Put Down the Penguin

After a well-deserved break, our Inquisitor has a new mission for us acolytes. We meet up at the briefing where we're given a transcription of some off-world event that we need to know about. Mordecai is volunteered to read it. 'Jesus, it's long.' Is that it? It's not much of a clue, but we can work on it.

Apparently that was just Mordecai's reaction to half a page of text, and we are treated instead to a description of security camera footage and parts of a recorded conversation. One chap is killed, another may have been killed, there is some betrayal. It's a little hard to follow, but Inquisitor Varrak continues the briefing with more details, letting us know the backgrounds of the two men involved and what has happened since. Our mission is to travel to the planet and get to the roots of the terrorist organisation thought to be at the heart of some recent attacks.

'I have a question, Inquisitor Varrak', Mordecai says.

'Go ahead, I will do my best to answer it.'

'Why do penguins have a thick layer of feathers?' Right, that's the last time I bring biscuits with jokes on the wrappers to our meetings.

Luckily, we won't be going alone to the mining planet of Sepheris Secundis. We will have a native to help us with local relations and geographic information, although it is something of a surprise to be told that he is also one of the two people recorded in the transcript, as it seemed like he was killed, and indeed is generally thought to be dead. He has actually been held by the Inquisition for the past few years in a subterranean cell. We need to negotiate his help, though, which he may not be too keen to give us considering his incarceration.

'How do we get to the cells? Are there stairs?' asks Dariel, getting to the heart of the issue. 'It is the 41st millennium, after all. Stairs must have been made obsolete by now.'

'No stairs', Matthias replies, 'just a ridge which you step over and a gravity field gently pulls you down'.

'Yep, it's called 'gravity', but I don't know how gentle it is.' We don't end up using the 'gravity field' but make it to the cells anyway, and despite failing to remember an important point made in the briefing still convince the fellow to return with us to his home planet to help in our mission.

The only issue now is how we pass the time on the three-month interplanetary journey. 'We'll need to go in to stasis', says Matthias, which Dariel thinks is a good option. 'Okay then, lie down and I'll get the stasis mallet.' Maybe we'll just play cards instead.

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