“Countess” – Space Tramp – Chapter 12 (Megatraveller Fan Ficiton)

Happy Sif’s Day!

Story:

As Jeremiah looked at his bonus amount on his personal device, he laughed a little.  He got his wish but it was not as much as he hoped, but it was something.  He realized the big bonus was rare but this was not much more than his normal pay.  He considered it poetic though as this last year’s charter assignment had been one long one of being diplomatic and kind to someone who was at best melancholy.

The captain of the Trilian-Moons Maiden, a well kept and polished Free Trader, was competent to be sure.  She was uniquely suited to dealing with this charter assignment. She needed a pilot/navigator and she was pleased with Jeremiah right away because of his skills. But Captain Sarah Kingwood was very much instructing him on etiquette and protocol of the social variety. The entire trip this was the case and she made that clear, in multiple ways, because their charter client was Countess Borgosman.

Countess Borgosman had chartered the ship because the nature of this trip was to be more behind the scenes and she was not announcing her coming to the various places she was visiting hoping to surprise the stewards fo the various fiefs of her property she was visiting for inspections.  She always was suspicious of everyone and had a condescending opinion of everyone’s competence level.  The promise of a bonus and this being a charter trip made Jeremiah willing to put up with even a Countess snob if it meant more money.  Besides he would be either in his room or at the control most of the time. However, the countess insisted on a formal dinner every night with all crew members present.

The upside for the captain was that meant she only needed a crew of three – just her, Jeremiah and the Engineer Jill Forest, a young but very technically savvy woman.  The Steward and Doctor for the trip would be provided by the Countess. The captain provided a more standard uniform for this occasion that matched her own to Jeremiah and Jill.  I few days before the countesses arrival, they had lessons from both the Captain and the countesses’ steward for the trip on all the appropriate customs.

Jeremiah did manage to utilize some of his Streetwise and Carousing skills as far as dealing with people in learning all this.  When the countess arrived he knew how to act and address her as well as eat at the table properly. He wore the uniform with his firs officer pips on the shoulders. It was a little stiff but he managed. He only had to wear it at the dinner and the rest of the time was just keeping his work uniform clean as possible which he always did.

When the countess arrived he was a little puzzled because she was younger than expected.  It was later revealed she had inherited her father’s title and land after his death a couple years ago.  She was tall and thin having actually grown up on a much lighter gravity world.  Her brown hair was plain and so was her face.  But she was also looking a little sad at times.

The trip was actually very uneventful.  His contact with the countess was usually always only at dinner. The first dinner he seemed to avoid her attention but he noticed she dressed in her dinner dress and wore the jewels and makeup of noble well and held her head high.

It was the second night that she turned her attention to him.  She asked a lot of questions about his background and some of the trips he had piloted for and navigated.  She almost seemed amused when he told her the stories fo his growing up on Strouden.  She seemed very interested in his background and how he became a Free Trader. But other than this her conversations were mostly with the captain after that.  Her only social interaction with him as official like a tone from a bureaucrat.

The next many months went by and the trip settled into a dull routine other than Jeremiah was paying a high degree of attention to the human interactions at dinner.  Learning finer points of being polite and looking well mannered.  Learning to handle different people of different social classes was definitely something he felt he could put to use as a captain.  Despite her nature, the countess was always polite although her questions always assumed that the person she was talking to might not know something as well they thought. Jeremiah, however, seemed to escape this attention. He settled into being on the bridge for his shifts, sleeping, dinners, and reading.  There was not much else to do.

When they landed on Regina a year later, Jeremiah felt well versed in the basics of social customs of the upper classes and nobility. The real problem though was, as he walked down the ramp of the ship for the last time, he realized while this was nice to know; he preferred the real world grit of real people.  Being a liaison to the upper class was a good skill but he hadn’t had fun for a whole year practically and was eager for a stiff drink and some female companionship of a more intimate and preferably sensual variety.

But he shook his head at the bonus of 2500 Cr for the trip.   It was something to be sure but he was fairly sure that was a lot less than the captain was expecting.  He smiled and walked into The Naked Gypsy and breathed in the air.  Yep, the smell of booze, sex, and fun. Felt more like ‘home’ than the last year.  Next year he would be completing the last year of his third term and turning thirty.  It seemed so long ago that he stepped on to the deck of his first starship.  Right now, fun awaited as well as a more lucrative future – he hoped.

Megatraveler Notes:

Start:

Free Trader 1st Officer Jeremiah Kilwood

Rank: O4 – 1st Officer   Terms Served: 2

UPP: A67A74   Age: 28  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Pilot – 2, Navigation – 2, Engineering – 1, Sensor Ops – 1, Legal – 1, Carousing – 1, Small Blade-1, Turret Weapons-1, Streetwise – 1, Zero-G Combat-1, Handgun – 1, Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Vacc Suit – 0

Brownie Points: 5, Bonus Money: 25000 Cr.

Year Eleven:

Roll for position availability:  8 + 1 for Intelligence = 9 – position available, serves as 1st Officer

Roll for assignment: 8 + 1 for Social 5- = 9 –   Charter Assignment

Survival Roll: 5  – Survives.

Skill Roll: 9 – Skill acquired.

Bonus: 10  –  Bonus. rolls 2 – 2500Cr

Roll for Skills: (1 for skill roll) – Rolls Free Trader Service Table rolls: 1 – Interpersonal Cascade  – picks Liaison -1

Year-End

Free Trader 1st Officer Jeremiah Kilwood

Rank: O4 – 1st Officer   Terms Served: 2

UPP: A67A74   Age: 29  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Pilot – 2, Navigation – 2, Engineering – 1, Sensor Ops – 1, Legal – 1, Liaison- 1, Carousing – 1, Small Blade-1, Turret Weapons-1, Streetwise – 1, Zero-G Combat-1, Handgun – 1, Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Vacc Suit – 0

Brownie Points: 5, Bonus Money: 27500 Cr.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

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