In this Issue of the Blue Report we catch up with another newbie. Luap has been coming around for a few months now and he’s getting along with the patrons. We decided to see what makes him tick and we have to say he’s a man of few words, but what he does say can be entertaining. Enjoy.
BR: So tell us about yourself.
Luap: uh uhm, it's me! Everything else you have to find out, can't help you.
BR: How did you find the chat site?
Luap: Blame Tycho some years ago, or the battlefield players now.
BR: What do you like about the chatsite?
Luap: I like the people.
BR: What would you do to make the chat site even better?
Luap: Offer a CSS that has a better overview
BR: If you were to join a Team or Department, which one would it be?
BR: Have you played our awesome BNT (BlackNova Traders) game?
BR: Any special talents?
Luap: Tell me if you have an interesting problem that can be solved by software/scripting.
BR: If you could do one thing for a day,what would it be?
Luap: Does it have to be different to my normal days? The more important question is with whom i'll spend that day or where. Perhaps visit a course of Donald Knuth or travel through space ...
BR: Name one person you find funny and another person you think is just odd (this is just for fun)
Luap: I'm forced to mention that Thor and Andrew are awesome.
BR: Do you plan on inviting your friends to this place?
Luap: they are already there :P
He began rehearsing the plan in his mind again, partly to combat his tension (mental exercise had a calming effect on him) and partly to assure himself that he hadn't overlooked anything. His plan was incredibly simple and that pleased him, even amused him. He didn't think it would depend on exceptionally precise timing, but he knew he'd have to be quick. And he reckoned he'd need a glib tongue to pull it off. He'd have to gain the confidence of the starfighter pilot. He'd have to put him at ease and off his guard. After all, he was going to have his escort's cooperation...if he could just get him to take the bait...if he could just get him to...
"Keenest Flyer, stand by to de-orbit." His body flinched and his eyes opened, instantly wide. The voice in his comset was feminine and familiar. It was the one voice he did not want to hear right now. Tess! d**n!
He didn't like deceiving Tess, but he felt it was necessary. There had been a number of defections in the hepters since the Consortium of Allied Planets had ostracized Pleia (PNN reports characterized The Consortium as antagonistic, bordering on warmongering) and Pleia Directorate was already cracking down on dissidents. Anyone who traveled now was coming under closer and closer scrutiny, particularly pilots. So he had decided on a little misdirection via a date with Tess. He hadn't anticipated encountering her here, now, but he could work that to his advantage. A little flirtatious banter with her about their date over the comset as he was about to depart would almost certainly aid his effort to divert any undue glances that might otherwise be directed his way. He knew Tess would understand and he would make it up to her when all this was over. Still, something imperceptible, something just beyond his consciousness, something foreboding, began simmering deep within his mind.
He collected himself, activated his comset, and spoke. "Keenest Flyer standing by." Then, trying to sound upbeat, he continued, "What brings you here, Tess? This isn't your shift. You're not tryin' ta scarf up a few overtime credits, are ya? We're not goin' fifty-fifty, ya know." He said it teasingly but he couldn’t help being curious. These deros, unannounced changes could prove...unpleasant.
"Cute, Seb," she teased back. Then, matter of factly, "No. Renaro took sick and they asked me to fill in for 'im."
"That's odd. He never gets sick. Well, only once that I can think of, and that didn't keep 'im from coming in. Hell, as I recall, he got chewed out for coming to work with a fever. Any idea what's wrong with 'im?" Seb and Mev Renaro had developed a close friendship over the rayos and Seb was naturally concerned.
"I...uh...can't say, Seb." Something in her tone implored him not to inquire any further, and he felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. One word came into his mind: NoffScan, the spies who watch after dark. He chose his response carefully. As if thinking out loud, he said, "Hmmm. Reckon I'll have to look in on 'im when I get back.
He knew he needed to change the subject, now, and there was one piece of information he wanted. As nonchalantly as he could, he asked, "Who's flyin' cover for me this dero, Tess?"
"Uhhh, checking, Seb. Ahhh, here it is." There was a hint of relief in her voice at which Seb felt a little of his own. "Your escort is a Flight Officer Bendavi."
Bendavi. He searched his mind, but he didn't know the name. He was friendly with most of the starfighter pilots but this one was completely new to him and that compounded his uneasiness. He would need the element of surprise and he knew he could accomplish that best with someone he knew, someone who trusted him, someone who would hesitate just long enough so he could make his break. He knew well that the element of surprise would mean the difference between a successful escape and being blasted out of space... and that, with somebody he didn't know, the latter was the likelier to occur. It was looking less and less as if he would even make it to the fabled outpost, let alone in one piece. Of course, he knew he didn't have to go through with it, but then he thought about Mev's obvious fate and what might be his own if he stayed. It was no longer a question of if.
"Thanks, Tess." He meant it, and he didn't.
"Any time, Seb," she replied. Then, "All right, get ready, Seb, You're, comin' up on go."
He affected a smile in his voice, "Okay, Tess. I'll see ya when I get back, then. I’m thinkin’ dinner and a show."
"Sounds good to me, Seb. As a matter of fact, I’ve got just the show in mind." Her voice reflected her usual buoyancy.