Only Muties and Starships
Unity's Log 1
I finally got off that insufferable planet with its interminable balls only to find myself on a ship with Heir Apparent Steroth, my tutor and the subject of several nightmares. Despite being a laboratory test subject I have never felt so like every moment is a test. It wasn’t until I left for my transfer vessel with my new body guard that I felt that I could breathe without judgement, although he felt it necessary to demonstrate his control words one last time.
Toxi. Apparently she’s a kroot (and a ‘she’), which is a kind of mercantile humanoid bird-lizard. Known for their skill as scouts and for their habit of eating people. So that’s nice. Apparently Toxi secretes a deadly poison from her beak and claws too. The main thing is that she doesn’t seem to give a tech-priests-cuboid-excretion-pellet that I’m a navigator – plus it was entertaining how people’s fearful, hostile stares bored into me right up to the point I started walking next to the seven foot tall xeno. Schmoopy seems to like her too.
A whole huge ship to pick me up and drop me off for my first contract. I’ve never had such freedom! Toxi and I rode hover-sleds up and down the corridors for hours (turns out kroot are distressingly good at hover jousting). Some of the navigators from my house tried to extricate information and navigation skill-levels from me; I worked hard to play my role correctly. Each time I downplay my abilities, or what I am, it becomes a little more difficult. Still, it is for the good of the house.
The journey was long, but it could have lasted forever and I wouldn’t have grown tired of it. I travelled down to Ryakath IV in one of the ship’s shuttles. This was a little odd but the captain insisted; he didn’t seem to think the one from Ryakath suitable for a member of the nobilitae. Given the low to average quality of the shuttle I ended up in I could only conclude that this was a snub targeted at my House. A difficult problem to be faced with on one’s first assignment; to defend the honour of one’s house.
Arrival on Ryakath IV was as bad as I feared, I was shepherded around here and there by guards without offer of refreshment or a formal welcome from even a servant. Sections of the palace I was dragged through were exceedingly ‘dirty’ (surprisingly not a concept the doctrine-reels used in my education went into too much depth on). Then, tired and confused I was brought into a big hall where a woman, without introducing herself or apologising, began to talk at me in a curt and seemingly fed-up manner. I snubbed her as best I could (alas I lack the political and social skills of Heir Apparent Tyriel – I’ve seen people literally brought to their knees at the power of her snubs). Unfortunately this may have turned out to have been a bad choice as she was a rogue trader and therefore may prove to be important to the goals of my new mission (hopefully this is the only time the honour of my house and the goals of my new Captain will come into conflict).
There was a ball held that night in honour of my new captain. I hope Schmoopy and Toxi enjoyed it, because I’d have preferred a half hour session in the endurance tank back on Paragon to the interminable glitter, paint and politics of a ball. It was quite a poor affair compared to the glittering fire-statues, virtuoso musicians and scintillating outfits of a ball held by a powerful house of the nobilitae (such as ours). The only entertaining factor was how much my presence unnerved people; It was here that I realised that I could inspire as much fear as a powerful techpriest.
Then I spotted Calhoun. It was his eyes I noticed first – similar to mine. That and how closely his fixed smile resembled mine (although his was a little more convincing). I managed to get some time talking to him before our host Regus von Haarump – a dreadful boor – decided to start talking and never, ever stop. I stayed the minimum amount of time I could without it qualifying as a social snub, then left with a promise of shared breakfast.
Breakfast would have tasted better if that bloody Regus had spent more time cramming food into his mouth and less time spouting hot air from it. The skimmer ride over the desert would have been beautiful and the conversation stimulating if that bloody Regus had been producing less hot air than the desert outside (I worked on that one). At least it gave me a chance to learn more about Calhoun, it sounds like he’s had his own share of trials.
Immaterium Gleaming. Has a nice ring to it. A new home, a place to prove the success of my maker’s work. An interesting crew it comes with. Ten thousand years has turned practicality into ritual. They have a pretend navigator, a funny man – Gilltarn – who burst into tears when he saw me. Refers to himself as the Navigationator, I’ve heard sillier titles. I need to change that staff though; can’t have people thinking the Gleaming has pretend navigators on it; without the mystique of the warp I’m quite vulnerable. I’ve taken Gilltarn on as a kind of manservant. Perhaps if I brush up on my charting skills I can teach him something useful to do – at least until he grows that third eye he’s been longing for. Good star and warp charts are useful and valuable. The ship has several interesting features, not least among them a teleporter. Unfortunately I’m not going to be able to do much navigating as the ship is presently landlocked (hence my comment about the young rogue trader’s daughter proving useful).
That concludes my first report my lords. I will produce another once I have successfully piloted the Gleaming through her first warp voyage in 10,000 years.