To Boldly Go

Knives at Midnight

The FSV Columbia pulls into Olympus Station, a massive orbital ring floating above the dark skies of Midnight. While Captain G. W. Teregan oversees the repairs, the others are invited to spend time on the planet’s surface on the opulent yacht of Zeus.

Dr. Albert Tzen-Babbage elects to stay on board, safely away from the viruses and alien germs. Rochelle “Rho” Total talks to the station’s inhabitants and learns a little bit about their host. Steve Walmart takes a more direct approach and has a long conversation with the man. He learns that the well off academic is honest and eager to put the best face forward fro his people.

As they prepare to leave, Dr. Twitter Morgan quickly retrieves her remaining things from storage, eager to leave the threat of the vacuum of space. Max Petrobras spends some time familiarizing himself with the computer systems of the Mythweavers. Steve picks out the most attractive ensigns to serve as the team’s entourage.

The team’s shuttle arrives at the massive ship without incident. Zeus is there to welcome them on board, accompanied by an entourage of friends and servants. He shows them around the well appointed public areas, including an internal garden with unique bioengineered animals. Zeus is particularly proud of the human faced koi that he created with fish and primate genes. He also shows them an elaborate dining hall and a mobile dock for the skiffs that his friends plan on racing later in the day.

Their host asks about the Federation and the group’s past exploits. Steve describes where he grew up, an asteroid owned by the Walmart corporation. He also indulges Zeus’s curiosity about Earth telling him about its current state and the wonderful apple pie.

Eventually Zeus shows them to their rooms so they can freshen up before meal time. Twitter begins to unpack her gear but Steve, realizing that she is still suffering from her near death experience, takes some time to talk to her. He helps her talk out her fears and puts her on the road to recovery.

Max meanwhile goes to examine the skiffs. He finds the best of the unclaimed vessels, being sure to place a monitoring device just in case. Rho also does some exploring. She talks a bit with the sickly looking servant Lares 12 who just reach his 30th year of service that day. She also talks to some of the other skiff racers and learns a bit about them including the bet between Xanthus and Ivanna.

At dinner the team and Zeus’s other guests are served by a vertible army of biorids, including Lares 12.. Max notices a bioroid girl paying particular attention to Steve. He also realizes that these Mythweavers don’t care at all about the help. Rho and Steve work together to intimidate the skiff racers with their own expertise. Steve makes a bet with Zeus, one of his koi against an earth apple. Their host agrees.

Rho attracts zeus’s attention and he asks her about her most dangerous adventure. She relates a run in with Space Monkeys on one of the moons of Saturn.

Steve questions Zeus about the minefield but he does not know why they were active. They were placed their as a deterrent after a war with some rogue AIs a century ago. They should have been disabled long ago. Steve asks about Samsung’s connection. Zeus reveals that his company is a major supplier for all things.

Max entertains the dinner crowd with some tales about Virginia as desert is brought out. As he concludes, Lares 12 collapses. The Mythweavers ignore it, but Twitter checks on him. The other servants eventually carry him away.

After their meal the team joins in the skiff race along with some ensigns. With Rho working the sails and Steve helping Max pilot they force the other teams to travel dangerously close to the rocky islands of the course. As they are forced to slow down, Max leads them to victory.

As the arrive at the finish line, they notice a powerful storm blowing in. The team races back to Zeus’s ship, battling the fierce winds and heavy waves. A lightning bolt strikes the ship creating a minor fire. As Rho puts it out, a heavy water surges over the deck swamping the boat. Even so with Max’s superior skill, the team manages to get to the cruise ship with no one injured.

Zeus congratulates them on their victory as some of the other teams are fished from the sea. Steve and rho slip away while Max soaks in to adulation.

Rho seeks out Lares 12, finding the dying servant in a tiny chamber deep in the ship. Lares has reached his expiration date. He like many of the servants is reluctant to speak out against their masters or be too familiar with their guests but Rho establishes bond with him. Lares accepts his fate but asks to be taken to the 2nd deck to see the view one last time. Rho obliges him. The Mythweavers are surprised at her faux pas and the servants still don’t know how to relate to her. Lares however is happy.

Steve meanwhile find the bioroid eyeing him. She introduces herself as Echo 417. she takes him to the garden where she proceeds to seduce him. They go to his chamber where she reveals that she wants to escape. Unlike the others she refuses to die a slave. Still tells Steve that Zeus is a callous slavemaster. Steve seems willing to help this enchanting woman.

As Max returns to his chambers, he finds Twitter setting up her devices. She asks him for his help. She explains she acquired some mind recording and emulation tools at the Hub. She says the technology came from farther outside the system, possibly New Earth or past New Beijing. The only downside is that the devices destroy the mind they are uploading. Max suggests testing the technique on the dying bioroid. Excited they go to convince Steve to help, only to find him occupied with Echo.

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