Coordination of Plot
(The Meanwhile Machine)

"Quantum theory states that not only can anything happen, but that all of it does, until you look. Thus, the tighter you keep your eyes closed, the more things you can do at once and the more power you have."

- Clovis Andromache-Steiner, Director of the Institute for Insoluble Problems, Ganfrey, AS 2282

Crux -> All Over -> Riden

As many people are still in the tubes, or off wandering around on Crux, it comes to pass that Ruehan and Ciernan are the only people awake on the ship. Ruehan, on behalf of the watch officers, invites Ciernan to join the crew. Ciernan officially accepts - though he'll still have to figure out which oath he wants to swear. He starts reading all the files, though.

As a reminder - the ship sustained a lot of damage from D Plasma Crits in the battle with the mystery-tech-equipped pirates. It's been patched as best Sharra and Twig can do without a drydock, but it's extra-fragile still. Repairing this will take money and drydock time.

Katya comes out of the tubes, with some new freckles. She panicks that the LEDs on Martan's tube are blinking red. She summons Ruehan to the Kaufman facilty and demands that he figure out what is wrong. Ruehan thinks the Kaufman nanites and the killer nanites got into a particularly pitched battle in his lungs, and there seems to be lung damage that the Kaufman process isn't able to fix quickly. It could get worse with those nanites in there. Sophia comes out of the tubes (also no worse for wear for the "nigh unto death" test) and takes a look.

Ciernan arrives back from some errands - he mentions that there have been some requests for skalds to help drain a quarry on Gateway - and starts playing doorman, since everyone else is fussing in the Kaufman facility. Frederick, Lord Dinar's squire, brings by a message for Ruehan from Davira by way of Lord Dinar. Ciernan shows him into the rec room.

Ruehan darling -

If you plan to be heading back to the inworlds any time soon, I would be most grateful if you could keep an eye out for two of our people who have gone missing. Fenris Tonoli and a lesser cousin of his, Alaric Tumbrel, who were delegated to scout the Inworlds. If they don't come back, it is of no great import, of course, but anything you can find will be coin in our pocket in the Game. Their last report indicated that they were heading towards Stannis' Law.


A message arrives from Belle to Ace, indicating that Belle wants to see him.
"Which one is Belle?" -Ace
"Your boss." -Ciernan
"All babes look alike to you?" -Andrea
"All proper nouns look alike." -Pete
A boy dressed in a Scout uniform shows up - he's Ryan Appleby, from Smeerp Patrol from Rupert's Hole, and they're looking for Jim. Ciernan shows him into the rec room as well. (The other scouts are at the spaceport hostel). He has a permission slip:
To whom it may concern:

Ryan Appleby, George Binkley, Jeff Campbell, Dale Dorsett, Christopher Earl, and Bobby Finch are Scouts of Smeerp Patrol (RH BST 1) in good standing. They have permission from their parents for this field trip. Please give them any assistance that you are able to, if it's not too much trouble.

Arthur C Clarke, Scoutmaster, Rupert's Hole Boy Scout Troop 1

Ciernan calls the Rosicrucian Academy, where he's met a good healer, hoping to deal with Martan. Meanwhile, Ace power projects fortune into Martan, on the theory that it can't hurt. This doesn't have much medical effect, but does cause everyone to think that if someone has to die for the Kaufman process, it's best and appropriate that it be Martan, rather than someone else.

Just outside the ship, Mirris encounters another Boy Scout who's looking for Ryan. She stations him on a street corner to "wait right here".

Ruehan pulls himself from the Kaufman room and asks Frederick if Lord Dinar can meet with him later today. He also tells Frederick to tell Lord Dinar that Frederick has admirably accomplished his mission. Frederick disposed of, Ruehan turns on the Boy Scout: "What do you want?" Ryan says Jayla told them to come find Jim on Crux. Ruehan isn't sure whether to believe that, and quizzes him a little bit about Jayla, but he sounds sincere. In any event, Ryan is quickly tipped back out of the airlock, and the Hippocrates heads to the other side of the planet.

Well, not because of the Boy Scouts. They've gone to meet with Kyle Darn, Ciernan's healer.

Kyle comes on board, and looks at Martan, who's on pure oxygen and unconscious. He frowns a lot, studies him a whole bunch, and then asks if there's someone who can breathe for him. Ace volunteers. Kyle instructs Ace to put his hands on Martan's shoulders, and breathe normally, and then after a bunch of psi healing, tells him he has to stay within ten feet of Martan until his lungs are repaired. Sophia thinks she can culture some new lung tissue in about a week, so they'll have to do this until then.

Ace keeps coughing and wheezing, and Kyle has to keep telling him "No, breathe normally". Of course, Ace has previously found himself prone to psychosomatic damage, what with falling over when the ship goes down...

Is anything else wrong with Martan, while they're at it? Well, if Kyle were one of those people, he'd say that Martan is infested with millions of tiny demons. Sophia says well, yes, that's nanites, they know about that.

Kyle heads out again. People wonder exactly how Ace is going to manage to visit Belle now. He could bring Martan, he supposes. Everyone else stomps on the idea of bringing unconscious companions to meet with crime bosses. Martan's gurney gets wheeled up to the bridge, where Sophia sets up an auxiliary medical station. People draw a big circle around them both delineating the ten-foot boundary, and Mirris ties Ace to the gurney by several nine-foot cords, just in case.

Martan dealt with, the Hippocrates heads back to the capital. There's a sign up: "Welcome Back Hippocrates." Clearly the Boy Scouts have been busy.

Ruehan meets with Lord Dinar. They are to be off to Rupert's Hole to hunt gith! Gith are this fascinating creature Frederick uncovered while speaking to someone named Ryan in the Hippocrates' rec room. Ruehan asks Lord Dinar about the holes he and Frederick have recently been digging. There's apparently a treasure map they've been trying to follow; Ruehan manages to badger his way into the plot, promising to give Lord Dinar 50% of any treasure he finds, and get the map.

Katya brings Twig and Sophia to the bridge, and demonstrates that Ace really just can't see Twig, presumably due to the mysterious damage on Obsidian. Sophia builds a potential anomaly detector, and notes that Ace is a very small anomaly, and Akito (meditating in his room) is a fairly large one. And Dog (in the tubes) and Indiana (in Hippocrates's state room) are both little ones.

Ciernan shows Belle onto the bridge, surprising everyone. Everyone stops experimenting with Ace and Twig and tries to look innocent. They fail utterly at the innocent look, given that Ace is still tied to Martan's wheely table with strings.

Belle waits for the crowd to clear out. They kinda fail to do so. Ace is willing to talk in front of them. Belle wants them vouched for first. Ace waffles. Belle tells them it's easy - either vouch for them or kick them out, it doesn't matter which but it needs to be one of them. Ace tells Ciernan it's kinda complicated and Ciernan might not want to be there, so Ciernan start to leave, having been kicked out, when Ace accidentally vouches for him anyway.

Belle says that the Eyes contacted her, and that if there is a message for Ozymandias, Ace should give it to her. "Ozymandias, trust me, is not coming to this circus." Ace tells her that they might need to go to Rupert's Hole to keep everyone there, including Ozymandias, from dying. She says that she'll deliver the message and, in exchange, he will pass on her message to the Architect. It's sealed - Ace asks about reading it. Belle says that the message is intended to be a private communication to the Architect, and as long as the Architect gets that meaning, she doesn't care.

Katya asks Mirris whether another Mysterious Thing has changed such that she's holding down mystery dice - yes! It has! Katya suspects the causality tech people from last run, but nothing seems to be done about it.

Ruehan, Ciernan, and Mirris go to the hostel to talk to the Boy Scouts. There's a sign at the front desk directing them to the room they're staying in - the Boy Scouts seem very organized. They say they've been working hard on their badges that Jayla told them about, but they need some help on some of them, like Citizenship in the Hegemony, for which they each need to spend a half hour interviewing Jim.

Ruehan asks how they intend to pay for passage to see Jim- they have asters, or gold dust, or diamonds. Ruehan says the diamonds would be fine. The party briefly confers as to how much to try to take the Scouts for. Ruehan doesn't really care. Mirris wants to squeeze them, on general principles, and suggests asking for four or five so they'll learn negotiation. Mirris says if she were negotiating for real, she'd just suck out their brains so they didn't remember paying, and then they'd pay several times in a row. Ruehan counter-offers five diamonds.

Ryan tries to be cagey - five is an awful lot - but Dale (another scout) accidentally blows it, telling him they can just get more. Ryan concedes: "Three diamonds now, two more when we go."

The party heads back to the, bridge, and lets everyone know that the boy scouts will be coming with the Hippocrates to meet Jim, for a passage fare of five diamonds. Ace checks out the three diamonds Ruehan has - they range from 1200 to 1500 asters each. (As a comparison, the Tinoori paid 100 asters plus galley duties for the same passage, Crux to Cabry.)

Twig starts making a list of how much repairs will cost.

Ruehan shows off his treasure map from Lord Dinar - it's several hundred years old, and has the parliament building on it, and some hills, and the initials HST. There's no obvious "north" marked, though. Ciernan works on figuring out where it is.

Meanwhile: Sophia has invented a Meanwhile Machine - it allows for some amount of coordination of busyness. Or "coordination of plot". The crew begins collecting places that they want to (reasonably) go - Rupert's Hole is still too far.

Ciernan and Ruehan and Mirris wander around analyzing earth where they think the map might lead - there's already been a lot of holes dug. They try all sorts of crazy schemes to discover the location of the treasure, including trying to psychically dominate the local mole population to do some digging for them. In the end, Ciernan manages to find a skeleton that looks long buried, with a ring on one finger. They notice the ring has a small Skyguard shield under the stone, so they take it and the skeleton back to the ship. Twig gets asked to examine the ring, so he starts planning out a detailed ring examination strategy, but doesn't seem to do anything with the ring right away. Sophia and Katya test what else Ace can't see - not just Brochoah, but all trees. Well, this could be bad - what if he tries to land the ship on a forest he doesn't see? He hasn't walked into Twig yet, but it's still pretty worrisome. Sophia analyzes his brainwaves as they wave pictures of trees at him, and notes which parts of his brain are being skipped. She then converts her brainwave-mapper to a brainwave-zapper, and turns those areas all on full blast. Ace now thinks there are trees everywhere, and that everyone is a Brochoah.

Sophia builds a mad device to read the note for the Architect using very very bright lights and shadow analysis. A lot of flash damage later, the group on the bridge has the text:

Lord High Architect, Ruler of All He Surveys -

Just wanted to let you know, there's been a bit of a shakeup out here in the hinterlands. Ozymandias has taken an early retirement package, and the fancy chair and funny hat now belong to yours truly.

Now, in the past, the big O dealt principally with the big K. But you know how monopolies are - they start thinking they're the only game in town. Seems to me there could be room for more choices and more possibilities than that.

Drop one of your boys my way, and we'll talk.

- Joyeaux Belle

Meanwhile, on Cabry, Jim has been having a series of long talks with Dylanna. He proves more resilient (and lucky!) than Geoffrey Oxford was.

Puttering on Crux finally over, Ace takes off through the thick forest canopy that has grown into the spaceport. There are additional trees in space, which is a little disconcerting, but Ciernan promises that there will be no trees hitting the ship while he's on the bridge.

The Hippocrates jumps for Nonesuch, where people get more mail, both electronic and paper.

From: sade@float-router.watersilk.juicenet
Jump-fees: inworld

Some time ago, I was contacted by certain parties regarding a certain
set of... well, we shall describe them as medical experiments, as
that is how they were identified to me, though they are definitely
experiments of a most... unusual... type.

I expressed my agreement to partake in these... experiments, should
suitable experimenters be willing to participate as well, and these
parties indicated that I might well hear from you soon.  But since
then, I have heard nearly nothing, to my vast disappointment.  I have
obtained photographs of the crew of your ship, and find it
most... aesthetically pleasing.  I am sure that we shall find no
encumbrances to our mutual pursuit of... scientific
discovery... together.

Do please contact me at your convenience.

I remain, your most devoted servant, 
Twig, Heir in Perpetuity to the Castle Evensong:

I write to inform you that the winter in the Cirandel Mountains has been particularly bitter, and a number of tenants in the lower mountains have reported avalanches and black ice formation in the high passes. Wolves have begun to be reported in some of the low foothills, killing many sheep and one child, so far.

The Cirandel foresters have been unable to pursue and destroy the wolf packs, as they retreat to the Evensong lands, which are restricted. I must urge you to deal with this problem quickly, lest the Crown be forced to step in.

-Lord Rupert Vandemar, Kingsman for the Land

Jump-fees: inworld


It seems I missed you again at Gateway Station.  I hear that you have
a pet ambassador of your very own - well done.

You *were* going to tell me all about that fiasco of a party, weren't
you?  I'm sure I can come up with some amusing tale to make it worth
your while.  I'll be on Riden for a little while before I head back to
Tinara - do stop by if the Hippocrates is in the neighborhood.

With the Red Ambassador on board for the trip back, Klothos is again not particular trouble. The Hippocrates heads for Riden, lands, drops off the ambassador, takes off again, turns on the Meanwhile Device, and then lands on: Riden, Nurl, Highguard, Tyrell's Folly, Juice, Stannis' Law, the Well, Tinara, and Vircus. At the same time. Everyone gets a bit of a headache (-1 die to everything).

Sophia finishes growing some new lung tissue for Martan, does the surgery, and puts him in the tubes. Woah! Ace is drowning! There's nothing to breathe! He gets more than ten feet away from the tubes, and is okay again, as is Martan once he comes out a little later.


Ciernan contacts the Crystal Palace to try to arrange a meeting with the Red Hegemon, to talk about getting psis and the fact that there will probably still be some casualties. The Office of Protocol will send a summons when the group can be fit in, but it's not high priority so it will take some time.

Ciernan talks to Estelle about what was really going on at Klothos's dinner party. In return, she says that the Red Hegemon has been making inquiries on Stannis Law about possible marriages for Viktor, but meanwhile Viktor's been on Tinara secretly seeing a chimaera (scandalous!).


Twig and Ciernan fly in a fog cloud to Evensong Castle, and slaughter a whole bunch of wolves, to protect the local farm land and keep the farmers from breaching Twig's land in retaliation. Twig has Ciernan deliver a long speech to the farmers underlining the law that they may not trespass for any reason.

Twig takes this opportunity to use the equipment he has stashed around Evensong castle to examine the ring. He determines that it is a key, but will only activate if the DNA of the wearer is correct. (Good thing people saved the skeleton.) Sadly, he has no idea what lock it's a key for. Ace and Ruehan spend several evenings meeting the young noble gamblers that Ace met before, and manage to trade the diamonds from the Boy Scouts for a bunch of asters and a marker from the young Lord Vanglassen, who was unable to pay his debts in cash after the game. Ruehan borrows some of that to pay his lawyer on Stannis Law; the remaining 5700 asters is put in the treasury.

Tyrell's Folly

Both Katya and Jim (and presumably Andrej) receive formal messages:
Katerina Lavalor
James Powell
Andrej Kestrel

I understand that Geoffrey Oxford is no longer held prisoner, and Dylanna is in the long-term custody of the Blue military. I would be pleased to hear further explanation of these circumstances.

Lord Stannis

Jim and Katya talk about what Jim plans to do about Dylanna.

A Brochoah shows up at the Hippocrates to take depositions from the crew regarding Dylanna. Since Ace answers the door, this leads to some confusion, since no one assumes that "a Brochoah is here" means that an actual Brochoah is here. Next there is some confusion as to what planet the Brochoah is on - yes, Tyrell's Folly, not Nurl, as he is apparently Dylanna's lawyer. After several rounds of telling him to come back later, Ace is the only one willing or available to make a deposition, stating that she appeared despondent and suicidal when he saw her last, but she was getting no medical treatment or counseling from the military who had her in prison.

First Frost of Autumn tells Jim that he knows what the Tinoori secret is. But he shouldn't tell his parents, so he can't sync with them any more, and that's sad. Jim is worried that this means that First Frost will want to stay on the planet, but First Frost says no, the things humans say are like art rather than communication, he understands that. Jim offers to continue to sync with him, to be an intermediary with his parents, and thus maintain part of the bond.


First Frost of Autumn wants to know if he's supposed to go through the North Pole. Katya decides it's probably worth it.

Jim and others visit the Institute for Whales. The whales are huge, and the initial feeding for growing baby whales has apparently been very expensive. Jim and the Scouts ponder how to help them, and end up hooking them up with Sparky Cola for publicity. A Sparky Cola PR guy thinks the trip to Juice through the Hippocrates is all very clever VR (though it costs Jim several more dice in headache), and a sponsorship contract is signed.

The dolphin Sade is beaten up For Science by Mirris, Sophia, and Katya. During the "experimentation" he convinces Mirris to have a date with him in a couple days.

Another trip through the North Pole is arranged, for everyone but Mirris and Sophia (who are still dealing with Linnet). Katya puts her foot down and won't let Martan come. The Star is brought from Vircus, and many bitey fish ensue. There are noted to be more icebergs prowling the area, and the glacier line has receded, as if the ice is melting.

Katya goes through and turns the Star on, which doesn't do much until she concentrates on it, when suddenly it causes all three of Jayla, Donella, and Katya to be there. (Well, Katya was already there.) This is apparently the cause of some consternation to Donella's guards, who don't see who she's talking to. Jayla also asks for some warning before doing this sort of thing. People claim it's impossible to inform Jayla of anything (less true in this particular case than it usually is), but Jayla points out that messages to her either via email or follower aren't much slower than normal email. And the ship will have Deirdre soon. (See "Vircus" below.)

While going through the maze, Ciernan tries to detect any technology hidden beneath the ice. He finds some doing something, but can't tell what it is from there.

The party briefs Donnella on the Terran ship, while they have the opportunity. She tells her guards to stop listening - she thought she wasn't supposed to talk about those guys. The Hegemonic meeting breaks up before things get more confused. The question of how to use the Star to communicate when it's with First Frost of Autumn is still a little bit of a puzzle, though, since it seemed to be powered by Katya this time, and when she walked away, it went down.

While everyone else basically got the same visions from the whirlpool they had before (except Ciernan, who didn't get Maury's vision), First Frost of Autumn got a fairly complete status report:

Status Report:
Major Anomaly in progress. Reconfiguration for four primary nodes necessary. Templated procedure base is disrupted; alternatives require further development. [ Complicated psi ritual details follow ]

Status of primary bloodline nodes: good.

Strength bloodline node (location currently highly anomalous) is no longer disjoint, having reconnected with the original source. Physical integrity of Strength bloodline node in wild fluctuation. This is of concern, as no backup bloodline nodes currently exist for Strength.

Precision bloodline (location Vircus) nominal; power is slightly below originally projected levels but acceptable to proceed.

Fortune bloodline (location Quintessence: Eremov V) above originally projected levels. Resulting mental instabilities within acceptable tolerances. Numerous backup nodes exist but will not yet be capable of performing the final procedure in event of a failure.

Perception non-bloodline node: power minimal. Principally a source of flux or disruption, though this could be harnessed. If node is not eliminated, massive restructure of primary procedure will be required.

Sentiences within detected radius: Human (covered by base procedure), Tinoori (covered by base procedure), Brochoah (covered by base procedure), Hive (covered by base procedure), Vertaki (negligible population within basic coverage radius), Decider (no population within basic coverage radius), Isinglass (emerging population covered by base procedure), Whale (negligible population covered by base procedure).

Status of Procedural Elements:
Spire on Ridena destroyed.
Backup quarry facility on Gateway must be employed.
Activate quarry? [ y/n ]
Psionic resonance crystal intact. Current location: here.
Activate crystal? [ y/n ]

In the end, the Star is left on, and is currently on board the Hippocrates. People with psi theory think that's probably mostly safe as long as it doesn't get involved in any crazy psi experiments.

Stannis' Law

Katya sends some messages off to Lord Stannis.

Ruehan asks around the spaceport to see if anyone has seen either Fenris Tonoli or Alaric Tumbrel, but, unfortunately, he's not much of a detective, so nobody admits to having met them. He investigates further with his diplomatic contacts/skills and discoveres that the two of them are currently in jail serving time for "Crimes against the State".

An invitation arrives to dinner with Lord Stannis. Martan and Katya announce their engagement before dinner, which is probably good, because Lord Stannis congratulates them on it at dinner. Katya and Martan say the plan is a small wedding, before the Flames - Lord Stannis would be pleased if it's on Stannis Law so he can attend. They'll think about it.

Stannis seems a little disconcerted by Geoffrey Oxford's tendency to shrug and look lost; people assure him that Kith and Jim are working on getting him better. Stannis is given the Standard Kaufman Package. Does he have any psis he can loan them for the ritual? He has two advisors, but he can't easily spare them to trundle around and learn Power Projection for months. Instead, he offers a teacher who can learn Power Projection and then train the psis.

Ruehan asks after the missing Vertaki, and is informed that they are indeed in jail for crimes against the state. Gosh - what sort of crimes against the state? Mental assault and vampirism. Ruehan tries to find out more, and is reminded that Stannis' Law does have a legal system, with actual procedures. Perhaps Jim can offer him some advice, in case he has lost sight of this fact. Well, okay, it sounds like Lord Stannis isn't best pleased by these Vertaki at the moment. Katya-and-Martan, and Katya-and-Jim, and Ruehan, all ask for private meetings with Lord Stannis after dinner.

The Katya and Jim meeting is first, in a somewhat formal study. Katya has apparently sent a message about Dylanna to Stannis saying that she supports the "redemption" policy Jim is pursuing. Stannis thinks they're young and idealistic, and points out that Jim isn't helping all the broken people of the Linked Worlds. Is it just the powerful people he wants to fix? No, he wants to fix her in particular because she blames him. Stannis says that he has built the rule of the planet based on one law, and one judgement beyond that law. If Dylanna comes to Stannis Law, then he cannot imagine that there is a judge who would not find her guilty of treason. Now, if that happens, one of them (or Dylanna) can appeal to his Court, and he will judge her at that time - but he finds it unlikely to imagine a circumstance in which he would show her the mercy they are hoping for. So he expects it is in their interests to see that she never comes to Stannis Law, but it is in his interests to see that she does. He seems to think that this is part of Katya demonstrating how she will rule, and is interested to see how that goes. He doesn't seem angry with them, but also doesn't seem inclined to cut them any slack on the Dylanna issue.

Next up (Martan and Jim exchange Significant Looks as they swap) is Katya and Martan, in a much less formal study. They talk to him about the incubators he uses for his children - he's willing to give them the use of one, but insists that they have their science techs talk to the clinic techs - it's not a toaster, you can't just plug it in and ignore it. They agree to send Sophia to the clinic to makes sure she's up to the task.

Ruehan, in contrast, is met in a different room entirely - not a study, but more of the sort of room in which one meets a supplicant. Additionally, it is furnished with a rather strong psi jammer, which is on. Ruehan clarifies that he's not here to ask about the Vertaki prisoners, but has a completely different question - he's wondering if the two of them might possibly be long lost cousins. Lord Stannis finds that unlikely. Well, it's a big universe, all sorts of things are possible, Ruehan suggests. Stannis thinks that that is still quite impossible, and that any coincidences that Ruehan might observe are entirely coincidental. Would Ruehan like to check his pulse? No, no, of course not. Ruehan offers assistance with anything Lord Stannis might need, and is rebuffed down to the level of accepting assistance from the crew of the Hippocrates, but not Ruehan in any sort of particular.

Jim talks to Dr. Randolph, to see if he can read the part of the Book of the Hegemon that requires Genetic Engineering > 6. He can. He can, and is quite pleased. He's very excited about the potential uses for this. Jim warns him to think twice and go slowly before incorporating anything from the book into his current work/research. Randolph promises to think twice before doing anything.

Sophia and Mirris arrange for a getaway for Martan and Katya to a resort for the evening.

The Boy Scouts go to Sparky Cola land. The Sparky Cola publicity people are thrilled at Jim's incredible marketing prowess, and take lots of pictures of Boy Scouts, who all seem to have their Sparky Cola merit badges. The scouts are quite knowledgeable about Sparky Cola and happy to pose for pictures if Jim thinks it's OK.

Meanwhile, some higher ups asks if there's anything Jim needs. He asks them for all of their Sparky Cola distribution data, which he gets, and then goes back later to get a ranking PR guy to go with him to Juice. (See Juice, above.) Ruehan goes to visit the jail to talk to Tonoli and Tumbrel. They say that they were being harassed by the cops, and eventually mind controlled them to go away, after which more cops showed up to leap on them. Yeah, there might have been some vampirism in the resisting arrest part. Ruehan finds a very good lawyer to talk to, as well, and pays him 100 asters for an initial consultation, and gets a quote of 1800 asters for the case if it's not by the hour. The lawyer talks to them and the police for a bit, and thinks that with some work, there are about even odds of getting them deported. The fact that there is probably provable police misconduct isn't sufficient to get them off - especially in Stannis' Court, that would just get both sides smacked for being bad. But the fact that it could cause the police to get smacked could be used as leverage to get the police to drop or lessen the charges. After trying to get the Boy Scouts to pay him for the privelege of talking to the lawyer (but they can't get a Law merit badge until they've gotten an Ethics badge, which they don't have yet) Ruehan eventually pays them, in part from personal funds and in part from the diamond exchange on Highguard, with the promise that he'll get reimbursed from the Vertaki next time they're in the outworlds.

Sophia visits a clinic and is briefed in depth on the procedures for using an incubation machine to gestate and deliver human children.

the Well

Ace picks up some more heavy weapons for Jim (Jim says please buy them on the Well, where they're legal, not Riden, where they'll have fallen off a Red military truck.)

Ace and Mirris and Ciernan get a meeting with the Architect, and passes along the message from Belle. The Architect reads the note, confirms that Ace has read it, and comments that Klothos does still control the gate. Ace doesn't quite commit to taking Klothos down, but it's close.

The Architect gives them all some double-tokens for use at Joyous Gard; Ace and Ciernan go separately to Joyous Gard to cash them in, and are followed out by Giambrone's goons, who they manage to lose without serious incident.

Mirris, on the other hand, goes to talk to Eva's librarian and uses enough of her powers to get the appropriate code words, so she can pose as another of Eva's people and get debriefed on the status of Linnet. The librarian says that the little girl spends a fair bit of time in the library, but has run away from home. Her father contacted the authorities, (but the librarian doesn't know how expensive a report he filed), and posted some posters around, but doesn't seem to be doing anything else to find her. The librarian might not know if he hired a private firm, but she doesn't think he did. Mirris arranges to wander by Quinn Butler (the father) as he's at a business lunch - she's disguised a little, but she seems to catch his eye. He's worried about Linnet, but also worried about his current wife, who is pregnant - which has been what's causing the problem with Linnet. And he keeps remembering everything falling apart with Mirris (that is, Annalise) after Linnet was born, so he's nervous about that too.

Next, Mirris meets with the librarian again, and arranges to meet Linnet (who mostly looks at the floor and stays quiet). She tells Linnet she's in her mother's family, and tries to sound her out about this running away from home thing. Linnet keeps trying to claim that she's not a solo kid, she's got a family, she can't just be grabbed or bought. She doesn't really believe that her mom's family would care either, but it's not like she's happy now.

"Argh. Why don't I have the psychic power 'project truth'?" -Mirris
"Because that's not the sort of person you are." -Sophia
Mirris plots with the librarian how to get Linnet away vaguely legally. Maybe the plan should be to talk to the stepmother first, who will be more inclined to try and get rid of the daughter, and have her sell it to the husband. And that would be good, too, since Quinn might recognize her.

Mirris heads to talk to Quinn's wife, and tries to use the story about being a relative of Annalise's and wanting custody of Linnet (Linnet and the librarian are shooshed off to Linnet's room "in case she needs to pack anything"). However, she hasn't completely planned this through, so she has no useful proof of relativeness, and no address she's willing to give the woman, so things have begun to bog down a little when Quinn finally comes home. His wife introduces Mirris as a relative of Annalise's, which finally pushes him over the edge into recognizing her, and he freaks out. Much shouting and argument ensues, but Mirris kinda does apologize for screwing up his life before, and is very persuasive (and he's very non-persuasive) so in the end, he agrees to let Mirris have custody for a while, and Mirris agrees to sign some papers saying that she did con him before (under Citizen Archibald's orders). It's not clear what he'll be able to use this for, but it might get him something.

Mirris returns to the ship with Linnet, and talks to everyone about the fact that she has a daughter from a troubled home, who is now on the Hippocrates. And, being Mirris's daughter, she might have crazy psi powers. Mirris makes sure the Tinoori know it's not okay to hunt her. They agree - she's a juvenile, you don't hunt juveniles. It's Mirris's responsibility if any abominating happens.


Sophia and Mirris talk to the Tinara shipyards about doing a full repair and overhaul on the Hippocrates. The ship goes through a full refit and repair (including taking out the wall between Martan's stateroom and the empty room next to it) for 10,000 asters. Happily for the party treasury, most of this is covered by the money fleeced from the Boy Scouts.


Ruehan asks to talk to Grimblemaury, who is apparently "preparing for the great shipment". After several rounds of checking, Ruehan finally asks them to interrupt him to talk to Ruehan. The "Great Shipment" apparently entails trading six thousand tons of heavy ores to Nurl in exchange for equipment including engines for the Santa Maria. This leads to discussion of Maury's plan where the Santa Maria will be joined with Mendel Station (assuming that negotiations with Mendel go well), and jumped past the Flames by the Inopportune Moment crew, with ten thousand passengers. While everyone else is worrying about the Flames ritual, Maury is keeping his eye on a backup plan. When asked how he plans to choose which ten thousand people to use, Maury says Captain Megaera is sure that, at 1,000 asters a head, they can save the world and get rich at the same time.

Ruehan asks Maury about the causality disrupter kept in the captain's safe still (yup, it's still there). Maury looks at it and confirms many of the things Kye thought, but doesn't have any special insight in the technology. Ciernan spends several hours purifying the air in the creches.

Ace gets the current list of Stuff Vircus Needs, goes to the Well, and buys a bunch of it from various shady dealers. Bringing it back costs him -1 die more to everything in headache.

Ace talks to Janzur about possibilities for getting other non-Hippocrates people through jump gates, and gets Deirdre assigned to the Hippocrates to watch after Katya and help with transport logistics. She'll show up as soon as she's done with her current mission.

Jim fills Janzur in about the Scrutineer Station on Crux and the plasma brands "in the hands of criminals". Janzur isn't so pleased by this, but seems to have a busy schedule just now. He'll deal with it eventually if nothing else happens.


Twig and Ace arrange for a Brochaoan engineer to head to Vircus to help with various projects.

On ship

Cassandra paints Ruehan, who had asked for a portrait some time back.
A painting of Ruehan, in an old-fashioned study, standing by a carved wooden table, his hand on a stack of papers. He smiles easily and is the picture of elegance. Unrolled on the table is a map of the Outworlds. The painting is signed with a familiar pattern of five stars.

Noticable only to people who make a perception check of 4 or more:
Beneath the skin and smile of Ruehan's face, you can see dark shadows hollowing his eyes, and empty space beneath his cheekbones. At first glimpse, he is smiling and charming - at closer look, the skull is there, just beneath.

Noticable only to people who make a Str of Psi check with psi theory, and get 4 or more:
Throughout the painting, there are little jogs in the color, subtle shifts. It takes a minute to put them together into lines - not lines of ink or strokes of color themselves, but just a movement of the colors behind, as if they outline an invisible shape. The shape is slightly larger than Ruehan's figure, but has many longer trailing fronds or tentacles that extend outwards, only to be caught and dragged downwards by heavy chains.

Very fancy diamond jewelry appears for Martan and Katya with a note of congratulations - a diamond-studded watch for Martan, and a bracelet for Katya.

Sophia gets interviewed by one of the boy scouts for his Citizenship in the Hegemony badge. She waxes on and on about the political stabiliy of the old Hegemony and how research much much easier back then. It seems, to her at least, things really were better back in the Hegemony. The scout writes an essay about that which warms Jim's heart, and gets the scout his merit badge.

A cocktail party is held to welcome Ciernan to the crew. People not off-ship or in the tubes have a grand time. During the party someone suggests that Cassandra go to the top of the ship and take this opportunity to try to paint all the planets at the same time. She goes up on top of the ship to try to do so, but this causes her to lose 9 dice to headache and pass out. Luckily, nobody takes off, before she's found.

In the end, the Meanwhile machine winds down, and the Mad Coordination collapses to leave the ship on Riden, kinda where it started. The meeting with Shaddam still hasn't happened, and Mirris must, alas, break her date with Sade, though the incubator and teacher from Stannis Law have been brought on board. For reference, that puts the non-crew total at:

However, the Boy Scouts, Oxford, and Jim seem to all still be on Cabry when the Hippocrates solidifies on Riden.


  • Kye publishes papers on the Alliance museum on Craterrock, and on Mendel. Sadly, the latter is mostly scooped by people who have been talking to Mendel for a while.
  • Katya and Kith work on teaching Power Projection to Alexandra Cooper and Cogent Syllogism.
  • Katya tries to make friends with Linnet.
  • Cogent Syllogism acccidentally terrifies Linnet.
  • Eva gets Martan another kitten.
  • Hippocrates pretends to be the Starship Training System to Linnet.
  • Hippocrates spends a while reading through the Book of the Hegemon again.
  • Katya and Martan talk to Eva and Mirris about wedding plans. Martan talks to Kye.
  • Ciernan hunts down Grandpa Cass
  • Medical experiments are done on Sharra, Kith, and Max.
  • Dr. Kye sends the floating camera back to Jove.
  • Before leaving the outworlds, Eva, Ruehan, and Kith arrange to have the psis get non-munition-psi papers for travel and have them travel to Highguard when they're trained up.
  • Ciernan takes Cassandra to dinner to apologize for asking her to paint all the planets at once.