On the Green

While the Orbital University Earth Campus Security guards are busy wrestling Mark and Thunderhorse, Doc and Steve slip quietly off the stage, joining the other students on their way out the door. Professor Schoefield choses to stay put, but does not make any attempt to alert the guards.

Once beyond the threshold of the auditorium, they exit Mercury Hall via the large, open glass doors. The campus is magnificent. Earth extends across half the sky above them, while the other half is filled with black space and stars, and the moon in the distance. The campus its self is green and brightly lit by the earthshine.

Dr. Ritenrong holds his pocket watch like a walkie-talkie. "Veronica? Are you there?"

There is no answer.

"Veronica? It's Dr. Ritenrong. Hello? Where are you?"

Still no answer.

"Host? Anyone?"


"That's strange," he complains. "We shouldn't be out of range of the relay if she's here. Maybe she's on her way and hasn't picked up the signal yet, or maybe there's some interference."

"I thought the Q-Net stuff was instant communication. Why would there be a delay?" Doc asks.

"Our portables use regular old electromagnetic signals to communicate with the quantum router on board the ship. Unfortunately there's no quantum routers on this station, in this era anyway. She better not still be in the Oort cloud still. It'll take a year for the signal to reach her."

A train of automatic hover-rickshaws stops nearby and begins picking up students. Steve leads Doc towards one of them. As they approach, the campus police are carrying Mark and Thunderhorse out to the hover cars parked nearby.

"How are we going to get them out?" Doc asks as they get into the floating cart.

"I don't know. We can't just go claim them without valid IDs," Steve replies. The rickshaw dings, requesting a destination. "Io labs, please," he tells the cart. "I need to get to a computer terminal to try to get ourselves into the system. Hopefully with some excuse as to how we got past the entry checkpoints to begin with. I thought it would take them a lot longer to notice there were stowaways on board."

The cart lifts into the air with a slight, pulsing whir. It slides effortlessly over the spacious campus greens. The university buildings are laid out on three concentric elliptical paths. The buildings themselves are sleek towers and domes of glass and steel. Mercury hall is a three story tall egg-shaped cylinder between the innermost paths. In the center is a gigantic cylindrical tower which extends above the huge glass dome surrounding the campus.

Dr. Ritenrong points this out. "Sun Tower. At the top is the docking bay."

They fly towards a large, glass dome on the outermost circuit of the campus. The building is flanked by four smaller domes. The rickshaw descends towards one of those.

Dr. Ritenrong gets out of the cart. "I'll go see what I can do to get ourselves into the database. I need you to check out the parking lot and see if the Pu is there. If it's not, and we don't hear from Veronica soon, we may need to find some alternative means of transport. Check out our options."

Dr. Ritenrong leaves Doc in the rickshaw. In the distance, back at Mercury Hall, Doc can see the flashing blue lights of the OUECS's squad cars carrying Mark and Thunderhorse to Sun Tower.


ERR said...

Steve Move Silently 10 (5 + 5 Dex Focus, -1 Chi) vs OUECS Listen -6 (3+1-10 distracted) XP+1
Doc Move Silently 10 (8+2) vs OUECS Listen -2 (7+1-10, distracted) XP+1

Doc said...


Head for the parking lot and look for the PU.