Nov 18 2013 3:15am
Styria-class Galleon Warley, in orbit via Phaseera “They didn't give us permission to land the shuttle.”
“What?” asked Captain Lydia Nevaere incredulously.
Phaseera had become one of the regular stops for the Confederate Merchant Fleet for its ships operating on the Randon Run. While not a terribly influential world in the local scheme of things, Phaseera still remained one of the areas leading manufacturing areas, although its electronics sector had in the years past fallen to its competitors on Kashyyyk. Still, Lantillies relied upon its neighbor world for much of its construction equipment; something the entire convoy was tasked to pick up to aid in the reconstruction of the ecumenopolis. Her communication's officer broadly smiled.
“They just said to land the galleons individually instead,” reported the man, “they said it'd be quicker and easier for both of us.”
Can't argue that. The prospect of the ship's few light transports making dozen of trip to the surface and back didn't enthuse her, especially since it stranded the rest of the crew onboard the vessel. She'd prefer to let them loose on the planet itself, partially for R&R, and partially so they could casually gather some more information on the markets she couldn't easily acquire from official channels. Still, Lydia was surprised that the government of Phaseera was so quick to let a ship such as hers land on the planet, considering that many minor powers classified the transport as a fully armed warship. They must trust us a lot...She shook the thought from her head.
“Any other news from the world? Any hot commodoties we should get a hold of according to our agents on the ground?”
“Well,” started the comm's officer, “that Uyter brew was a pretty good success last time. Do we still have some of that?”
“We do,” smiled the woman, “despite the lot of you buying some to drink yourselves.”
“So that's why you put an order limit down on the stuff for us...”
“Partially,” admitted the Soroyan woman, “and partially because I don't really need a drunk crew.”
“Fair enough...wait...new message from their official channels,” reported the man, scrolling through a newly transmitted document, “their president just died.”
“Perhaps we should send our condolences, on the behalf of the Confederation,” suggested Lydia.
“Not like that,” replied the man, “he died in combat. Apparently a band of unknown raiders descended upon the world just a few days ago and killed him in the raid on their government house.”
She frowned, “That's hardly a valuable target for a raiders...wait, was it those fake Entymalians? There's something different about them...”
“Judging from the holos, I'd say so. Anyways, they're requesting your personal presence,” informed the comm's officer, “something about you're having personal experience with them.”
“I wouldn't say blowing them up in a battle is a terribly close personal experience,” replied the woman, “but at least we know why they've decided to let us land there.” “They want us to be present if they make another raid.”
She nodded. What's with these guys? They're obviously not simple pirates. Up until now, we just assumed they were going after high-value targets that could help them economically in the future, between the enslavement of Taicho and their attempt at finding the old Taldot Research Center. What could the Phaseerans possibly have in their government house that'd interest them? She pushed the thought from her head. I guess we'll just have to find out...
Nov 24 2013 8:47pm
Thuân Vĩ, Phaseera
“What a dreadful mess this place is,” muttered her protocol droid.
The droid's absolutely right. What this is really just a raid, or was it something else? A failed invasion perhaps? Line Captain Nevaere grasped the hydraulic strut of one of the Warley's ramps and leaned out. The notoriously curvy roadways of the Thuân Vĩ still had debris littered across them, most of which seemed to be crumbled duracrete chunks. Teams of slate gray droids and Phaseeran soldiers continued to clear and load the debris away onto speeder trucks to be driven away. The raid took place three days ago, and it's still this bad? Lydia's brown eyes wandered among the roofs of the buildings, noting many holes and craters littering predominantly the upper levels of the cityscape in an almost structured pattern. Her eyes narrowed. So that's it. There appears to have been a bit of dogfight, and the misses hit the buildings...A deep, mauscaline voice from the landing pad called out to her.
“Line Captain Nevaere, is it? You haven't met the Minister of Trade yet, have you?”
She tore her eyes from the damage to the city and looked with levelled eyes at the strikingly handsome man dressed in a business suit strode over to her. His mottled green eyes peered out at her atop of his high cheekbones. A wry, knowing smile quietly flitted over his face before disappearing into a more serious expression that matched his dark business suit. Great, a heartbreaker who knows he is one. She stepped off the ramp and walked over towards the man, suddenly noticing an entourage of similarly dressed people and several humanoid droids following in the man's wake. Perhaps he's the new president? Lydia offered a hand to the dark-haired man.
“Line Captain Nevaera,” stated the brunette plainly.
“Ian Pherick, Minister of Courts,” replied the man, grasping her hand, “I'm sorry I yelled out to like that before we'd properly met. I'd like to talk to you before any of the other ministers though.”
“Because they're idiots, but they don't realize it yet.”
That's a funny way to speak about one's fellow cabinet ministers. She spared a glance at the other members of his entourage. None of them seemed offended by her comment, though she suddenly noticed several bulging pockets on several of the seemingly more disinterested individuals. Bodyguards? Really? What, is he expecting an assassination attempt for visiting the star port? Or are they deadset on the Entymalian Raiders coming back for a round two? Lydia suddenly noticed that the judicial official was silently appraising her as well. She plastered a zygomatic smile across her face.
“I'm sorry, I'm not used to people travelling around with so many guards. Is that why the other ministers are idiots?”
He barked a quick laugh, “Well, no. I've made more than a few enemies prosecuting some of our worlds underworld, so to speak. But now you've already got me talking about me. No, they're idiots because they are going to attempt to buy you. Don't let them.”
She snorted, “Unfortunately, I'm not currently on the market. Are you?”
“Very funny,” deadpanned the man, “I'm serious. Now that the president is dead, there's a lot of infighting in the cabinet about who is going to take the post. Before I start the official interview with you about these raiders, and I mean this completely professionally, we should get to know each other. I know the CMF is probably none to keen on us keeping you here for the entire investigation, but...”
“I don't think we're on the same page already,” started the woman, resting a hand on her hip, “I'll tell you what I know about the Entymalians, but I'm not sticking around for an investigation. I have goods to pick up, goods to sell, and ships to get ready back for the rest of our voyage.”
“I understand that, and I will do everything in my power and influence to expedite that for you, but we really, really need your personal assistance. And this is just between the two of us, but there are some things that aren't right here. Before the president's death, I had just launched a secret investigation into him. And just as we were closing in on him, he suddenly dies, no, disappears during the attack? The timing is impeccable.”
“What were you investigating him for?”
“Tax evasion, wait, here me out on this,” stated the man, lightly grabbing the sleave of her tunic, “he was spending a lot of time travelling space recently, far more than he had beyond, and without the Presidential Guard protecting him. He was alone intentionally, and we never knew his destination.”
“Couldn't possibly be trying to get away from the stress of the job, or hell, excuse my basic, perhaps visiting a mistress?”
“He was single...”
“All the more reason to keep it quiet,” replied Lydia, “I wouldn't want to give anyone any information they could use against me, especially when your cabinet already seems so fractious. What, do you guys have a ruling coalition of sorts?”
“More or less...”
“Then who are you with,” demanded the woman, “before I get any deeper in this game.”
A frown crinkled across his face, “The Phaseeran Peace party.”
“The Phaseeran Peace party?” half-snickered the woman, “I'm sorry, I was expecting something a little more oomph to it, given your entourage here...”
“Look, I know it's probably as intimidating to you as the Pink fluffy bunny party to you,” joked the man, “but we're the fourth largest party on this world, which is something notable given the pluarity of our political system. I know you have to meet with the Minister of Trade soon, we're not entirely fractious enough to not inform each other of our schedules. The man's name is Barney McClyde, of the Prosperity Party. Look, he's actually a decent guy, that is, when his party's backers aren't pushing him to do stuff he doesn't want to, but I have to-”
“Neither the Confederation or I are getting involved in your political games.”
“Nobly said,” replied the man slowly, “but you are too late already. Can't you see the holo-cams over there taking our pictures?”
Nov 24 2013 9:58pm
Greco's Fine Dining, Thuân Vĩ, Phaseera
“No, the predisdent was a good man, I'd say so myself, whatever the others say about him,” murmured McClyde, twisting another strand of pasta around his fork.
She nodded and stuff another medallion of basalmic glazed nerf into her mouth. Well, if this isn't the most awkward dinner in history. It's too bad he didn't invite Peace Party McTight pants with him; at least I'd here something else aside from basic trade talk and droning about governmental affairs. Well, it'd probably be the same, just more interesting...The private booth of the restaurant was just that: private. Between the sound-dampening field and the almost clasutrophic-inducing crimson curtains, she wondered if the man was purposely trying to trap her attention on him. It's like using an interdictor cruiser to force someone to focus on you...
“I've heard a lot about him lately,” muttered the woman, “did the others think of him being controversial?”
“Politics is always controversial,” sagely noted the corpulent man, “but the President had a knack for pulling people together to deal with things. That is, when he wasn't galvinating across half the sector racing his yacht against some hooligans.”
“Oh? Was he a daredevil or something like that?”
The man motioned that he was still chewing on a piece of his pasta. She nodded in understanding. Well, at least this is actual something that might prove to be useful...
“Some would say that,” informed McClyde, “but he lived for the experiences. You'd be hard pressed to find him not trying to find himself something new or interesting. He was the perfect man for something like this; always full of stories unlike a certain old, bureacratic windbag sitting in this booth.”
“You're not that bad,” lied the brunette.
He dismissively waved the comment away, “Anyways, the President had said a couple of weeks ago that he had found something out there among the stars, something he was going to reveal us pretty soon.”
Her eyes widened. The Entymalians have seemed interested in lost artifacts and technology. Perhaps that's why they came in such force towards the man...
“What sort of thing?”
“Didn't say,” smiled the man, “and always smiled just like I just did whenever anyone asked. He loved to surprise people. But old bureacratic windbags like me are good at ruining events like that.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Well, as Minister of Trade, I have some broad regulatory powers about what can and cannot come onto the planet. So naturally, I just hinted at that when he mentioned he'd bring it down to the surface for the unveiling.”
“So you know what it is.”
She looked at him closer.
“And I'm not going to say anything else about it,” replied the man, “not without a guarantee from you.”
“What kind of guarantee?”
“You met our Minister of Justice.”
“I have,” acknowledged brunette, wiggling on her side of the booth.
“Then at the very least,” stated the man, looking around the booth, “what I'm about to say does not leave this booth. He can't know about it. Pherick's been looking for a while now to malign the name of our president, and I'd rather not give him any potential excuse to do just that.”
“I won't mention anything about it to him, you have my word.”
“Good,” stated the man, relaxing a little bit, “he found a droid.”
“That's it? Just a droid?”
There have to been millions of droids in space; everything from ancient Old Republic probots to missing military prototypes from countless of cultures...and probably thousands of droid survivors over the millenia from starship crashes...
“An alien droid,” said the man, “I didn't get much more out of him than that, except for it roughly our size. He assured me it wasn't a battle or assassin droids of sorts, so I didn't inquire any further.”
“That still leaves out hundreds of other options,” mused Lydia, recalling the various droids she had seen over the years, “any idea that someone else might know about it.”
“Well, yes and no,” mused the man, “although the president never publically announced his flight plans, and even though he tried to scrub them, I heard that the Phaseeran defense forces were tracking his ship without his knowledge, but you didn't hear that from me.”
“Do you think the president is really dead?”
“His body hasn't been found,” noted McClyde, “so I would think so, but one never knows. The Entymalians aren't really known for being slavers, are they? I mean, aside from the Taicho incident. But really, there wasn't enough time for such a thing. And no-one else is missing...”
“Unless it was a targeted operation,” mused the woman, “which would seem highly likely given either his position or what he had found. Especially since nothing else notable happened from that raid.”
“Well, not exactly,” admitted McClyde, “and this is something else that doesn't cross your lips. The Entymalians took some special cargo from the government house in the raid too.”
“No,” replied the man, “something much worse I'm afraid.”
He let out a sigh, “We've been trying to keep it under wraps since everyone has been expecting it.”
“It was our latest prototype for the Dart-class Rescue Craft. We thought it could become a real game changer for our economy, and of course, everyone else out there, especially with wars starting up all over again. They also took a lot of the research we put into it.”
“A medical ship?”
“Not just a medical ship, but more like a space-going ambulance, with the latest technologies, something even your Confederation might be interested in potentially buying. But there's a little secret I'm willing to tell you about it, if you're willing to search for it, along with hunting down those who attacked us.”
Nov 28 2013 3:27am
Alkari Corp Light Cruiser Interceptor, in orbit via Phaseera
“What? No, that's not right at all. You really took that hook, line, and sinker too? I'll have to start taking notes from the Minister of Trade from now on...”
“About as much as you did for that the Entymalian's distraction apparently.”
Captain Illiam turned his chin downwards, as if to say: really, you went there? She felt her own irritation subside at his wounded pride. The Entymalians had managed to draw out most of the world's defenses in a diversionary attack on some passing merchant vessels; Captain Illiam had scrambled his vessels in response, only to realize that even more Entymalians had jumped in to attack his homeworld itself, but they left before his defense forces could finish their double-back to the world. He turned from the woman to face the jungle world.
“Well, for starters, to correct your errors, the Dart Project isn't really focused on the ship per se, albeit what one could maybe call the transport drone a ship,” said the man, “but really, it's not more than a hyperspace capable shell for the Darts themselves.”
“And what are the Darts then themselves?”
The man turned, “Medical response droids. Think about it, a world gets struck by the Reavers or a bomb or whatever disaster you can think of, a galactic government just launches dozens of these things from the fleet, they go in and arrive rapidly to treat them. That's the concept anyways, I can't tell you much about the droids themselves, that part is the president's pet project. Supposedly there's some pretty interesting technology involved in that part, but he's been pretty tight-lipped about that. But part of it might be the source of the technology.”
She raised an eyebrow, “And that's why he's been racing around on his personal yacht?”
“Probably,” agreed Illiam, “he's admitted to me that that's what he's doing, trying to incorporate a lot of things from different cultures into it, and having various people like himself tinker with the prototypes.”
“He's a bit of a tech geek then?”
“Absolutely,” replied the captain, “it was his job before becoming president. President Wuremu used to be a chief engineer. His vision for Phaseera would make us a mecca of the tech industry.”
“Would,” noted the woman, “he mentioned you were tracking him...”
He frowned, “How did he know that?”
“I don't know. Is it true?”
“It is,” admitted the man, “let me guess, part of the deal he brokered with you was to help us get it back.”
“Well that's just great...”
Nov 28 2013 3:31am
Several hours later...
Styria-class Galleon Warley, Lantillian Sector
“Is his data sound?”
“Assuming they still have the pod,” mused the Soroyan woman, “it should be; that's where their navy planted the tracking beacon.”
The ovoid galleons merged into formation with the starships of the Phaseeran Star Navy. Most of them were tiny compact cruisers like the Interceptor, lightly armed but extremely fast for their size. While she didn't doubt their utility in customs inspections or rapidly responding to pirate attacks, she wondered if they'd be capable of a prolonged battle with whatever Entymalian host awaited them. I wonder if we'll even be able to stand up against them, or if we'll have to call in reinforcements of our own. The newly rebuilt Lantillian defense forces weren't terribly far away, nor were the Wookiees and Trandoshans of Serendivius, but she found herself already wanting to put in calls for reinforcements. But I could end up summoning them for nothing....Especially with the Phaseerans' luck. Watch, we'll get there to see that little disk of a homing beacon floating around in the middle of nothing. Her communication's officer, a Trandoshan who preferred to be called “Tufts”, called out to her.
“Captain Illiam's ready when we are.”
She nodded, “Thanks. Well, here goes nothing. Let's make the jump.”
Lydia tapped a button on her console, causing the shutters to clamp down on all of the bridge viewports. She knew many people, even herself on occasion, found some sort of claming effect from the flowing lines of hyperspace, regardless of the proclamations of some scientists who claimed that it caused space madness. But Nevaere found herself wanting cut out the distractions as she tried to wrap her mind around the tangled web of Phaseeran politics. Thus far, it had appeared that the three Phaseerans she had all talked to had some elements of truth and some elements of falsehood in them. Yet she couldn't quite figure out if one of them was more truthful than the rest. Certainly subjectivity played a part of their thoughts, as well as hers, yet she felt that one of them wasn't being as honest as they should have been with her or the Confederation. Minutes turned to hours. Yet even after consulting the ship's databanks, she didn't feel like she was any closer to unravelling the truth behind the woven stories of the Phaseerans. The automatic raising of the shutters as the galleon neared its destination broke her reverie and drew her back to immediate reality. The gravity warning klaxon sounded and her helmsmen immediately brought the craft back to real space in accordance with Confederation doctorine. The ship abruptly tumbled back into realspace. A string of the Confederate galleons fell into real space and scattered among the stars, with a bright blue sun flooding the forward viewports with its brilliant light. Yet none of the Phaseeran ships reappeared among them. They probably aren't running on the same prereqs though. I'd be willing to bet that with how eager Illiam seemed to be in rescuing the president and the prototypes, he's pushed his crews to the max of the safety confines.
“Signal all of the other galleons, and let's put us back into something like a squadron formation,” decided the Line Captain, “anyone got info on the Phaseerans or anyone else around us.”
“They're much closer to that sun,” informed Tufts, “and Captain Illiam is wondering where the hell we are.”
“Tell him we're coming,” smirked the woman, “but that we don't like having our ships being prematurely toasted.”
“He's engaging the Entymalains,” informed the trandoshan, “apparently they have a large station there, but they're somewhat stronger than what he was expecting.”
“tell him to fall back to us and see if we can get any data about the force opposing us.”
“He's already streaming the data,” replied the tranoshan, “I'll thread it through to your console.”
She pulled up the data. A set of boxy looking structures unlike any Entymalian or other structure she had ever seen seemed to almost to touch the sun. Plasma surged out of the sun and seemed to stream into the station. Judging by the asteroids being fed into the structure, she guessed that it was at least an ore processing station, and with the scaffolding on the side opposite of the sun, it might even by a shipyard of sorts. A second station seemed to hover just away from the first station and among the Entymalian vessels swarming to defend the station. This one was clearly of different manufacture. Skyscraper-like towers rose from its circular base, as if someone had transported a section of Coruscant and launched it among the stars. Her eyes settled onto the more familiar Entymalian ships already giving chase to the Phaseeran customs cruisers. There's way to many of them for us. She sighed.
“Let's find the nearest sensor disturbance and get behind it,” decided the woman, “Tufts, call in for reinforcements and feed them the tactical feed from the Interceptor. We may have just found the center of where all those Entymalian raiders have been coming from.”
Nov 28 2013 3:35am
Several hours had passed since the Confederation galleons had formed upbehind the cover of the edges of a particle storm full of the blue sun's decaying solar filaments. Space seemed to shimmer around them, blocking not only the Confederate's view of the distant installation or rather that of their sensors, nor could the Entymalians see them. Most of the Phaseerans star cruisers had managed to escape the system before jumping back in to rejoined the hidden confederate formation. But several had not. One of the Interceptor's sister ships had been so crippled that it's crew had to escape on their shuttle before sending their cruiser in a suicidal ramming action against the alleged Entymalian shipyard. Another cruiser had been completely destroyed as it played out a desperate rearguard action against several of the Entymalian's medium frigates. We never should have come out here without performing a recon. But that's easier said than done when you don't have any specific reconaissance resources. But at least our reinforcements should...Tufts raised his voice above the murmur of her small bridge crew.
“Orders from the new engagement commander. All ships are being dispatched to cover these various vectors...”
As he spoke, a holograph popped on her chair's projector, displaying a three dimensional representation of the system. A series of yellow lines labelled with various ship names sprawled out from their current positions to areas around the star to form a loose web. One of the webs was labelled the Interceptor. She pursed her lips. I wonder if they've talked out the plan with Captain Illiam or they're simply assuming he's going to go along with it. Still, it looks like a solid cordon to catch anyone who tries to escape. Lydia spared a glance at the origination signal at the bottom right of the holo. Serendivius code of some sort. Unusual. But if they're cloaked, they're perfect for this operation-
A flood of voices interrupted her thoughts. She quickly switched her holo back to the tactical live feed streaming from a Confederate recon drone. Brief series of fireballs rippled across the Entymalian ships. On cue, dozens of minute laser streams briefly lit up the space around the small Entymalian transports; dozens of them were caught offguard and promptly destroyed. The line captain thought she briefly saw a S16 flicker in and out of existence. So the rumors about the phantom prowler may be some merit after all, if I can believe my own eyes. She the thoughts from her head.
“Let's get moving then, everyone to their positions.”
The Confederate and Phaseeran starships jetted away from their cover to form a loose, weaving orbit around the blue star. She noted several Serendivius frigate-sized vessels near their orbits park themselves and begin to fire their oversized cannons at the distant targets. Most of the Entymalian ships jetted away from the gravity of the sun and the withering long-range fire of the Serendivius starships. Confederation starfighters continued to harass the survivors of the long-range bombardment with salvos of proton torpedoes.
“The rescue flights are away,” stated Tufts loudly, “they're requesting any additional assistance we can provide to them...er...I mean starfighters.”
“Flight control,” replied the woman quickly, “give'em what they want. Weapons, do we have any hostile ships about to enter our interception track?”
“Ah, one,” replied a short man, “the other station that looks like a small city.”
She quickly flipper through her holo screens to pull up the target. With more accurate data from the various Confederate vessels, Lydia realized that the station was not actually a station: it was moving far too quickly to be propelled by simple manuevering thrusters that many stations possessed. It clearly had a full-sized drive hidden somewhere in it's urban exterior. It's also very large...roughly three times are size...but it doesn't seem to have any obvious weapons. Perhaps it's a converted Ithorian herd ship or something like that...the size and shape about right, aside from the towers...
“Let's take it down then,” decided the woman, watching several dozen Piranhas stream out of her ship to join the CG-10s carrying the rescue mission personnel, “and bring the fight to them.”
Her galleon swung into outer the gravity well of the sun and hurtled it down towards the escaping space city. Lydia idly tapped her fingers on the chair's armrest, watching the silver towers grow slowly in her viewport. It almost looks beautiful. As they neared the other starship, ion tags fluttered out from the Warley like a swarm of angry blue bees. As if to meet the challenge of the hybrid vessel, the city ship began to launch a swarm of larger blue blobs. She instantly recognized them.Proton torpedoes. That explains why there weren't any target locks on us earlier, as well as we couldn't see any weapons...But even as her mind mulled through reality, her mouth was speaking before she knew it.
“Helm, slow us down by fifty percent. I want more time shoot at those torps before they hit us. Flight control, better direct the drones to concentrate on those torps.”
She frowned. They might get away, but at least we'll be more intact. And that's good for business. Her galleon fired its retro thrusters, attempting to reign in the Confederate starship's speed. But the remainder of the galleon's drone complement continued forward, sputtering out emerald blaster bolts at the salvo of approaching missiles. Explosions rippled between the two opposing ships, creating a barrier of crimson gold between the two vessels. Moxell Morn, the Warley's helmsman, deftly used the star's gravity to alter the ship's path to swing out of the way of the chain reaction that engulfed several of the Piranha drones. The galleon cleared the explosion to pit itself directly in the city-ship's path. The unknown city ship continued forward, edging under the galleon's ventral surface; the towers of the vessels seemed to almost scrap the bottom of the confederation ship's hull. More torpedoes emerged from the city-ship, the point-defense cannons of the Warley ripped them apart as they left their tubes. Now we've got them... The ship suddenly vanished into nothinginess. She frowned.
“Did they jump? Or are they using some sort of stealth tech?”
Silence emanated throughout the bridge, until her sensor operator finished rechecking the scans.
“There is cronau radiation in our immediate vicinity,” informed the sensor operator, “it would appear that they have escaped into hyperspace.”
“But,” announced Tufts, “we have successfully rescued the president and the prototype.”
“And found a new enemy,” added the woman, “but hopefully we'll have some more solid friendship with the Phaseerans now.”
Nov 28 2013 3:36am
Thuân Vĩ, Phaseera
“Once the Phaseeran Peace Party operative was outed as the raider's informant, it was a pretty simple affair as far as Phaseeran politics is concerned,” muttered the Illiam, “damn hippies. Of course, Pherick denied all knowledge about knowing anything about that.”
Line Captain Nevaere let a grin crack across her otherwise placid face. With the president back onworld, the Prosperity Party, along with the president's own party, the Phaseera First Party, had finally managed to twist the arm of their junior partner, the Phaseeran Peace Party into signing a membership treaty with the Confederation. Pherick had quietly opposed the measure, but with President Wuremu personally threatening to start giving interviews about his thoughts on that party's involvement with his kidnapping, the other man was inclined to keep him happy for the time being. Most of the Confederation member worlds were skeptical about the claims of the Dart Project which Wuremu enthuisiastically espoused. Yet the system had drawn enough interest for the Diplomatic Corps to purchase a few systems to test as potential method of outreach to nearby worlds. More Phaseerans found themselves aligned with the Prosperity Party's position: Less spectatular by more steady traditional confederation contracts were of better use to them than risky tech ventures.
“Of course he did. And I hear you're getting away from this all.”
He nodded, “The Academy is the place for me. But perhaps I'll see again once I get my federal assignment.”