The Journey Begins

2 years prior to The Force Awakens...
A persistent and interactive galaxy set shortly before the events of Episode VII

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Mir
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The Journey Begins

Post by Mir » Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:10 pm

University of Calidna

The door to Dr. Marcam's office opened and the young woman walked into the office, trying to be quiet. It was difficult, as two small children barreled past her, making a great deal of noise. The office itself was large, and they had only entered the foyer of the double room suite. The woman walked towards the closed door to the main office, as the two children settled down on one of the couches and continued the game that had started some time ago, after they had left the cafeteria. But while normally she would have been rather interested in their game and seeing what they were doing, instead, the woman was more curious about the conversation taking place in the main office of Dr. Marcam. There were raised voices, and Dr. Marcam was arguing with someone quite loudly. She walked in as the holochannel died, and the blue image of a man's face disappeared in to the air. Dr. Marcam was sitting in the chair behind his desk, the Duro rubbing his temple.

"Is everything alright?" She asked.

"What?" He asked, looking up. "Oh, yes, Jaina, yes it is." He said to his postdoctoral research assistant. "I was simply in the middle of a meeting." He said and then he smiled. "Are the children behaving themselves?" He asked and she nodded, coming over to one of the chairs in front of his desk and putting her hands on the back of the chair.

She tapped her fingers lightly. "Dr. Marcam, were you able to secure the funding we need?" Jaina asked.

"Yes, I was." He replied, but he shook his head. When she gave him an inquisitive look, he continued. "But I had to do something I fear you will not approve of. We had to accept corporate sponsorship." He said and he saw the look on her face change. The Duro held his hands up. "I know, I know. You're against it. But the University will not fund more of the research without results, and you know as well as I that what we're working on can often times frustrate those looking for concrete results. We need to be able to bolster our budget if we want to try to afford any expeditions."

Jaina sighed. She knew deep down that Dr. Marcam was right, but she still didn't agree with it. "Why don't we try the Republic?" She asked. "Calidna is a private university directly funded by the Calidna system. The system may be wealthy and able to afford a great deal, but the Republic has even more access to funds." She said.

Marcam laughed. "Not with Senators like Sepha Scendi refusing to spend money on things such as education and research within higher institutions. It's as if people like her don't understand that in order to have a vibrant, educated populace, we need institutions of education to receive the funding needed." He shook his head. "No, unfortunately for us, the only true option we have is to pursue outside corporate funding. The Republic will be of no help to us."

She came around the front of the chair and sat down, looking at him. “Who then were you speaking to?” Jaina asked.

This was the next thing he knew she wasn’t going to like. His research assistant was incredibly talented and quite brilliant, but with that came a number of strong opinions. Normally Marcam enjoyed a healthy level of debate and discussion, but he knew that she was not too fond of corporations, especially those that looked to solely protect their interests. Once she got rolling on a subject, it was difficult to stop her. He also had yet to meet someone who was able to effectively debate her head on and win, let alone come out unscathed. So the deep breath he took was one to prepare himself for what he knew awaited him on the other side.

“MUIR.”

”MUIR?” She asked incredulously. “Kashi and Lana Kato are not people who can be trusted. For every altruistic story about their generosity, there are five stories about how they’ve mistreated people.”

Marcam held up one hand, baffled at how he had managed to put himself in a position to be arguing defense for one of the largest conglomerates in the known galaxy. Surely, MUIR had better paid and better trained lawyers to do that for them? “Arguably many of those stories are just that, stories. They’re often times one sided and heavily biased, you know that.”

She crossed her arms over her chest. “Even if twenty percent of them are true that’s equal to the one good story. I know you read the article about the mining interests on Orto Placara. How the people who were working to unionize the mine mysteriously disappeared and no one has found their bodies?” Jaina asked. “And of course the Republic won’t investigate. Corruption at its highest.”

Interestingly enough, Marcam realized, that also went back to Senator Scendi. Many of the people on the judicial committee who would have handled such matters were part of her bloc of votes and were loyal to her. “Jaina, I’m not saying we shouldn’t question official stories. But there was a blizzard on Orto Placara during the time they went missing.”

“Oh, it’s a frozen planet. There are blizzards all the time.”

“You’re not really going to involve weather patterns into your conspiracy, are you?” He asked.

“No, and I’m not being conspiratorial. I’m merely pointing out that it’s a convenient story and that only the leaders of this group of people trying to unionize were lost.” Jaina said. “You didn’t agree to their terms already, did you?” When he nodded, she sighed. “Alright.” She said. “Alright.” She repeated, knowing if it was the case, then she was committed herself. Best to find a way to live with it.

“We leave in a few days.” He said. “Make sure you’re ready to go.” Marcam added as she rose. “Let your family know.”

“Luckily for me, I don’t really have any family.” Jaina Wyn said, as she walked out.

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Mir
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Re: The Journey Begins

Post by Mir » Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:08 am

Jaina Wyn walked into the main cabin of the shuttle, having just gotten back from the cargo bay where she had been checking on her belongings. They were still in hyperspace, moving at speeds that defied logic and thought. She was a scientist and a damn good one. She had graduated from the University of Calidna with three degrees, one in archaelogy, biology, and chemistry. From there, she had continued her education, getting doctorate degrees in a number of different fields. Jaina had been a lifelong academic, though with her upbringing it was nice to have a boring life. Now she was Dr. Marcam’s research assistant, working on a variety of projects with him. But one of the more interesting things they were studying was the history of the Force and the effect that it had on the galaxy. The amount of information was woefully incomplete, no doubt due to the repressive methods of the former Emperor Palpatine. It had been some time since his passing, and though the amount of time that had passed was more than the duration of his reign, the impact of his decisions regarding science and the advancement of progress were still being felt by academia.

There was so much they didn’t know simply because they didn’t know what they didn’t know. How could they?

Resuming her seat next to Dr. Marcam, Jaina watched as the stars snapped into place, and the shuttle slowed drastically from lightspeed. The planet of Keraphes was in front of them. Located in the Core Worlds, Keraphes was the main planet of a system that bore its name. Highly developed, the planet had long ago been turned into an ecumenopolis, and the planet’s population had swelled to well over three hundred billion people. A planet of the Republic, Keraphes was well known now for being one of the MUIR manufacturing hubs. The conglomerate employed a number of people on the planet and churned out a good portion of MUIR products sold around the galaxy.

She took it all in. This was symbolic of the corporatism she had been speaking about in Marcam’s office a few days ago. This was not what she had envisioned when she had first taken the position as his research assistant. No, she had hoped that they wouldn’t have to sell their souls, so to speak, for the credits needed to finance their studies. But apparently that was what the situation was going to have to be.

They docked with the main MUIR facility orbiting the planet. Connected to the others through a web of lanes, the facility was the center of a spider’s web of manufacturing and processing. Dislike an entity such as the MUIR as she did, Jaina had to give credit where credit was due. The planning and organization of the conglomerate was exceptional. Wastage was frowned upon and efficiency championed. Sometimes that meant people losing their jobs but the bottom line was what mattered to the Kato family that had created the conglomerate and had long been in control of it.

Touching down, the shuttle landed in one of the docking bays.

Jaina rose, walking out of the shuttle behind Dr. Marcam. There were a few people waiting for them, two of which she recognized. Both of them were people she had gone to school with.

The first was Miranda Kato, the daughter of the two people who owned a large majority of the MUIR shares and had started the conglomerate. Miranda and Jaina had both attended the University of Calidna together and were around the same age. They had been in different social circles, however. Miranda, being uber wealthy to the point of it being obscene, had participated in activities that Jaina simply hadn’t been interested in. She had kept to herself for the most part, not wishing to be involved with the University’s social life, a habit she maintained to this day. After all, she had a history, one that she wasn’t too keen on anyone else finding out.

But the man standing next to Miranda was the true surprise.

Roman Kato.

Now why was the Director of MUIR Special Projects and the heir to the entire fortune and conglomerate here? There were a number of other MUIR people in the hangar, but that wasn’t a reason for these two to be here. You could make the argument for Miranda being there, she and Miranda knew each other quite well from their time at the University of Calidna, but Roman hadn’t known Jaina too well when they had been at the University. They’d interacted a few times, but nothing to the point of familiarity, and she knew that he didn’t know Dr. Marcam very well either. That was the benefit of being the researcher’s assistant.

Just what had her mentor promised to the MUIR in exchange for the funding that he had received? This was puzzling for her. Roman’s eyes were on Dr. Marcam, but she felt as though the half-Zeltron, half-Falleen was looking right at her, despite it all.

“Dr. Marcam.” Roman said, extending his hand.

The two shook hands.

“Mr. Kato.” Dr. Marcam said. “Thank you for the opportunity to work with MUIR and combine our resources and knowledge.” The Duros man stated.

“We’re going to do a lot of great things together, Doctor.” Roman replied, with a smile. “There’s a wealth of information out there in the galaxy and we’re going to help you find it.” He said.

And take our cut at the same time. Jaina thought to herself.

MUIR was smart enough that, as Dr. Marcam had pointed out to her, all of the stories about them were just that, sorties. Nothing could fully be confirmed.

Jaina smiled as Miranda came up to her.

“Jaina, it’s been far too long.” Miranda Kato said.

“Randi, it definitely has been.” She said.

“I’m glad that you’re working with us on this.” Miranda said. “I think we’re going to be get a lot done.”

“That’s the hope.”

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Mir
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Re: The Journey Begins

Post by Mir » Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:39 am

Roman couldn’t take his eyes off of her. It had been years since he’d seen her, but he had made sure to keep tabs on her, to monitor her career progression. How could he not, when after the first time he’d seen her he’d been captivated by her beauty? How could he not, when after that he had learned more about her from Miranda and the people that knew her? He’d kept his distance, knowing that there were obligations he had to fulfill. Above all else, Roman had loyalty to his family and the immense living breathing entity his parents had created, known as MUIR. Despite all of that, she had been on his mind. Throughout the years that passed by, Roman had always made sure to stay informed on what Jaina Wyn had been working on. She was close to the top of her field. Not the galaxy’s expert, that was quite a difficult feat to accomplish. After all, the galaxy was a big place. Roman wasn’t willing to believe there was anyone in a any topic who could be considered the galaxy’s expert. Nonetheless, Jaina, she was up there. Knowledge was her skill and her expertise in applying it shined through the different papers she had written, all of whom Roman had read.

Fate was what had brought them together again, he was sure of it. How fortuitous was it that Jaina Wyn, the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, had pursued the path she had in life and that he, in his quest to continue the primary research drive of the MUIR Special Projects division, would need to find someone pursuing the same kind of research Jaina pursued?

He led the group through the hallway of the MUIR facility. As the group walked, he could hear Miranda and Jaina speaking, talking about some class that the two of them had taken during their University days. Finally, they entered a large briefing room. The room had been designed in true MUIR style: function prevailed over form, though concessions were made at key places. The room was circular in shape, and they were in the highest point in the room. Descending stairs helped draw the eye towards the main focus, a large circular section in the bottom of the room. The room itself was a sphere cut in half, and where there weren’t stairs or seats, there were reinforced transparisteel panes, giving the viewer an exceptional view of the planet Keraphes and the traffic lanes that were dominated by MUIR shipping.

Roman led the way down the stairs, walking past the outer rings. As soon as he stepped on the main section, there was a hum and the floor lit up. A walking holograph projector, the floor shot up an array of stars, that anyone should have been able to identify, had the legend not been overly clear. He was looking at an exploded view of the galaxy, centered on Coruscant.

“This is the galaxy we live in.” Roman said. “It has been ravaged by war, waged by various sides struggling for control of everything they can grasp.” He said. “It is safe to say that we live in proverbial darkness. But throughout history, we have been guided, by men and women with abilities. Exceptional abilities granting them wisdom and a mastery over the world as we perceive it.” He smiled. “Forgive me. If there are any two people who don’t need to hear this, it is you. You’ve dedicated substantial parts of your lives to this research.”

Dr. Marcam smiled, laughing nonchalantly. “No, not at all, Mr. Kato. It’s good to hear someone else speak about this topic the way I normally do. Normally it’s only me rambling to the walls or to Jaina. My wife can barely tolerate the subject, but after twenty odd years of marriage I can hardly blame her.” He said. “We stand at a crossroads, that is definite.” He said.

“Indeed, it is.” Roman said, rapping his knuckles against the display of the holoprojector. “We have to make a choice. Are we going to rest on our laurels or are we going to take up the pursuit of knowledge, and reap the benefits of what that knowledge will give us? You are here today, because you have made that choice and MUIR supports that choice and wants to work with you.” He said. “We’re going to conduct archaeological research into what it meant to be a Force user, what it meant to be Force sensitive and how we can bring that knowledge from the past to the present to be applied to the future.” He said.

Jaina nodded. This was the cornerstone of what she and Dr. Marcam had been working on for years. There was so much information out there, they just needed to find it. Emperor Palpatine had actively worked to destroy or sequester much of the knowledge of the Jedi Order. As the Jedi Order had been the main custodian of knowledge of the Force, the destruction of the Jedi Temple, the Jedi Library and the databanks contain within had been not just a blow to the Jedi, but to the collective knowledge of the galaxy. Yet another one of the great crimes of Palpatine’s New Order, the damage of the crimes were pains the galaxy was still feeling thirty years later.

The problem was that they didn’t know what they had lost. This was one of the reasons why the work that Jaina and Dr. Marcam pursued on was so important, so vital. She couldn’t understand how that could not translate into funding from the New Republic.

Surely, a government founded on the ashes of the Empire with the intent of carrying on what the Old Republic had done, surely they would be able to find money to support this pursuit of wisdom. But, by turning researchers such as Dr. Marcam away, the New Republic had spurred them into the waiting arms of an organization like MUIR. The pureness of the pursuit had been tainted, had been tampered. She knew that with what they would find there were commercial applications. However, she was of the belief that keeping those considerations out of the process until the end was far better than what they were looking at now.

“Dr. Marcam, you’ve highlighted through your research a few key places that you think will be beneficial to this endeavor.” Roman said. “You’ve also posited that we will need to put in a good bit of work in order to see results.” He added.

“That is true, but as with all things in this field, I can not guarantee results. I have to continually stress that Mr. Kato.” Marcam said, turning and looking not at Roman, but at Jaina. “I know you need results to make this venture profitable for you and you have to consider your bottom line. But nothing,” he said, turning to look at Roman, “nothing of what I sent to you is a guarantee. These are all educated guesses.”

Roman smiled and opened his arms wide. “Educated guesses are what this conglomerate was built on. Worry not. MUIR’s coffers are large, our lucre incredibly valuable. I understand the risks of this undertaking, believe me. There is no onus to bring back viable information.” He said. “If we do, that is great. If not, we have, in the very least, done something to pursue something that is worth pursuing.”

“You say that now.” Jaina said, finally speaking up. “But things change. What people start out wanting and what they end up wanting, those things change. Intention is fine, Roman. But we’re not promising you anything, so it would be prudent to do the same.”

The Half-Falleen Half-Zeltron man turned towards her.

“Of course, Jaina.” He said. “I’m in business and we have our hands in quite a number of pots. Keeping each one stirred, it’s difficult. Things can change in an instant and plans change all the time. You are correct, I should not make that promise. Making the promise though is something I wish to do, so that you and Dr. Marcam know how strongly I believe in this.” He said. He paused and looked up at the holoprojection of the known galaxy. “We’re after the secrets of the Force. We’re after the secrets of life itself.” Roman added with a smile. “What better waste of money is there?”

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Mir
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Re: The Journey Begins

Post by Mir » Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:48 pm

Miranda stepped forward and pressed a button on the holoprojector. The view of the galaxy disappeared. In its stead appeared a large ship. Intricately designed, it looked like nothing Jaina had ever seen before in her life.

“What…What is this?” She asked.

“This is the Avalon-class Research Ship.” Miranda said. “Recently designed by our developers, there’s only one in existence.” She said. “Incredibly large, the vessel will provide you and Dr. Marcam with everything you need in order to conduct your research and your experiments.”

The young woman turned and smiled at her brother as she started to walk around the room, a look he shared with his sister. The Avalon-class was a triumph, one of the best designs to ever emanate from the MUIR skunkworks. The ship research and development division was one of the ones that fell under Miranda’s purview. As she walked around the room, Miranda described it.

“This ship is incredible. Our designers have put more hours into the blueprints you’re looking at than any ship we’ve ever worked on before. Everything is state of the art. There are parts of it that are beyond that, but haven’t yet reached the market. It has multiple labs and is designed to be able to allow work in a wide variety of fields of science.” She said. “Well defended, the ship still requires an escort, however.” Randi added.

“But it’s not designed for war, I should state that.” Roman interjected and his sister nodded.

“Indeed. The Avalon-class is equipped with an experimental hyperdrive that pushes at the same rate of the old Acclamator-class utilized by the Grand Army of the Republic during the Clone Wars, decades ago. I’ve always been surprised that hyperdrive technology was never pushed more than that.” She said.

Jaina smiled. “Well, there was a ship that fit that bill.”

Her friend from college nodded. “The Millenium Falcon. But Han Solo was never able to keep the ship functioning properly, it moved on a hope and a prayer. Had he not stolen it, it’s possible the technology would have been perfected and scaled up for larger ships.”

“Lots of things are built on hope. Like our research.” Jaina said.

“Agreed.” Roman said, knowing Miranda would have been willing to argue about Solo’s waste of opportunity instead opting for selfishness. But that was the way that many people worked. The Katos were not immune to it themselves. Calling them selfish would have been wrong however. Calling them altruistic probably would have been wrong either. Selfishly altruistic, while seemingly an oxymoron, would be the term Roman used to describe the movements and thoughts of his family.

No doubt there were other phrases that people with limited scope of vision would attribute to the Kato family and the sprawling empire they had built over the past thirty years.

The debate on whether Han Solo had been selfish or not was not where he wanted this conversation to go. “Hope is what we are built upon.” He stated, as his commlink vibrated. He looked down to check the message, and saw that they were ready to move to the next part of the pre-mission briefing. “Suffice to say, the ship will be able to provide everything that you and Dr. Marcam will require. Should there be some kind of engagement, MUIR ships will be there to provide an escort, and should they fail, that is where the swift hyperdrive that Randi is akin to a proud parent of will come into the equation. Safety is paramount.”

“An escort?” Dr. Marcam asked.

“You didn’t think we would let you hurtle through space into territory that may not be under the protection of the New Republic without some form of protection, did you?” Roman asked with a smile. “I’ve set aside some of the finest that MUIR Security Forces have to offer to be your escort.” He said, and he turned towards the doors as they opened once more.

The group turned and looked upwards as three people entered the room. The first was a man who was dressed in a military naval uniform. The other two wore armored suits. One was a woman, evidenced by the fact that her helmet was off and in her hands. The other still wore their helmet, shrouding their gender and identity. Despite this, everyone’s eyes were fixed on only that one person. Whoever it was in that suit, they towered over the other two people. Easily over two meters tall, the suit that they wore looked sophisticated and complex. Both the man in the naval uniform and the woman began to descend the stairs, but the third remained up above the entire group.

There was something eerie about this person, that caused Jaina to almost shudder. She clamped down on the reaction though. She didn’t know anything about this person, she was in no position to judge them. One thing was for sure, however, the armored suit definitely instilled the fear it was undoubtedly trying to convey. She could feel it in her bones.

“This is Commodore Felix Kaspyr.” Roman said, introducing the naval officer. “He is a former member of the Rebel Alliance and a former member of the New Republic Navy. One of the most qualified members of our fleet, Felix comes from a long line of naval excellence. His father was a member of the Republic Navy during the Clone Wars.”

Felix nodded to everyone in the room, as Roman turned to the woman in the armored suit.

“This is Asha Koontiir. She is one of our preeminent agents. Instrumental over the years, Asha has shown a wide skill set in accomplishing whatever task has been placed before her.”

“I don't come from the same stock as Commodore Kaspyr.” Asha stated, matter-of-factly.

“And who is our final compatriot?” Dr. Marcam asked, lightly gesturing at the menacing, towering giant who stood above them all.

“Ah. Yes.” Roman said, turning to Asha. “Would you introduce our final team leader?” He asked.

“This is MUIR Security Forces’ best operative.” She said. “He’s not exactly the most talkative type. If you need to speak to him, it’s better to talk to me first.” Asha said, and then fell silent.

Well, that’s that. Jaina thought, raising an eyebrow.

“Shall we continue?” Roman asked, clapping his hands together.

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Mir
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Re: The Journey Begins

Post by Mir » Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:15 pm

The group exited the briefing room through one of the doors, ending up in another hallway. They continued their walk, Roman leading the way. The big hulking man in the armor had not come along with the group, and Jaina was not sure where the person had gone. She was pretty interested in knowing who was in that armor, and why both Roman and Asha had appeared to be so secretive about just who it was.

As they walked, Jaina continued to listen, but only with half-interest. She was trying to figure out why Roman had agreed to all of this. Something about it all seemed off. It didn’t seem right. It made sense that a big corporation like MUIR would be willing to bankroll such an ambitious endeavor, but she knew that there had to be concessions that Dr. Marcam had given. So far, it seemed as though there were no such concessions. If there were, Roman wasn’t going over them, and Dr. Marcam wasn’t volunteering them. The whole situation felt a little strange, that’s all. She found herself staring off into space, at a point that moved as she did, along the wall.

“Everything alright?”

She turned, roused by the new voice. It was Asha Koontir, the MUIR Security Forces agent Roman had introduced them all to earlier. The tone of voice had contained no warmth however, no semblance of caring. It seemed robotic to her, as if Asha had felt the need to inquire of Jaina’ s status for less than good reasons. Something was off about that woman, and it wasn’t the lockstep way with which she walked down the hallway. Well, that wasn’t the only thing that was off, maybe.

Jaina nodded, and tried to smile. “It’s just taking me a bit getting used to, that’s all.” She said, gesturing around the hallway and outside the transparisteel panes at the hustle and bustle of the MUIR station’s traffic. “The University doesn’t have resources like this.”

“I thought the endowment at the University of Calidna was one of the largest in the galaxy.” Asha replied.

“It is, but not that much of it trickles down to the research that Dr. Marcam and I work on, I’m afraid.” Jaina said. She laughed, adding, “If it did, it’s probable we wouldn’t be here, looking for Roman’s help.”

“Makes sense.” Asha said. “Plenty of those credits probably find their way back into the fundraisers used to get those donations in the first place.”

Maybe it was Jaina’s sense of academia or her devotion to the institution she’d been a part of for years, but she didn’t quite like the tone of Asha’s voice. It was still robotic, it was still said in a matter of fact way, but there was an undercurrent of something there. Maybe she was reading too much into it, but she didn’t like it at all. She bristled slightly, her back straightening. “I’m not sure I understand what you mean.” She said, looking at the other woman. They looked like they were roughly the same height, but Asha was wearing her armored suit and that gave her a few inches over Jaina. However, that wasn’t going to stop the other woman. “What are you saying?”

“To make one must spend.” Asha replied. “For the university to receive donations, they have to organize events. How much is spent on the events?” Asha said, before falling silent.

She had thought of this angle before, it was true. It wasn’t the first time she’d heard it and usually she was the one bringing it up. For quite some time, she had questioned the prudence of the administration of the University in how they used the money donated to the institution. The topic was one Jaina and Dr. Marcam had discussed on numerous occasions. So why and how had she found herself in the unenviable position of defending something she herself had issues with?

“That’s true, but Roman and his family do that every day, don’t they? That’s capitalism.” Jaina retorted.

“I didn’t realize a university was to be a business, Ms. Wyn.”

Jaina smirked, both women knowing that Asha had scored a point there.

“I get the difference, but the principle is similar, I suppose.” She said. “What is Roman seeking to get in exchange for the money he’s giving up to fund this research trip?” Jaina asked. “That’s what seems weird to me about this.” Jaina said, turning after a few moments when she realized that Asha had fallen silent. Probably loyalty to her employer, which was something Jaina could understand, considering she’d just tried to go to bat for the University. “You’re not going to tell me, are you?” She asked.

“I know my place in the chain of command.” Asha replied.

“Speaking of which, who is the other guy?” Jaina asked and Asha didn’t answer her. “You’re not very talkative on some topics, are you?” She asked. “Alright, well, apparently I’m striking a nerve with some of these questions,” Jaina said and Asha raised an eyebrow in response, “so let’s go back to the topic of spending money to make money. Roman introduced the two of you as very high ranking members of the MUIR Security Forces, whatever that is. It makes me wonder why he would be going to such lengths to protect this research trip that he would assign two of his best to be part of the escort team. I’m sure you and…your friend, I don’t even know, would be better suited off somewhere else.”

“Like I said, I know my place in the chain of command.” Asha said, and moved away.

It’s going to be a joy having her around.

She looked up to see that they had come to another hangar, this one much, much larger than the one they had landed in. It was sealed, they were walking towards an airlock. But the airlock itself was clear, built of the same transparisteel as the windows of the hallway. Through the airlock, the group could see the actual Avalon-class Research Ship Miranda had been touting. In person, it was even more impressive than the simple hologram had made it appear. Jaina didn’t know much about starship design; it was not her field of expertise. From what she could see and tell though, this was impressive. Jaina walked up to the airlock with the rest of the group and looked out at the vessel.

She turned when she saw Roman looking at her.

“It’s got everything you and Dr. Marcam will need.” He said. “The laboratories on board are state of the art, fully stocked with all the equipment Dr. Marcam requested and even more.” Roman added.

“I have to admit, Randi and her Research and Development team did a really good job.” Jaina said, first looking at Roman and then over at Miranda who smiled. “When do we get going? I’m pretty read to get started.”

“Soon, soon.” Roman replied. “We still have to meet the last member of your team.”

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