View Full Version : The Pel's Ire

May 12th, 2013, 04:03 PM
A few days ago I had a idea for story and began writing. I had been watching the movie Man in the Iron Mask and this is what I came up with. Below is the first 2/3rds of it.

I woke up in a room, the pain reminded me that I was still alive. There was a nurse, sitting in a chair next to me, humming. The last thing I remembered was getting into a speeder with my friends. Well let's see what works I moved my feet and hands, a small grunt of pain but they moved. I realized that there were gauze bandages over his face. The grunt attracted the nurse’s attention and she put down her knitting and said. “Well Mr. Umbrae, nice to see you back with us.”

Umbrae I think “Let me remove those bandages. You were badly burned in the accident and I always like to check the doctor’s handiwork.” As she removed them, he smelled her perfume, a nice rose and lavender “Well how you would like to check out the rest of me once the bandages are off?” I asked.

“Mr. Umbrae, the burns have healed very well and the repair surgery was a resounding success, though you aren’t bad on the eyes, if I wasn’t married and a few years younger.”

“Well, I won’t tell if you won’t” I said

“You flatterer, either way I figure, another couple of days and you should be able to leave. Your clothes are in the closet and you can get dressed any time; all by yourself, Mr. Umbrae.”

“Why do you call me Mr. Umbrae? My name is Derrick Champlain, my father is Pelagir Champlain.” I told her

She shook her head saying “Mr. Umbrae, Derrick Champlain was the driver in the air car you were in when it crashed. You had a major concussion and burn damage. Your friend Derrick was hurt, though not as bad. His father Mr. Pelagir Champlain left you a holo vid message. It’s in the closet with your clothes. You must be alone to view it and the door locked. Those were his instructions.”

After she left I got out of bed, slowly, and went to get my clothes and such, rags as they were. No silk shirts or tailored pants; just rack clothes. Nice but common items, slacks, a polo shirt, a red leather jacket with black leather trim, semi hard leather boots, a watch and billfold with 165 stellars, another 57 centis in change. The picture ID, definitely not me, so I looked in a mirror and yup there was that picture ID staring back at me, had the name Tancred Bartolommeo Umbrae of the planet Antiocus in the Soyet system that would be about 70ly from Calisto and the holo-vid cube. I dressed; they fit rather well, then sat back on the bed and put the cube next to me and pressed start. Dad’s image appeared and a sensor probe stuck out and began scanning the room, it retracted when it was done.

“Good, if you’re hearing this then you’re alone with no bugs in the room. Surprise son uh I mean Tancred. This is the beginning of seeing that you grow up. It would have happened differently and sooner if not for your mother. You know that I abhor waste and that is what you’ve done. Wasted your education; history, politics, economics and business. You’ve two masters’ degrees and haven’t done shit with them for yourself or my company. Oh you were a good student, nothing illegal, some drinking and you do love fast air cars and womanizing, nothing wrong but nothing productive or responsible. As I said different, I wanted to kick you out of the house a couple of years ago, but your mother said absolutely not, even threatened to divorce me if I did, reminded me of stuff like opportunity, grace, mercy and what the Creator would do. So I looked for a plan B and found one. Your accident presented me with it. Oh you did have an air car accident, knocked yourself out, broke two ribs, none of the others were hurt bad; so some plastic surgery to alter your face and such, a new id with back ground a real good job to, expensive but worth it and it kept your mom happy and married to me, I agreed to give you the chance to use what you know, see how smart and educated you really are. There’s an account in your name and another account at the Bone Yard, select one ship from there and it’ll be repaired and refurbished to functional use. Then use it, don’t come home until you’ve made something of yourself or at least 3 years from now. Then I’ll see if my ‘investment’ has been fruitful. Good luck and I do mean this love and the blessings of the Creator on you.”

His image disappeared and then as I was going to turn it off when mom’s image appeared. “Yes, son, your father doesn’t know of my message and, just so you know, I do agree with him about you, but I was concerned with your initiative and opportunity. Remember, now that you are a ship owner and captain aboard, you have responsibilities as well as opportunities, my prayers for your success. remember that the Creator helps those that work at helping themselves and helping others. You’ve a good heart as well as mind and I pray you use both.” Her image disappeared and then a smell that was like acidic ozone was in the room.

“Thanks mom you to dad. Well, let’s see what kind of funds good old dad left me.” I called the local bank branch and provided my information. It took about half a minute and a voice informed me that my balance was 8,573,250 stellars. Not bad and better than I expected. I spent the next 36 hrs being CAT scanned, blood sampled, MRI’d with a good dose of ears and eyes being checked. All because they wanted to double check me due to my recent memory lapse about my name with the nurse. They all seemed were satisfied with the results.

I checked the newsies for reports about my accident, sure enough 9 days ago an article about an air car accident, rather bad if I must say so. According to reports, an air car, driven by Derrick Champlain, swerved to avoid one that ran a red light. It then side wiped a lamp post and a parked car before flipping on its side, a fire broke out. Both occupants were transported to the hospital. Mr. Champlain had suffered a broken arm and lacerations; he was released the next day. The passenger, Mr. Umbrae was in a comma suffering from burn damage, head trauma and a broken leg. Nice, all tidied up and me as passenger, all that money and even a ship to avoid being sued by Mr. Umbrae. Wonder how good ol’ dad got that in the reports as there were three of us in the air car when the accident happened?

I check with the Bone Yard and indeed there was an account, in my name for 1 ship not to exceed 15 million stellars. My home was an apartment at the Imperial Hotel, good establishment. Since I had a new name I’d best know my background and it was also a tidy job. I was born on Antiocus in the Soyet system. My parents had died, mom when I was 10 in an earthquake and dad 7 years later of cancer. No siblings and I was therefore the sole recipient of my parent’s estate. I had it sold and kept the proceeds around 5 million stellars and finished my education and began gallivanting about the systems. I checked out and went by cab to my hotel. After getting to my room I began to actually understand what had happened.
Why? When you have notoriety, fame and money people know your name, the look on their faces as they hope to get a response or get in your inner circle. Nobody recognized me, acknowledged me by name at the front door. Oh, they were even polite but that’s their job, I was a guest, who only had money, no fame or notoriety and I know the difference between rote response and self-serving begging. I began to hate dad for what he did, on mom I was undecided, yet in just checking the gossip blogs on the net, I saw that the Champlain family was vacationing on Gitz, a resort system and that they had left two days after the accident.

Now what the hell was I supposed to do? Oh, I’ve several million stellars and such but I’ve no idea where to begin. Then again I guess that is what good old dad and mom wanted for me? So what’s a young, single, good looking and debonair man like me to do? I spent about a week of gallivanting around the city, the hot spots, gambling joints and women was fun but again it was different, they didn’t know me, they knew my money and that was all I cared about. Good wine, cars and women who were sleek, fast and responsive.
When that grew boring, I decided to go check out the Bone Yard and what type of junk was available, my appointment was in two days and I decided to do some checking and learned that the Bone Yard was a repository for old ships, marginally salvageable a few even capable of use, given some repairs and of course a crew. All types of ships were here, though no list was available on the net, it just said ‘NEED TO VISIT THE BONE YARD for that. A brief check of the regulations and such to actually own a ship were minimal but those needed to operate one were long and complicated. In essence I could be an owner aboard, until such time as I passed my captaincy exam. I checked that and discovered that, at the minimum, it’s a two year class with books that were very thick and didn’t have that many pictures or the kind I liked to look at.. There was a note about learning under a certified captain, in lieu of any and all class work.

The cab dropped me off at the main compound for the Bone Yard. I went in the office and was met by a Mr. Oliverii, he stood and extended his hand “Greetings Mr. Umbrae, I’m Gerold Oliverii, how may I help you?”
“I’m here to look at the scraps you have here and see if there is anything salvageable. So if you can bring up the inventory, I’ll take a gander at it.”

“Easily done Mr. Umbrae, there is a viewing room and you are welcome to use it. If you find something that interests you, we can go have a look at it. All ships available are listed with what damage they have, or at least was provided when they were brought here, pictures and any debts owed on them and any restrictions on ownership.”

“My thanks Mr. Oliverii.” I went into the room and began checking the list, man was it tedious, even worse, no apparent organization to it. Okay, so let’s make one. I first searched for civilian ships, by size. That produced a list of 237 ships. I noticed that no sale price was listed for any of the ships. Next I searched military ships and that produced a list of 39 ships. I started with the civilian ships and after close to three hours, found three that might be useful, an old yacht with no hyper drive and a damaged computer, a small merchant, in here for battle damage, no sensor suite and a ruptured fuel tank. The third one was a tug, converted to hyper use. It had failed its last three certification audits for structural issues and, for some strange reason had its galley removed along with its weaponry.

The military list had two ships, one an escort corvette, missing its engine section, had what was listed as moderate battle damage. It was listed as ONLY QUALIFIED BUYERS DUE TO MILITAET GRADE WEAPONRY. The second was listed as a military transport, 45 years old, nothing else but it didn’t have the same buyers note or any pictures I noted the slip and called for Mr. Oliverii.
“Mr. Oliverii. There two ship’s I’m interested in. The first is in slip HVX-57, I’d like to see it please. The second is at slip UYX-101.”

“That’s not correct, we don’t have any ships in the HVX slips, those are reserved for military sale.” He replied
“Well, then what is this?” as I brought up the listing. He looked at it and said “Well, what do you know, there is one and, even though on the military sale list doesn’t have the expected restrictive purchase warning Perhaps it was incorrectly assigned, yet it might be available for civilian sale since it’s a transport.”

We went to the slip, took about 20 minutes and there she was. “Why that’s an M Cat.”
“A what?” he said
An MCAT: Munitions Carrier Armed Transport. My grandpa served on one during the war. She’s scarred and pot-marked; I see a few large holes as well as several small ones but nothing that appears major.”

“How much did grandpa tell you? That’s an old ship.”

“I had several models of them in my room as a kid, read all I could, courtesy of grandpa and all of his war stories. He spent 13 years on one, becoming a captain. Could I go inside and check her out?”

“I don’t see why not, especially as I’m here, not like you’re going to knock me out and take the keys.” He said with a slight chuckle

I spent about 3 hours walking about her, talking, mainly to myself. I noticed that her engineering section had been upgraded at least once, but was missing a few small yet important and expensive components. She’d been salvaged for parts; her bridge had had one refit and also had been salvaged. I headed for her cargo control office, as she had 4 large cargo sections, each independent of the others. That was the base model there were several variants and I saw that this was indeed a variant, perhaps a T-2; one of the cargo sections had been altered to be a marine barracks, so she was able to carry a full battalion of marines. If they had any vehicles they would’ve been in another cargo section.
I also noticed that she did have the T-2 mod for two platoons of her own security and two drop stations, 8 man tube ejectors for the marines or supply canisters. Some small arms and laser damage in several of the hallways.

There were two holes in her hull that opened to space, I didn’t see them from the outside and her communications and sensor suits were gone. As for her weaponry, from what I saw her 4 main turrets looked intact, well the mounts were there for one as the turret was missing. Two of her secondary turrets were missing as well and I figured several of her AML’s and AMM’s looked like they were missing, now that didn’t even figure in any repair work needed and even if a civilian could own such a ship.

“Mr. Oliverii, how much for her and special permits or licenses needed?” Also, is she a candidate for any government assistance for repairs and or upgrades?”

“Let’s go back to the office and see what the reg’s say, a check on your record and a few other things and I’ll let you know.”

Back at his office he ran my id and said it came up clean, and then he asked how I’d be paying for it. “Well you tell me how much first.”

“Okay, she’s listed as obsolete, yet still has intact weaponry. Your record is clean, yet you’re not a corporation or government so..”

“Didn’t you say earlier that she was listed as a transport making her available for civilian ownership?’

“Yes, but she’ll cost you 9 or 10 mil stellars. You don’t look like the kind a person to have that in your back pocket. The other ship you were interested in is a civilian yacht, granted much smaller, that could be had for say 2 million stellar, maybe a bit less.”

Now, that was his first mistake, telling me no. Oh, granted what he said made good business and financial sense but I never liked being told I couldn’t. That was one of my redeeming qualities.
“Listen you overblown jackass, I didn’t ask your opinion, I asked how much and you told me; here is my account, check it out.” I said with a raised voice, my finger poking him in the chest. I could tell he didn’t like being talked back to as he replied

“I don’t have to check anything out you popinjay twerp, but as this is business and I get paid to move ships out ‘a here, so..” he grabbed my account card and began entering the number. He whistled….”Soooo you’re the guy being paid off for almost being killed by Champlain’s kid. Okay don’t want to run afoul of him, so yeah, you have the money for it. Do you have a captain’s license?”

I shook my head no.

“Too bad, however, if you hire one, reg’s do allow you to command her as ‘owner aboard’ and old archaic regulation but still legal. I’ll have her moved to a slip in our refit yard. Yes, she is a candidate for government assistance in repairs and upgrades, hope you find the right ones, talk to the right people and like paperwork. Oh and if you’ll take some advice. First, slow your mouth down. Insulting people can get you into a whole peck of trouble, second I’ve an associate who just might be willing to put up with and teach you as your ship’s captain. Interested?”

He was right, I will need a ship’s captain and it wouldn’t hurt to check his associate out, give me more time in my suite with whomever doing whatever. “Okay, I’ll talk to him. I’m staying at the Imperial.”

“Thanks. His name is Alexios B. Maken. Oh and what name do you want for your ship?” I thought on that for a bit and one came to mind rather quickly, “I’ll call her the Pel’s Ire.
She was moved to a refit slip that day and the yard contacted me with a host of inane and pointless questions about what repairs I wanted. I just told them to make her space worthy. Her actual cost came to 9.5 million stellars and I had the rest transferred to the an account in the ships name such that repair costs would come from it but only after they sent an approval note to me that I had to respond to. Later that night I got a call form that Alexios Maken and told him to come up in about an hour.

He did, on time also, the little shit, interrupted me and Jayne or was it Ryan oh well. I put a robe on and grabbed my glass of something and answered the door. “Mr. Umbrae. I am Alexios B. Maken and my friend Mr. Oliverii told me that you were looking for a ship’s captain to train you as owner aboard.”

“Yup. You have experience Mr. Maken?”
“Why 19 years in the navy, the last three as a destroyer captain sir.”
“Nineteen years in the navy and only became a destroyer captain? Okay, tell me what your job will be.” I said
“Why to train you so that you can earn your captain’s license of course.”

A female voice, from the bed room called out “Tancred, you done yet?”

“Almost sweet.” I said back “Wrong. Your job will be to captain the ship as best possible so that I have as much time as possible to do other things.” as I gestured to the bedroom.

“Not my expectation but, I can also be discrete. What other crew do you have?”

“None. You’re the first.”

“Let me get this right Mr. Umbrae. You bought a multimillion stellar ship and haven’t even begun advertising for crew? Listen Mr. Umbrae, I’ll run your ship for you but I won’t run it unless you learn a few things about it. The first is that you are responsible for the crew, not me. Oh, I’ll place the ads, file the paperwork but you will need to officially hire the crew at least the section heads, they can hire the rest, if you like. Also, there are several other items as a ship’s owner you will need to attend to,”

I can see that Mr. By the Book will be a major pain in my free time yet best to listen to him. My money won’t last forever and I did just spend over 9 million. "Okay, captain Maken, what crew do I need?”

“Okay, you’ll need the following as an armed merchant. Did you file paperwork for that? Okay, you didn’t. You’ll be captain and owner aboard. I’ll be Captain- Ships’ Master. You will also need a 1st officer for cargo and to take over when I can’t, a 2nd officer for navigation and port of call issues, a 3rd officer for watch standards and safety, a Chief Steward for all meals, cleaning and passengers, a Chief Medical officer, a Chief Purser for ship’s finances, supplies and general administration, a Chief of Security who’d also be in charge of the ships weaponry. That should cover the major command sections.”

I stood there with a blank face; “You’re kidding, right; that enough to run the ship itself.”

“Hardly sir, you’ll need a total of about a hundred for a ship that size and that’s not including any security personnel. Oh, and I really do understand the ‘other things’ an owner aboard likes to do, but you will have responsibilities, at least to your bank account, if not those who work for you. Oh, I did some research about you and you liked hanging out with that rich, snobbish playboy. To each their own but once refurbished from the yard, you’ll have to pay slip fees and on a ship that size, it’ll cost, so if I was you or even if I wasn’t you, but in your shoes. I’d get me a copy of the merchant marine regulations and codes. I’ll help but only if you’re really interested in learning, I don’t care but your name is on all forms and you are the one the cops and government will look for when something goes wrong. I’ll post ads for the section heads for you but you need to make the decision. So, if you’re willing to do a modicum of work, I’ll be willing to be your ship’s captain. Now, if I’m hired can I begin?”

Man a tongue like a dull saw but he’s probably correct and I’ve no idea what to do and I will need a Ship’s Master soooo “Okay welcome aboard Mr. Maken, Ship’s Master for the Pel’s Ire. Have any inquiries contact me here, oh and thanks I’m rather new at this.”

“I can accept new Mr. Umbrae, not ignorance or stupidity. As I told you, I checked you out before contacting you. Educated, but never much in the way of a steady job, parents dead by the time you were 17, my condolences, but it doesn’t excuse your behavior, just explains it. I’m headed for the ship and I’ll have a report for you tomorrow. Have a good time doing ‘other things’ Mr. Umbrae.” And with that he left.

May 15th, 2013, 08:17 PM
I confess I didn't read all of it, but that was largely because of the sentence structure and general lack of editing and line breaks. I don't mean to be rude but it's almost unreadable as it is. Now, on the other hand, from what I've read so far it sounds like the basis of a perfectly good sci-fi short, plot-wise, but the actual way the ideas are put into writing needs some serious work.

I think you might get a better response here if you spend a few hours re-writing it first to make sure your dialogue is all laid out properly, and then read it out loud to yourself. It's a pretty surefire way to catch duff-sounding wording. Also, you might find it helpful to print it out as somehow spelling/punctuation mistakes seem much easier to spot on paper than on screen. Once it's all sharpened up try posting an extract of about 1000 words with paragraph spacing so everything's a bit clearer, and hopefully people will find it a bit more accessible and can get onto the plot, characters and so on. But keep at it - if I can make it through the darn thing I'll be happy to have another go!

May 15th, 2013, 10:46 PM
@Higurro Again thanks this was a rather hurried story as the idea came from watching a movie. Grammar has always ben a terrible aspect of my writing.

May 18th, 2013, 05:56 PM
Doctor Margery Thandal, Mother-Director of the Order of the Feather and Shield Hospital and Temple, saw the request for a doctor-practicum. Not unusual but this was for a position on a ship, identified only by owner, Tancred Bartolommeo Umbrae, which was unusual. She scanned the available list and saw three but eliminated two as they were married with families, so that left just one, Rachael Fines, 25 good grades even very good in some areas; she ranked 27 in her class of 205. Oh well, she had sent word that Rachael was to meet her after noon meditations and she was now waiting. The request had come from the monastery of Castle Raphael, that is where the retired mother superiors, priests, mandrites and secular people could retire to and do research and prayer. Many donated to the castle and it didn’t draw on temple resources for its operations. Yet to refuse such a request would not be good policy either. She buzzed Rachael in.

“Good afternoon Mother General, how may I serve?” Rachael said

“Good afternoon Rachael. Please sit. I know that your doctor-practicum is to be soon and a position has been selected for you, an unusual and I’m sure challenging one. There is a ship owner, one Tancred Bartolommeo Umbrae. You are to do your practicum on his ship.”

“ Do you know the name?” she asked

“No, I don’t.” the Mother-General replied

“Why a ship? Wouldn’t a naval doctor or one more familiar with such be better?” Rachael said, the surprise evident in her tone. A ship practicum was almost unheard of.

“Perhaps but that is the decision. Unfortunately, as I mentioned, I don’t have a name for the ship, just the owner. Be ready to find this man in three days.”

The next two days saw Tancred more busy than expected and at the slip were his ship was being refitted, though not really of his choice. The visits by officials, repair coordinators, and countless people looking to see if he needed a crew and slipping him reference disks and other recommendations. Man, I sure hope I’ve more time once we launch, then again, we may never launch with all this inane crapola.

The slip master came onto the bridge to see him. “Tancred Umbrea?” he asked. I looked up “Yes.”

“I’m slip master Janos and I’ve some questions for you, first is how are you going to pay for all this work? Yes, I know of the account but it’s been half depleted.”

Some people are so obvious, even when they think extortion is logical. He really thinks my lack of shipboard skill would make me an easy mark for his crass attempt. “Mr. Janos, I fail to see how there won’t be enough, so if you could provide me with a detailed expenditure list, I’d appreciate it. Also, I’ve applied with the Calisto Naval Guard and Merchant Marine Corps for grant/aide in having some repairs covered, crew provided as this will be an armed merchant. In the meantime, I’ve a few modifications I’d like made with the weaponry. I’d like a triple 12cm missile launcher installed, instead of the one she came with.”

Janos just shook his head. “Well it could be done but the work and such required would make that a very expensive operation and take a fair amount of time. Also, your ammo storage would be very small, about 75% less than what you currently have. Let me think here.” As he then pulled his vid phone out and talked to someone. “If I may make a suggestion, an associate of mine suggests the following. Though unusual and not very common a double 9cm rack could be installed for minimal time and cost. You storage would be about 60% of current and give you a bit of a surprise to any nasty’s out there. Also, we can install newer lasers, keep the size the same. Otherwise most of your hull damage is minor and superficial. She’s been scavenged for parts but most of that is easily replaced. It’s the changing a cargo hold into a passenger transport facility I’m curious about? It’s expensive and time consuming.” He told me

“Why? Because, such a modification will be covered by the ministry of colonial development and so will the marine barracks, since I’m doing the transport facility. The government wants to be able to reach the stars and people want to leave their personal hell behind and I plan on making money for fulfilling such desires for both parties. The weaponry will help protect the ship and passengers as well as make me a viable escort for liners and merchants.”

Dr. Fines had found the ship belonging to Tancred Bartolommeo Umbrae. The Pel’s Ire. There was a slip location and by then checking out postings and listings she found that Mr. Umbrae was looking for a full crew, ship’s doctor included. Checking him out found that he was or had been a friend to a Derrick Champlain, the playboy son of a local ultra-rich industrialist. He’d been in an air car accident. After being released from the hospital he had purchased this ship from the ‘Bone Yard’ and was having her refitted. His record was sparse but nothing illegal in it. She contacted the Ships’ Master, Alexios Maken and talked to him. “Master Maken, my name is Dr. Rachael Fines and I’d like to talk to you about being the Chief Doctor on the Pel’s Ire. If I’m accepted this would be my doctor-practicum for three years. Is there a time we can meet?”

Alexios was very surprised, a doctor-practicum applying for the position? That would mean no salary, just a small stipend for her services. “Of course doctor. I’ll have Mr. Umbrae, the owner aboard there as well. If you’d like I’ll set the meeting for the ship and we’ll give you a tour and you can give us your opinion of the medical facilities. Say 2200hrs tonight?”

“That would be acceptable sir.”

She arrived at the slip and saw that there was a lot of work being done to her hull and as she was shown to the medical facility, she again saw internal work being done. When she arrived she saw two men, one a tall, easily 6’ 5” and in a work suit. He had light red hair and a noticeable scar on the right side of his face. He was also missing the pinky finger on his left hand. The other was dressed in very nice clothes, not anything she’d consider shipboard attire, nice looking. That was Mr. Tancred Umbrae, she thought as she recognized him from his picture associated with the ship he had recently purchased. The medical facilities were, well in need of work. Some were missing, others had been damaged, gun fire it looked like.
Tancred looked up, smiled and nodded to her. “Welcome, Doctor and I must say that with one who has your demeanor and record, I would enjoy experiencing your bedside manner.”

“Mr. Umbrae, please don’t flatter yourself or attempt to flatter me, I’m here to apply for the position of Chief medical officer for your ship. I’ve brought my credentials from the Feather and Shield” as she handed them a computer chip.

“Greetings doctor Fines, I’m Alexios Maken, Ship’s Master” as he began scanning her records. “This is very impressive and I’ve no problem accepting you for the position. Mr. Umbrae, I’d strongly recommend her.”

“Yes, yet I do have a question or two; First, why this ship for your doctor-practicum?”

“This was given to me as my assignment and yes a ship assignment is rather unusual, but none the less it is my assignment, unless refused. Sir.”

“Okay, your it, welcome aboard Chief Medical Officer of the Pel’s Ire, the lovely Dr. Rachael Fines. You can have your belongings brought to the ship. There’s a suite for you right off this facility. Otherwise, I’d like your opinion of the facilities, and then hire your assistants; Alexios says there should be at least three and a max of five. I’ve a great deal of respect for doctors so you can hire five if you want. Please provide a list of equipment and other supplies that you’d like the facility stocked with. I plan on transporting colonists to their new home. We’ll have a security element and of course gunners, so if needed plan accordingly for your staff. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve a meeting with an applicant for our chief engineer position. Toddles” as he left.

“Is he for real?” she asked Alexios.

“Yes and don’t let that foppish, playboy, elitist exterior fool you; he’s not that much of an elitist. He is smart though and has shown at least a passing interest in the ship’s functionality. He means it about what you need though.”

In his suite, Tancred was enjoying his meeting with the applicant for the chief engineer position. “I must say Victoria, that was an impressive interview. This was also something that I enjoyed as well. It also has nothing to do with my decision.” As he stroked her back, her red hair, just below her shoulder, he moved it lightly out of the way as he lightly traced his finger in a pattern eight on her back. She moved slightly to the touch.

“I’m glad you enjoyed it as well, yet just so you know I really am a qualified ships engineer and if chosen, well this arrangement can’t nor shouldn’t continue Tancred. I let it happen for a few reasons; you only asked me out after the interview, granted still questionable for your motives, but I know that you have interviewed at least two others and I’m attracted to you, yet I’m more attracted to the job opportunity. Rumors aboard a ship are bad enough, but as the ship’s chief engineer, my sleeping with you would not be very helpful to my position or my relationship with my peers.” As she sat up in the bed, “I slept with you because you’re a rather attractive guy and to me, you have an enjoyable personality. Yes, I knew who or rather what you were, a ship’s owner aboard and many other in port know this as well. If you weren’t such I’d like to continue this but as you are what you are and I would like the job, it can’t.”

I looked at her and thought a loss for sure but a loss no matter what I do. Her background has nothing illegal and all looks good on her resume but I’ve no actual knowledge of what that is. She’s rated above average competent and command capable. “Okay Victoria, I’ll give you the position and as you asked, it ends with us. Have your stuff brought to the ship and I’ll inform Alexios Maken, the Ship’s Master, he who’s trying to trying to train me, about your new position. There’s a suit near engineering for you”
After a brunch, Tancred was reading the Merchant Marine manual on guidelines and regulations.