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Laurey Karlin
Laurey was okay.

During the flight to plenty, Laurey was not exactly chipper, but more… pleasant? Colder? Less offensive.

The space battle had not shaken her resolve; it had strengthened it. She knew she wanted to serve the rebellion, that was a desire that burnt away all doubt. But the experience had birthed new iron truths that she held within herself. Namely this: the crew was insane. Not every individual, perhaps, but through mutualism they were a toxic whole. That had to be the truth. It was whilst she had been vomiting that Laurey had found this truth, staring her in the face. This ship was full of damaged goods led by a damaged captain.

So Laurey’s only hope of surviving was to do her best to avoid angering the bloodthirsty hormone-bombs.

As such, she spent most of her time in her room or workshop. When she met another she interacted with all the flavour of water. She even stopped having so many headaches in public
She had these in her room instead

And didn’t visit the doctor anymore
The silicon and gold were agony inside her

And even her mind was calm through careful self-medication of Bliss

But beneath the surface it was roiling agony. Computations eroded her day upon day and the world seemed a little duller and the people around her further and further from reach. And it hurt and it hurt and it hurt and it hurt

For the journey she was a pallid, sweaty ghost.

She made a drone. Modified one of the roombas, already equipped with weapons from its previous modifications, to respond to instructions through her omnitool, and therefore her mind. Simples things; there was only time for basic fuzzy logic. And it was still earthbound, but it would fly someday.
And it hurt and it hurt and it hurt

So busy she was that she didn’t notice what a watershed moment that battle had been. She did not notice the new division that rent the heart of the group. There were those who had fought, and there were those who had not. She did not notice Amy’s conspicuous absence. She did not notice the satisfied languor with which the killers stalked, lions full after a hunt. She did not notice Navi. The catalyst. Stupid Navi who deserved every ounce of loathing Laurey harboured against her. Sometimes even that grew cold. The tear in the group, it could grow, the slow death before total oblivion. But Laurey did not notice. That had to be the truth.
andithurtandithurtandithurtandithurtandithurt

Laurey would not see it. One more mission and then she was leaving. The AI was the only thing stopping her asking to be transferred now. There was a proverb floating around the web about the five things a wise man feared. One was an unfettered AI. When strong AI was created, it was an act in defiance of any god. What pride it had inflated. What terrible cost it had wrought. A mind born of numbers, shorn of all psychology, infinitely contemplative and incidentally cruel.

It represented an intellectual diamond, and secretly Laurey hoped that it had been damaged, that she could salvage some esoteric knowledge or arcane programme something that would
Nothing will help you, hoping for a miracle is childish

Really take her drones to the next level.

Her part in the plan was therefore a godsend, and whilst there existed the formal possibility of violence, Laurey doubted the survival of any organic lifeform inside the ship.

She had the perfect skeleton in the closet for the role. From her footlocker she produced it, all crisp lines, immaculate. The skin of another life, one that would fade into the past and soon be someone else’s. She ran a finger along the fabric, and started to wonder at how different things could have been, but that way pain lay.

She arrived back at the pre-mission muster in her Ascendancy uniform, her hair tied and stuffed under a cap that was pulled low to hide most of her affronts to god. She nodded to Millard and did not taste blood. Laurey was okay. That had to be the truth.
Laurey Karlin
There was a great chasm of silence as Laurey stared at the ‘captain’, save for that chiming in her head from so much magic. For the corporeal plane it passed in less than a second, but for Laurey it stretched like spacetime around a blackhole. It wasn’t that Natasha had spotted a weakness to exploit, something only visible to a veteran and not a green engineer, a faint hope Laurey had held onto, no… it was that they needed a release? Were the kids that unstable that their counselor wouldn’t be enough. They needed regular suicide-runs too? Their ship was breaking a military blockade, one of Grand Admiral Kherol, he of Proxima infamy. What were they hoping, that he’d let a rogue combatant off with a kiss on the cheek and a number to call? They needed to scram. What the fucking fuck were they -

The world turned diaphanous, and Laurey forced herself to stay, biting down on her tongue. Copper pangs and strawberry pain. The kids were forming up, ready to go. The one called Nero lusted for combat like a rutting buck. It didn’t seem like a battle she would win, and dissent now would only throw more trouble into a sticky situation.

Yet Laurey questioned her place.

“As you wish, ‘captain’.”

The ship shook and Laurey cursed. She was at the comms console and inspecting the screens for a report. The shields seemed to have held, but they were hot.

With comms online she piped a message to the boarding party: Omnitools on streaming/record for combat analysis.

As the breach came into existence Laurey observed that her legs were shaking. There was a lump in her throat and a growing pressure in her chest and it was really happening. Fuck fuck fuck. The word tumbled over infinitely in her mind as she rushed from the bridge. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. She almost made it to her bathroom before she threw up.
Laurey Karlin
A young girl watches the transport leave until long past when the after-images of its thrusters fade to nothing. Ghosts of ghosts. She does not cry now. Behind her a gate stretches high, higher and high, as if to deny her from Heaven itself. She shivers and wonders at when it got so cold.

In the prismatic forests on Maiden’s Reach a monohorn drinks in the moons with its mirror-eyes. It cannot know that in less than a week starships will arrive and tear down the night sky. It will never see it, either. A glass lion shreds its throat and it’s dead before it hits the ground. The lion laps up blood dyed silver by the moon.

In a satellite orbiting Terra a computer system wheezes, coughs its last bit, and dies. It’s a ternary system, the back-up of a back-up. It’s cold in space and so far from anything. So far from home. Even if somebody could come up, they wouldn’t notice that the system was dead; it’s the back-up of a back-up. The satellite continues to orbit.

On the floor of the Xuanzang’s medical bay Laurey Karlin convulses. She has just left Nero with a handful of choice words, only noticing his vanishing act on a semi-cognisant level. For close to a minute her body shakes and her face rocks against the floor. When it stops at first she is confused, and then the pain wakes too. Steaming vomit chokes her senses, her throat raw, nose whistling and burning as chunks of curry seep out. She does not cry now.


Laurey is in her workshop, interfacing with a roomba. The procedures are dusty, and when she shifts them round it sends sneezes through the system. It makes the process slow. There are only two more robots left to work on, stacked inactive on another workbench, whilst the one in front of her has its guts splayed and tacked into various devices. In space it's about efficiency, not just in cleaning, but in making use of what you have. Hence the security subroutines Laurey was also crafting for each roomba.

She has not told anyone about her seizure.

The mood-adaptive music is quiet, close to monotonic, as the weak AI shapes it into an ambient sound that smooths away the edges of the world and allows her to sink deeper into her focus.

Bridge. Now!

The music stutters then stops. The muted ring of footfalls and a deeper bass drumming bring her back. She scrambles to the bridge.

Through the viewport it is chaos. The stars themselves seem to burst. Laurey looks away fast.

The plan itself is equally shambolic. Thought up fast and full of flaws, but any action is better than no action. Most of the time. What Ashton proposes seems close to suicide, and Natasha goes along with it! Laurey’s no soldier; this is too close to death, it’s decaying musk crawling down her neck. But to fight seems futile. They are outnumbered, in guns, ships, and manpower, taking on unnecessary risk against a foe who would either be dead or limping from its wounds very soon, if the flash of the battle Laurey had glimpsed was anything to go by. It just seems so stupid! So -

The world fuzzes into static, and when Laurey comes to she is slouched in a chair, and Samuel is telling her something. A slice of time taken cleanly from her brain. She looks over and stares blankly, then her mind catches up.

“Right.”

She stumbles over to a mechanical interface for the comm systems. One of the screens shows a radar, fuzzy, but interpretable. The blobs show her the problem again, the sheer odds stacking against them. Her lips feel dry as she licks them. She sighs and turns to Natasha.

“Captain, do we really want to send up a beacon and paint a target on ourselves? We could just get out of here, let them kill each other. I don’t care if one of these kids is worth ten men, or even a hundred in a fight, if we get blasted out of space then they’ll die as well as one.”


Laurey Karlin
When Avelyn waved, Laurey did nothing. A simple thing it would have been, to have raised her hand, waved back, perhaps with a smile or a wink. Winking. Yeah, the last time went so well.

When Avelyn waved, it caught in Laurey’s mind like a fish hook. It tripped up thoughts that came after, questions of motive and judgement met with riposte and counter in a spiralling descent, down the forever lines reflections when two mirrors meet, an infinite loop. Her mind turned to static fuzz.

When Avelyn waved, Laurey forced herself to wave back, the victor of her own private battle.

She was exhausted. She did not notice the red half-moons dug into the meat of her palms.

It seemed she was fritzing more and more lately, and the thought did little to comfort her. A killer migraine was gathering, black clouds blotting out the horizon. Still, there was a good chance that wouldn’t be an issue if the military cordon was on shoot-to-kill orders. Seemed like a lot of faith to put in stealth systems, especially when the blockade was supposedly to deal with the covert sort. This was life in the rebellion then, where all you needed were guts and grit, where their lives were expendable. At least there was no change there. The world she had known seemed sterile in comparison. Clinical.

Bland.

Whilst some drifted out of the room, Laurey hung back, and was rewarded with Amy’s little speech. She gave the odd-ball two thumbs way up as Amy swept her smile across the room. There was one who was special.

From besides Natasha, Laurey said, “I’m gonna trust your call on this one. You’re the captain afterall, captain. Just make sure we’re not the fire to the Ascendancy’s frying pan for these kids.”

With that, Laurey saluted, then paused at the door, looking back to the platinum-blonde girl. Should they really leave them with cigarettes? Given how teens were, the whole ship could end covered in a smog and tinted yellow. Eh, fuck it. She wasn’t their mum.

“I’ll be in the workshop or… about. If anyone needs me, shoot me a note,” she jiggled her omnitool as she left.

Before the workshop there was another stop Laurey needed to make. Down a ladder, along past the kitchen, another ladder, a narrow walkway, dimly lit and humming with the life energy of the ship and its systems that squeezed in and pressed down. A roomba bumped against her foot, and then went off, whirring quietly to itself.

Laurey went to the first of the doors in this forgotten corner of the ship and the screen awoke, green light staining the air. Words began to appear in blocky letters.

Escape Shuttle 01
Systems Online
Diagnostic Report…

It scrawled off a list of checkpoints and dates they’d been signed off on, oxygen, tools, food, water, medical supplies, then spewed out a report of its systems. Laurey slid open a panel under the screen and lifted her right finger towards it. There was a whisper, and the skin seemed to shatter like glass, webbed instantly with cracks. The fragments pulled back, held on mechanical spider-limbs, revealing a slender and intricate work of engineering. She inserted it into the panel, wires fine as webbing winding their way in. Into…

There was a jolt as Laurey’s world fell away.

One time on J-Heim Beta there had been a snowstorm. There always was. Laurey was watching it with… With… He said something.

“It is dizzying, all these pale things, like a tumbling field of stars.”

That’s how it always was. The world falling away in a tumbling field of stars.

Then it came back, a grateful breath, and Laurey was in. In two worlds at once. Overlaid with reality was the abstraction her mind had created of the computer’s language, electron pushing pulled apart and rearranged by a brain that mostly wasn’t hers.

Alone she hunched in a room, whilst sweet laughter drifted down from somewhere above, whilst the murmur of conversation and the trap of boots on metal mixed with the heartbeat of the freighter and made it truly alive. Alone in her pit, she felt it. Only half in the world, the pain was muted.

The roomba bumped against the other end of the trench, paused, and came back, still whirring.

In her other world she sifted through files, sorted blocks and validated that the system was as fine as it said it was. Moving from one to the next with mechanical detachedness, she did the same for all. It would not do to have loose nails in their coffins.

Potential coffins.

Finished, her head ached and the world seemed far away, as it always did after coming back. It’d go soon. The migraine she’d seen coming, well, Laurey could feel the change in pressure, hairs stood on edge… soon.

Up a ladder, along a corridor -

Her vision started to blur, the lights in her head grew brighter, and those outside hurt. She paused and resisted the urge to vomit. Her shirt was ruined enough already.

She saw a kid skulking about. The one who reminded her of a snake, coiled, watching, as though he was just waiting for a fight.

“Yo, bucko, you seen the Doc?” One hand was massaging her temple. It did nothing.

@FalloutJack
Laurey Karlin
What was the name of the word for when you threw your hat in with a venture that you didn’t know at the time but came later to realise might not be as well equipped to aid you in carrying out your desires as you initially thought, but by the time you do realise it’s too late you’re in a compromising position and can’t back out because you already know the salient features of a plan that only half the team in said venture are putting together whilst the rest make you question their psychological health and sanity, and the bottom of your stomach has fallen away and you feel both hot and cold, yet at the same time part of you is morbidly curious as to the fate waiting such a team?

The closest Laurey could come was regret.

She pinched the bridge of her nose, eyes shut, and watched the lights dance across her closed lids, a laser bombardment on the darkness inside. Why them?

“Oh yeah, I forgot to ask, what’s your name, Lady?”

The voice brought her back. Laurey blinked away the harshness of the light and found herself looking down at the filterless girl, cheeks stills flushed red as tomatoes ready to all but fall from the vine, the sheen of her tears not fully wiped away.

“Uh, it’s Laurey, hon’, but you can just call me Lady, if it suits,” Laurey winked and gave her best smile and the girl began crying again.

“Oh, uh,” was all she could manage before others moved in to comfort the girl and Laurey removed herself, edging closer to Natasha. Away from the tears.

She needed a mask. Perhaps it was some small blessing that she’d only freaked out two of the kids.

“I agree with the others. Smart folk. Safest route is best. Even if we had top-of-the-range stealth systems, which from my cursory inspection, we don’t, the odds of detection aren’t something I would formally recommend gambling our lives against, and the moment you throw magic into the mix things get even screwy-er. We were working on some prototypes that used a web of laser-connected…” Laurey bit her lip, and shrugged it off, “Point is, better safe than sorry.”

The hologram still hung projected in the air.

“Hey Moonstrike One, where are we taking Realist after the rescue? Might help our navigators here.”
Laurey Karlin
“Hi littler lady,” Laurey said, throwing Narvia a sloppy salute. It took conscious effort to keep her arm slack and fingers loose. “Long enough.” And then the girl’s attention was elsewhere. An odd one, her mouth was linked directly to her brain, no filter in between. Far too innocent. Apparently the war hadn’t robbed them of every scrap of semblance to children. Or maybe it was simply a coping mechanism.

And then Abaddon. More data indeed! Abaddon’s appearance should have been shocking or funny. Come on, a seven foot Kai rebel in an apron, talk about juxtaposition. But it wasn’t; it was far, far from it. It was a sucker punch, the sort that drove the air right out of you, sent your ears ringing, and made you taste the copper pang of blood, except here the taste of blood was replaced by bitter nostalgia. Then it was over, processed and dealt with without any reaction transmitted to her features.

She hoped.

The lemon bars were vanishing, the sugar and ketone cravings driven by her brain urged Laurey to grab them, but she hung back. One almost literally vanished, flying across the room to a girl and their eyes met, blue meeting green. The crystal chiming that was ringing a sustained note in Laurey’s mind grew slightly louder.

There. That’s what Laurey expected from child soldiers. That haunted look. Except not directed at her. Sometimes she forgot. She drew her hood up, pulled the strings tight.

Maybe Laurey would have approached the girl then, maybe she could have said something, but another child turned into a cat. Laurey blinked. It should have been all out of her system now. That meant this was really happening. She pinched herself to check. The pain registered.

Damned magic.

When she looked back to the red-head, Laurey noticed the girl's concerted effort not to look in her direction.

Noted.

With the cat and the arrival of Amy proving a suitable distraction, Laurey shoved off the wall and patted Abaddon on the back.

“Jeez Abbie, aren’t you just full of surprises, I didn’t know you baked. Mind if I take some?” She scooped up a handful of the bars without waiting for a response and shoved one into her mouth. Sweet, tangy, delicious. “Oh,” Laurey said through a mouthful, “These are real good.” She made an “ok” sign with her hands and kissed it.

She perched back against the wall and chucked a bar to Trajan.

“Take a good, long look, T, these are the rest of our new crew,” It was a show of social incompetence and hormones, a mesh of fucked up teens and those with chips on their shoulders. She held out her hand for the bottle as she finished off another lemon bar, “You may even have a few interested in some pointers you could give. Hard to tell how many I can offer something to,” as she said this the filterless girl began to cry. Laurey turned to Trajan with an arched eye-brow, “Feel ready?”

Laurey Karlin
It was funny, Laurey hadn’t imagined heaven to look like, well, a bright light. It was so, cliche, wasn’t it? Bleep. It was like people said it was, and things were never how people said they were. Never. Bleep. Was that what made heaven special? Special, special, special, special...

Bleep.

And it smelled so good. Mmm mmm. Like curry. Bleep.

If somebody could just turn that stupid -

Laurey tumbled out of her bunk. Her head smacked something and lights burnt holes into her brain.

“Fuck!” She muffled her scream into the crook of her elbow. “Fuck.”

Bleep.

Her omnitool fired its siren into her ears. God, had they burst? She patted her ears and checked her fingertips for blood. Nothing. Just pain. Always pain.

Bleep.

Oh yeah, right. She dismissed the summons from Natasha and pulled herself up, promptly spilling the bowl of curried noodles she’d been unconsciously cradling all down her top. For a moment she just stood there. The only top she had, well, the only one she could wear, covered in a bright orange stain. She had to laugh.

It was then she spied a small mound of Bliss on her footlocker, angel-blue. It winked at her.

No, god, pull yourself together Laurey, day two on the job and you’re already zonked. Shit’s no good. How long had she been like that? It was always so hard to tell, once you went over the edge. But god did it feel good, to finally have some peace...

The summons!

Laurey batted the solid portions of her meal from her shirt and said sod it to the stain. She had no idea how long she’d left her new captain waiting. The memo said “meeting room”. She clomped out her cabin, curried noodles splayed like some intestinal parasite, forgotten on the floor.

In the corridor leading to the meeting room Laurey hung back, hearing voices. She was in time to see the good doctor hand a packet of cigarettes to a child. Jeeze, there were a lot of children. Something came back to Laurey. 'Child Spetnaz Magi'. What was it?

“Think,” she muttered, ramming her palm into her head in frustration.

Her mind focussed and cut through the haze like a tight band of plasma through someone’s skull, except without the smell of vaporised brain and crisp flesh. The child soldiers Natasha had told her about, her main reason for being at the Galactic Bazaar. They didn’t look like much, but since when had looks ever been a good judge. The huge Kaisoken with a fondness for hammers and swords was the ship’s ‘electrician’. Laurey needed more data on that one.

A jolt of hormones tingled through Laurey’s chest when Moonstrike’s insignia holo’d up. Finally.

The decision seemed clear to Laurey; whilst mysteries demanded attention, it was questionable how much substance was behind this one. Traffic changed, trade organizations bent to the market. It didn’t interest her. The chance to come into conflict with a few poachers though? Laurey wasn't a violent person, but neither was she wasn’t opposed to letting karma sort itself out.

Yet it was the rogue AI that sent her mind calculating.

There were no shadows, thanks to the ship’s near omnipresent lighting, so Laurey was plainly visible, just resting against the wall, relying only on their attention being elsewhere to go unnoticed. She felt some of that same excited bloom in her chest as she waited to hear what her new crewmates had to say.
Name: Laurey Karlin
Age: 27
Physical Description:
Perhaps the most striking thing about Laurey are her eyes, neon diamonds with their own inner light; the same inner light that leaks through slender screens of her cyberware in pulses. Whilst not unattractive, she cultures a neo-punk look, complete with shaggy mohawk, piercings, and tattoos in some questionable places. What comes with this is a lack of hygiene; her clothes are old and worn and reek of the same blend of ripe sweat and soy-curry mix.

Important items:
Crystal Necklace: A shard of translucent crystal, about as long as her thumb, set into a silver cord. It catches the light in its many faces and throws out rainbows. The crystal never seems to warm, yet the feel of it against her skin is comfort enough to sleep. Sometimes. One day it just started; a pure chime inside her head whenever magic was used in her vicinity. Of course, at first Laurey just assumed this was another artefact of whatever they did to her head. She figured it out fast: it was her necklace reacting to magic nearby.

Flimsy ID of someone who doesn’t exist: The picture isn’t even of Laurey. Why she keeps it isn’t immediately obvious, but if a lab was to analyse it, they may find traces of Bliss residue along one edge. It helps keep the lights in check.

Short Bio:

Exceptional Skill List:
Cybernetics, Neural Augmentation (Exceptional Reactions, Exceptional Learning): Installed by the military after a period of mental and chemical conditioning so that Laurey might better serve the Talos division. The bulk is localised in her grey matter and skull but stretches throughout her nervous system and to key glands. Via electrical, physical, and biological means, it endows enhanced neuroplasticity and neuronal transmission speed, allowing her to learn, process information and react faster. However, these alterations make Laurey more vulnerable to sensory overload and increase her basal metabolic rate, not to mention there have been reports of certain psychological effects from such alterations. The studies in this area are yet inconclusive.

Cybernetics, System Interfacing and Data Plane Projection (Exceptional Systems Engineering, Exceptional Robotics, Exceptional Hacking): Another hypocritical atrocity conducted in secret under certain factions of the Ascendancy. Cerebral connection ports in her skull allow Laurey to connect to Ascendancy technology directly. Paired with the Neural Augmentations, this allows Laurey to process the information rapidly and form visualisations and abstractions of computer systems, allowing intuitive manipulation. In addition, the index finger on her right hand is bionic and can open up to form a port that can interact with a wider array of technology, but is slower due to the distance from the brain.

Naturally Gifted, Unnaturally Trained (Exceptional Intelligence, Exceptional Robotics, Exceptional Engineering): Selected for her intellect and creative flare in engineering, the training Laurey received made her an expert in robotics at the bleeding edge and gave her a compliment of skills that any contemporary engineer would need, ship, base or planet-bound. She has the most experience with starships and infantry weapons.

Bonus Skills
Creative and Curious (Exceptional Tinkerer x2, Exceptional Engineering, Exceptional Robotics): A habit that developed from the need to sate an overactive mind with focussed curiosity. Taking things apart and putting them back together… just not necessarily how they were originally, it’s what brings Laurey joy. Her scientific method and drive for answers means she yields reproducible results, even if it’s only how she broke it.

Total:
Exceptional Reactions
Exceptional Learning
Exceptional Robotics x3
Exceptional Hacking
Exceptional Systems Engineering
Exceptional Intelligence
Exceptional Engineering x2
Exceptional Tinkerer x2
Name: Laurey Karlin
Age: 27
Physical Description:
Perhaps the most striking thing about Laurey are her eyes, neon diamonds with their own inner light; the same inner light that leaks through slender screens of her cyberware in pulses. Whilst not unattractive, she cultures a neo-punk look, complete with shaggy mohawk, piercings, and tattoos in some questionable places. What comes with this is a lack of hygiene; her clothes are old and worn and reek of the same blend of ripe sweat and soy-curry mix.

Important items:
Crystal Necklace: A shard of translucent crystal, about as long as her thumb, set into a silver cord. It catches the light in its many faces and throws out rainbows. The crystal never seems to warm, yet the feel of it against her skin is comfort enough to sleep. Sometimes.

Flimsy ID of someone who doesn’t exist: The picture isn’t even of Laurey. Why she keeps it isn’t immediately obvious, but if a lab was to analyse it, they may find traces of Bliss residue along one edge. It helps keep the lights in check.

Short Bio:

Exceptional Skill List:
Cybernetics, Neural Augmentation (Exceptional Reactions, Exceptional Learning): Installed by the military after a period of mental and chemical conditioning so that Laurey might better serve the Talos division. The bulk is localised in her grey matter and skull but stretches throughout her nervous system and to key glands. Via electrical, physical, and biological means, it endows enhanced neuroplasticity and neuronal transmission speed, allowing her to learn, process information and react faster. However, these alterations make Laurey more vulnerable to sensory overload and increase her basal metabolic rate, not to mention there have been reports of certain psychological effects from such alterations. The studies in this area are yet inconclusive.

Cybernetics, System Interfacing and Data Plane Projection (Exceptional Systems Engineering, Exceptional Robotics, Exceptional Hacking): Another hypocritical atrocity conducted in secret under certain factions of the Ascendancy. Cerebral connection ports in her skull allow Laurey to connect to Ascendancy technology directly. Paired with the Neural Augmentations, this allows Laurey to process the information rapidly and form visualisations and abstractions of computer systems, allowing intuitive manipulation. In addition, the index finger on her right hand is bionic and can open up to form a port that can interact with a wider array of technology, but is slower due to the distance from the brain.

Naturally Gifted, Unnaturally Trained (Exceptional Intelligence, Exceptional Robotics, Exceptional Engineering): Selected for her intellect and creative flare in engineering, the training Laurey received made her an expert in robotics at the bleeding edge and gave her a compliment of skills that any contemporary engineer would need, ship, base or planet-bound. She has the most experience with starships and infantry weapons.

Total:
Exceptional Reactions
Exceptional Learning
Exceptional Robotics x2
Exceptional Hacking
Exceptional Systems Engineering
Exceptional Intelligence
Exceptional Engineering
Sir Jerel Ban
How had he missed it? The thought rankled. For somebody who prided his eyesight he had missed a lot recently, and this time it could have cost a life.

Jerel barged through the stunned crowd behind Fleuri, only barking apologies and never looking back.

It could have cost a life. He was not so old yet. It was as though he’d fallen from favour. Why did he not deserve it? He must have been doing something wrong. Idleness, doubt. Murder.

It could have cost a life.

But it did not. Even through the adrenaline Jerel felt the relief explode through his trembling limbs; the Princess and Captain were alive. He was surprised to find his bow in hand and an arrow knocked. The string slackened as he relaxed.

A Nem. Not even disguised. He should have seen it.

So why didn’t he?

The others seemed to have the situation under control, or at least one assassin restrained. Could there be more? He didn’t see any, but apparently that meant little. He swore an oath under his breath, some rather colorful language about magic.

Hungry for redemption, Jerel swung gaze over the room, eating the details and picking over each person, and between them, never staying still. Even though he knew he’d find nothing.
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