Oct 15, 2019 3:06 PM
Foresight and Cherish in the Honor Harrington universe
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"Is that related to why you're out of uniform?"

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". . . Yes. Can you describe what help you need?"

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Margaret wishes they had had time to find the best available liar and get them a uniform. Or that she could detect hostile intent over video.

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She describes some very plausible sounding needed help! That, to be addressed properly, will require them letting her injured onto their ship to use their medical facilities.

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There is a hasty debate over the medium of significant glances, which Margaret wins by dint of being able to hold up a sign with words on it ("Say yes and steal a uniform before they get here!").

"We can provide medical facilities," says the spokesperson, "though possibly not medical personnel, so if you have your own medic you should send them too." He glanced at some maps and tells her where her shuttle can dock.

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"I wouldn't mind more of a brief on what's happened to your ship. Maybe we can help each other."

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The spokesperson takes too long to come up with a good lie, or even a bad one. It's obvious that the other captain is getting suspicious, and if she figures out what's up while they have a medical bay full of her wounded that will go even worse than whatever will happen if they put their cards on the table now. 

Margaret steps into view of the camera, horns, wings, decidedly non-uniform gown and all. "We are not this ship's original crew."

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"Then who are you?"

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She hopes she looks more "desperado" than "desperate", and bets everything on the morals of the stranger on the screen. "We're escaped slaves. We hijacked the ship transporting us."

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"Good for you."

"In that case, I am Captain Treasure X, of the Audubon Ballroom's Trouble."

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Margaret almost collapses in relief at "good for you" and has to steady herself on the console. "I'm glad to hear it," she says, "but I'm afraid I don't actually know what the Audobon Ballroom is." She looks around at the others, hoping to at least find out if they're all confused too or if this is an obvious thing she's missed learning since she got to this time.

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A few look confused, a few have a dawning look of disbelieving hope.

"We're an anti-slavery organization," says Captain X, "Though some call us terrorists. We had been going to a planet we heard was using slave labor - I suspect the same you were destined for. It's fortunate we ran into you here."

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"Confused" and "disbelieving hope" just about sum it up, yeah.

"It really is! We don't have anyone who knows how to get into hyper safely."

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"We can send you some of our pilots, and provide an escort back somewhere safe, then."

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"Great. Ah, do you in fact need medical help?"

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"No; that's usually an effective lie for getting us on a ship, though."

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"I can see how it would be, yes." She's hardly going to blame Captain Treasure for lying, since that makes all of them. And now they can coordinate getting someone who knows what they're doing over here to fly the ship.

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That's easy enough; the Trouble has more pilots and navigators than they strictly need, and plenty of small, swift craft to go between ships.

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And presumably Treasure, or really any of the people who grew up in this universe, knows of a solidly anti-slavery planet with a social safety net and a willingness to take refugees. There's loads of planets, right, surely one of them is Space Canada.

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"I'm curious about you specifically - the one with the scales. I haven't seen genetic modifications like that, or heard about contact with a new alien species," Captain X addresses to Margaret. "Are you needed on your ship, or do you mind coming over to talk with me more? Some representatives from your people wouldn't hurt, either way, so we can figure out where to go from here."

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"I can definitely come over and explain the scales, but someone else should come too, I'm kind of a bad representative. It's a long story." She looks around the bridge. "Now that we have a moment to actually think about it, who wants to be the representative? And someone should get on the intercom and tell the rest of the ship what's up, I can do that bit." She goes off a little ways and concisely informs everyone not on the bridge of recent developments while the people who are here figure out who's going.

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There seems to be a debate between leaving them with competent leadership in case something goes wrong and sending someone actually representative.

Eventually they decide to send the tall woman who originally rescued Margaret along.

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Seems like a good pick. "I never got your name," she says on their way over. "I'm Margaret."

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Small smile. "I'm Alet. Good to meet you, Margaret."

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"It's good to meet you too. Thanks for all your help back there."

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