy. I'm J. D. Ripley, and this is Gerry Naismith.

{Giri} {automatically} Gerald.

* The receptionist accepts the documentation from the two, and does the thing of scanning -again-. "Oh, okay, Gerald." She smiles sunnily. "And both of you check out, you've got a temporary room up on the pos-fifth floor, and according to the schedules, you both start training tomorrow bright and early."

* There's the chrr of a printer, and two neatly printed schedules appear, which she hands to Giri and Ripley, respectively.

* Giri smiles, surprisingly charmingly. "Understood, miss." {slight bow}

{Ripley} Excellently. {grin}

* The receptionist smiles up at the two of them. "Welcome aboard, and thank you for joining TriOp!"

* Giri resonates, while smiling at her.

## Giri rolled 3d6 = 16 (4 6 6).

* Behind the receptionist's eyes, Giri can see the needs to finish her shift, to get a good meal tonight, to meet up with her BF and engage in nooky, to do a good job, to get a promotion, to get married.

{Ripley} Thank you for giving us a warm welcome.

* The Receptionist nods, and then ohs, having to answer her phone. For Ripley and Giri, the elevators await.

* Giri smiles and then heads for the elevators, hiding a wry look.

* Ripley looks to Giri, and heads in that direction.

* The elevator doors are shaped like TriOp corporate logos, and at the touch of a button it slides open, up and down, wide enough for them to enter.

* Ripley steps in, looking around.

* Giri does as well, looking hard himself.

## Giri rolled 3d6 = 13 (4 6 3).

* It's an elevator! Well lit, solid floor and walls, microphone hidden in the corner... the elevator's buttons go from -10 to 10, with also a 0th floor.

{Ripley} Interesting. {he checks his schedule} So, hit five, I guess.

* Giri presses positive 5. "Yes. So it would seem."

{Ripley} It's like Earth, but not. And the gravity keeps shifting a bit.

* The elevator ascends. Chipper yet canned digital samba-style music plays from a speaker. It stops at a few other floors, other folks getting on at other sloors, though not enough to see out into the rest of the building when it stops.

{Giri} It's not gravity as such. Centripital force, yes...

* *ding!* 5th floor!

* Giri heads on ouuut, moo moo moo like good cattle...

* Giri also checks for gravitational differences, to see how much variation there is between 0 and 5...

* The 5th floor looks much like your standard corporate hallway. Various people move about doing the things. There isn't -that- much gravitational differennce betwene 0 and 5, but there's just a -little- bit of difference, noticeable for those who would be trying to figure it.

{Giri} {q} Hm. Yes. We're further in towards the hub on this floor. So the force of the spin is less.

{Ripley} I can feel it.

* Giri nods. "Yes."

* Both Giri and Ripley's schedules give their assigned room locations. *pause* Congratualtions, they're rooming together!

* Ripley nods at that. "Should we go unpack?"

{Giri} That would be best, then, and then we figure our schedules for the next few days.

{Ripley} Yes... agreed.

* Giri glances around. {dropping his voice} "And I would suggest not letting anything...untoward slip. They're monitoring rather heavily."

{Ripley} Mmm...

* Giri nods slightly.

* The twosome, eventually, reach their room, which to Ripley's sense of direction is on the outside edge of the building. The door itself is unlocked.

* Giri hmms and enters, again checking closely to see the layout and any added extras.

* Hem hem hem.

## Giri rolled 3d6 = 9 (3 4 2).

* The room itself is rather spartan... bunk-beds, two desks (terminals on each),vidphone, nearby small closet and dressers, door for a bathroom. A combination of hotel design philosophy, and military bunkage. There is a single window, and no obvious bugs or listening devices, though presumably if one had control of the vidphone it -could- be overridden.. but certainly they're not -that- paranoid.

* Ripley is indeed that paranoid, in his own cheerful way.

* Giri relaxes a bit, mentally sets aside the vidphone for a bit later, and looks out the window.

* Giri is *damn* paranoid, but prioritizes.

* The view from the window -itself-... well, the outside is nicely greenified, rolling hills, an apparent climate that would be suitable for the pacific northwest... if the pacific northwest's horizon was topped with the world's largest greenhouse tube, and curved upwards the further along it gets.

* Giri does indeed utter a long, low, sliding whistle. "At least we got a view."

{Ripley} {q} An astounding one. God's creation spread before us.

* Yes, you can even see a nice lake/river following that curve down the center, and on one island sits one connecting spire for the 'wheel' of the station. Various buildings and buisniesses spread out before them up close, getting more residential further away.

{Giri} {q} Or at least that of man. But we know Who it pays homage to. {small smile}

* Ripley nods.

* Through the 'skyglass', there's a flash of reflected sunlight from the giant mirror that helps the station maintain its day and night. What's -more- visible is the bulk of Jupiter, and the nearness of the icy sphere of Europa, not dominiating the view but predominent fixtures of it.

{Giri} Mmm...look at that.

{Ripley} I am... I am....

* Giri is sort of absently unpacking his fairly minimal bag of Crud, but is keeping eyes on the scenery when he can, because, hey.

* Ripley unpacks his briefcase as well.

{Giri} Hm. Well. What now...

{Ripley} We eat. And watch. And learn how our comrades get along with each other. {smile}

{Giri} Well, yes. And in the meantime, find out just what *is* going on, I suppose.

{Ripley} I suppose so... {slight grin}

{Giri} I know so. {slight smile}

{Ripley} Right. So... we go now?

{Giri} I would say so. {finishes unpacking his meager belongings} {drops voice} I need to maintain tempRole in Role anyway.

* Ripley nods.

{Giri} {q} It would be interesting to find out why the security seems so tight in TriOptimun quarters... {slight smile} But anyway. Onward, yes...

* Giri gives the bed one last pat, then heads for the door.

* Ripley does too, grinning a bit, anxious to be doing again.

* Giri opens the door, onto....the CORRIDOR! Yes! Er, wait, sorry, the narrator is a bit caffinated at the moment, very sorry, a tad jumpy...

* The corroidor is ... Corporate! Wow, what a surprise. Various people in TriOp uniforms or business suitage go about their daily business, though give Ripley and Giri the appropriate glances for their gender...

* Giri ignores them, walking with a guard's easy, relaxed gait for whatever passes for a commissary.

## INServ1 rolled 3d6 = 13 (4 3 6).

* Hmmm... that wall-sign could be a clue! Commisarry, thataway.

* Ripley nods, seeing it. And immediately veers for a side corridor.

* Giri decides that again the Ofanite knows things better and opts for it.

* Ripley weaves them around out the side corridor, coming in at the back of the commisary, right near the lunch line's beginning.

* Giri smiles a bit at that, then ponders if anything being served is a) toxic b) revolting c) of dubious preservation or d) involves bugs.

## INServ1 rolled 3d6 = 12 (1 5 6).

* Nope! It's standard station-grown hydroponic veggies and station-grown beef and meats. All fresh and yummy-looking.

* Giri is happy about this, yes indeed. Ponders anything of Asian extraction in the dishes.

{Ripley} Mmm -- looks good. {he gets in line, shifting from foot to foot.}

* Giri is far calmer. "Indeed. They seem to have a good selection here."

* There's Schesuan Stir Fry over at one heating pan... fortunately, the line is moving well, so Ripley doesn't have to oscillate where he stands.

{Ripley} Very much so... and mmm... {he selects three different dishes, all at a quarter portion} Going to go see if I can meet some pilots.

* Giri was looking more for something along the line of tempura but will take that, in addition to a salad and some water. "Good there...I'll do what I do."

-} *Sabre* And gimme a perception roll to spot any piloting folks...

* Ripley nods, lifting his tray and moving quickly but very gracefully, looking around for any group that screams 'pilot trainees.'

* Giri takes his food and looks for a place not outrageously close to any personnel. He prefers to observe from a distance at the beginning anyway, and they tend to come to him after a while.

## Giri rolled 3d6 = 11 (4 1 6).

## Giri rolled 3d6 = 8 (4 3 1).

##} Sabre rolled 3d6 = 11 (1 5 5).

*Sabre* Six! Check digit 5!

* Giri finds a spot that is very nicely tactically sound, almsot totally equidistant from all other folks... and the conversations seem to be your standard corporate jibe.

*Sabre* So, made it by four!

* Over by one of the corners, an older, shaved man wearing TriOp pilot's wings is chatting with four other younger men. Okay 3 younger men and one woman, but hey.

* Giri looks faintly wry but very glad for the placement.

## INServ1 rolled 3d6 = 9 (1 5 3).

* Ripley moves that way. "Excuse me, sir?"

*} Sabre tries to remember his role name, again. {g}

* Through the ebb and flow of conversation, Giri hears the usual. Talking about various current assignments, chatting about stuff back home, the station equivelent about talking about weather and sports...

-} *Sabre* John David Ripley!

* Giri meanwhile eats, profoundly grateful that the current demands of his Role will allow for it in a fairly leisurely manner.

* The older man looks up at Ripley. "Yes, son?"

{Ripley} I'm Pilot Trainee John David Ripley, sir. Just got in -- I thought I should say hi. {he grins a bit}

* The older man blinks, and then grins. "Oh yes... I saw your name on the roster earlier, was wondering If I was going to have to track you down. Come sit, sit, take a load off your feet. Lt. Arnold Randolf, TriOp piloting corps."

{Ripley} An honor, Lieutenant. {he grins, sitting, carefully setting his tray down} This is all so amazing. Like a dream come true.

* Giri meanwhile keeps eating, noting that the stirfry isn't too shabby at all, as commissary food goes. TriOp at least feeds their employees well.

* Randolf chuckles, and there's murmurs of assent from the other trainees there. "Isn't it, though? That's what I was just telling these folks."

## INServ1 rolled 3d6 = 8 (4 2 2).

* A young woman, who just got out of line, looks around and spots the seat opposite Giri. She moves over, and tries to bow a bit, though it's hampered by her tray.

{Woman} Excuse me, is this seat taken?

* Giri smiles slightly. "No, not at all. Quite free."

{Ripley} It is... it's stunning.

* Randolf nods. "Just wait until we get you out there among the stars in truth, young man... we'll have flitter training and cargo ship checkout this week."

* The woman blushes, smiles, and sits, setting her tray down on the table. "Sorry 'bout that, but all the other seats were taken..."

* Giri nods, wryly. "Not a problem, it happens. I'm just sitting over here being antisocial while my roommate chats up the pilots."

* Giri meets her eyes for the second he needs to hit her with his resonance.

-} *Giri* Roll for per!

## Giri rolled 3d6 = 12 (2 4 6).

{Ripley} I truly can't wait. To fly free like that...

* Giri can see that the woman needs to enjoy her dinner, to chat with people, to make friends, to do good secretarial work, to figure out just what the hell Edward Diego and his cronies have been up to, and to keep her cover intact.

* The woman hehs. "You're rooming with him? He's cute... and oh, I'm sorry." She offers her hand. "Bianca Schuler."

* Giri smiles, and takes it, shaking. "Gerald Naismith. I'll take your word on his cuteness, not being particularly inclined to appreciate it, but..." {small chuckle}

{Giri} . o O (Edward Diego? Hmmm? Who the hades?)

* Randolf grins. "Best thing in the world. Makes flying under cloud cover look like a walk in the park, tho."

{Ripley} Well, I've had good ratings on my sense of direction. I hope it helps.

* Randolf nods, seriously. "Most importaint thing out there. You lose your sense of direction, doesn't matter -what- you've got in the way of speed or power, you're screwed up the 'burners."

* Schuler smiles, shaking, letting go, and looking over at Ripley. "Oh, he's just -yummy-." *grin* *blush*

* Schuler starts eating her lasagana platter.

* Giri smiles. "I'll take your word for it." {works on the remainders of his own meal} "They certainly do excellent fresh food here."

* Ripley nods. "I'll try my best to do you proud, sir."

{Schuler} Oh, it's all station-grown. Hey, they need the plants to make the oxy and the animals to recycle and fertilize the plants, so nothing goes to waste. And they've got plenty of it, so why not take advantage of it?

* Randolf hehs. "We'll just see about that, Trainee Ripley. Starting at 0700 at that."

{Giri} Of course...I've just been at commisaries where...ah....how to put this politely....not so much the effort was made? {arch of elegant eyebrow into a humorous quirk}

{Ripley} I'm a morning person. {grin}

* Schuler chuckles. "Oh -yeah-. I was at TetraCorp before this in europe, and -lord- I don't know what they were serving sometimes."

* Randolf grins. "Good. Now then... where was I?"

{Pilot 2} Explaining how you'd managed the one landing backwards, I think?

* The other Pilot-trainees chuckle.

{Giri} {drily} Let me guess. England, Scotland, or Germany?

{Schuler} Germany.

{Giri} I'm so good at guessing.

{Giri} The Scots go to England for the food, the English go to Germany for the food, and everybody else stays away from their food like the plague.

* Ripley grins, listening.

* Randolf nods, lookign wry, and continues on his story, demonstrating he's both a good storyteller -and- a good pilot, especially given he was landing a cargo-ship, and not a smaller flitter.

* Schuler laughs. "That's -so- appropriate."

* Ripley listens attentively, eating sparingly.

{Giri} Sadly, yes. Fear any country who espouses cuisine whose main value is arterial blockage.

* The other pilot-trainees also join in with their own tales and commentary, though they're not nearly as good as Randolf's, and only one has had -real- piloting experience before this.

* Schuler chuckles. "It's amazing they've survived to the 21st century like this."

* Ripley joins in, telling a particularly improbably tale which rings *just* true enough to make him sound like a person making up a good story to tell his friends, with no pretense of it being true. {pause} Of course, if you substitute "bicycle" for "ship" it's absolute truth...

{Giri} Heh. National identities are tough and intractable creatures to die, Bianca.

* The trainees and Randolf listen attentively, the trainees with that "Whoah, this is cool!" look, while Randolf just has an eyebrow raised and a more thoughtful expression on his face.

* Schuler sighs, and nods, eating the remainder of her lasagna. "Yeah... some days I wonder if they're -ever- going to get their act together some places... you'd think past the turn of the decade they would have gotten a -clue-, but..." Her watch then beeps, and she looks at it in surprise. "And whups! Gotta go meet with my supervisor, Gerald! It's all right if I call you Gerald?"

{Giri} Not a problem again. {smile} And see you later?

* Schuler gets up, holding her tray. "Probably... how long you going to be here?"

{Giri} About a week. Then I ship out. {wry smile}

* Ripley doesn't pursue the thoughtful expression, not trying to be convincing more than being entertaining, and enjoys the reaction of the others.

* Schuler hehs, and snaps her fingers. "Darn. I'm still going to be stuck here for another month." She smiles wryly. "Anyway, gotta go!"

{Giri} Later! {small smile} And take care.

* Eventually, all the tales finish, as Randolf's cellpager beeps. "Good stories, all of you. But I've got to call it off now, and go and run checkout." He grins at the trainees and Ripley. "We'll just see if your stories and your skills match up, eh?"

* Schuler waves, balancing her tray. "You too!"

* Schuler then hurries out, a secretary on a mission, leaving her tray by the reclimation booth.

{Ripley} Aye, sir. {grin}

* Randolf nods, smiling, and salutes the gathered group. "See you Hubside at 0600, then." He then waves, and heads out with his own tray.

* Giri waves after, hiding the thoughtful expression.

* Ripley puts his tray away. "So... you guys care to find someplace to raise a sweat? Maybe some ultimate frisbee if there's a way to do it on a station? Or B-Ball?"

## INServ1 rolled 3d6 = 18 (6 6 6).

{Pilot 1} Sorry, can't... you might try the park, but I've got to go and check some things.

* The female pilot looks apologetic, and nods. "There's a gym two flights down, but I already did my workout for the day." *slight smile*

* The other two trainees have similar comments of "Would really like to, but can't because of {foo}"

{Ripley} Well, darn. Okay. {he grins.

* The pilot-trainees share apologetic farwells with Ripley, and then head out in different directions.

* The cafeteria, by now, appears to be getting off the lunch-shift, though there's still folks eating.

* Ripley starts wandering the station, listening and learning and getting to know it... before heading to study the local flight charts...

* Giri finishes his meal, putting aside his tray, before starting a seemingly curiosity driven wandering of the TriOp building, to locate just how much surveillance there is, and to also try to perhaps get some pointers on this Diego Riviera.

* Edward Diego. We pardon for this, the narrator has been sacked.

* And as the two angels go on their seperate missions of investigation... we Fade.

In Nomine 2070