The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    Quote Originally Posted by Recaiden View Post
    "I'd think a god would just know." the priestess teases. "That's part of the work of the temple, is figuring out how to help people." She wants to rise through the ranks of the priesthood, return to her notional homeland and fulfill the job she was raised for, stay in Inside and be part of city life, fly into the depths of space and never come back, work out the strange relationship between her and the queen, make amends for that novice she frightened when she was new here, prove that the Mote is better than the Broadsword after all, spend time with this creepy fascinating Vice, etc. Can she say any of that?
    She shakes her head.
    Vice frowns. "I sense a lot of conflict within you. What would make you happiest, personally?"
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  2. - Top - End - #242
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Sanctuary]

    "Do you just know what would make you happy?" It's not usually that easy, Vice. "But I think it might be if I didn't need to go back to Icehome. But who will if I don't?"

    [Hospital]

    "I'll admit, a lot of it's beyond me too." The captain frowns at Maroon for a moment. What's wrong with the translator? "Now, as a condition of letting you go, you're going to look after Maroon, make sure it doesn't eat anyone. You were concerned for it before, and it's one of very few people from your region of space here. I'm sure you'll get along."

    Simon might note that this part of the hospital looks distinctly...less like a hospital. They try to heal people with mundane techniques where it's possible (with a few magical touches like antibiotics that are actually 100% effective and won't promote resistance), but there's no two ways about this; bringing back the dead requires miracles. And miracles prefer magic circles, incense, statues, and appropriate ritual more than gleaming surgical tools and comforting paint colors.
    Russel lifts the first body out of its container and onto the slab.
    A vulpan priest sweeps into the room and ushers everyone back beyond the edges of the magic circle. The censers light themselves as the priest passes a hand over the body, sprinkling it with sparkling dust.
    "Holy Inari, mother of foxes, hear my prayer."
    "This man has died before his time, in the service of the law, leaving his ship and fellow crew in need. He has been avenged, but we ask more than vengeance. Part the gates of the ether and send him again to the mortal world."

    He lays his hand on the corpse's forehead, and in an instant the damage done by decompression and the void of space is erased, leaving him as warm and healthy as just before the explosion.
    "Adherbal, return to us."
    Whether the body sparks to life is up to Adherbal. Plenty of spirits decide that actually, life wasn't so great, or their death was so awful, or the afterlife is just better, or they'd already done all they care to do. So they don't come back.

    "Oh, uh, if I didn't mention before, this isn't a trick. Magic is real." Des comments to Simon. He's known that his whole life, but there are people and places without a clue!
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  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    Hospital

    Nothing, just... A minor case of Nexus altering it to make things easier for the future.

    "I... Guess it's from my region of space. Its homeworld is undiscovered, so it could be anywhere. Did it tell you where it came from, during your chat?" Niarlo wasn't there for that bit, so he doesn't know what they spoke of. Maroon's own species doesn't have space travel, because doing anything with fire is a risky proposition when your primary mode of locomotion requires a large body-sac full of methane.

    Maroon just floats there, impassively, staring at the sky. "My world's sky is two shades deeper, and the clouds are whiter." During its talk, Maroon flashes the colour of its sky and its clouds; the sky is a near-sky blue, within Earth possible, and the clouds are yellower.

    Simon's a little confused by the religious accoutrements, and watches with no small amount of scepticism and disbelief. That disbelief is ended totally when Adherbal coughs, his flash-frozen skin healing back to its natural dark brown. "What... Uh, what's happening? Why can I taste lemon pie? What is this place?" To his credit, the technician doesn't flinch when he sees Russel, or the priest, or anything really.

    "...Okay." Simon's a little subdued, and now he's seen it, he's far more willing to believe than before. He's quite accepting of Des' comment.
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  4. - Top - End - #244
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Hospital]

    "Almost certainly closer to you than to us. My people hadn't even met any alien life until we arrived here. But Maroon didn't specifically know. Just that beings came down from above to add the mechanical bits and take them away."
    Perhaps if they knew anything about where the ship came from, that information would help locate Maroon's homeworld.

    "Is the color important?"


    "This is the hospital at the Temple of Inari in Old Town Inside, Nexus. You technically died, but we've fixed that. No strenuous activity for a week, and you'll make a full recovery."

    "Your ship was sabotaged; it crashed into our system and everyone but Simon here died. We picked you up." Des offers a more contextual explanation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
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  5. - Top - End - #245
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    Hospital

    Niarlo nods his acknowledgement of Maroon's history, before turning to the space-squid. "What did they look like? The people who took you from your world?"
    Maroon replies to the questions in order. "I do not know. They are different. This is odd. The star-people touched the ground in three places and had three tentacles, with big holes in their faces. They spoke without speaking, like you do." Maroon has a visual language, translated by its cybernetics into audible sounds; likewise, the audible sounds used in humanoid language is translated into a format that Maroon can understand.

    "I... I died? How did you make me not-dead? Why?" Adherbal looks around at everyone. "I recognise you. Simon, right? The guard? What happened to the prisoners?" He's still not sure why he tastes lemon pie.
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  6. - Top - End - #246
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    Default [Hospital]

    The captain shakes her head. "I don't recognize that description. Do you, Professor? And Maroon, would you prefer to be brought to the ocean?" It must be eerie, 'hearing' voices from nowhere like the cyber-squid does.

    "Yes, died. Try not to be too alarmed; it happens to everyone. 'How' is a very complex answer, but 'why' is easier. Your rescuers wanted to give you another chance. It's what we do."
    "We dealt with the prisoners." Des assures him nonspecifically, while stepping up to help Adherbal to his feet.
    The lemon taste is probably a coincidence. Certainly it's not an intended part of the resurrection process.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
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  7. - Top - End - #247
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    Hospital

    It's more like seeing sign language with no people, but yes. Very creepy indeed.

    "I... Do not, not exactly. Rumours, only. Reports of abductions, homeless people from other planets, strange artefacts found on uninhabited worlds, carvings found on airless moons, and ruined structures of unknown manufacture on isolated asteroids. Nothing concrete, however. No government has claimed contact with them, or to have identified what they are or where they're from. Or even to have verified their existence." Well, lots of concrete evidence (sometimes literally), but nothing tying it all together to the one secretive race with three arms, three legs and large mouths.

    "The ocean is wet. Wet is good. Wet stops death." They're not exactly prone to exploding randomly, but fires or lightning can kill them in a pretty messy way.

    "I... I thank you. How can I repay you?" Adherbal gets up and bounces around. "I'm on a planet. This is real grav. What world is this?" He couldn't explain how he knows it's real gravity, however.
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  8. - Top - End - #248
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    Quote Originally Posted by Recaiden View Post
    [Sanctuary]

    "Do you just know what would make you happy?" It's not usually that easy, Vice. "But I think it might be if I didn't need to go back to Icehome. But who will if I don't?"
    Vice thinks for a moment, then smiles. "I may be able to do something. Perhaps not here, though. I fear Inari would object."
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  9. - Top - End - #249
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Hospital]

    Yeah, that's worse.

    "But someone has definitely been taking these people an building these structures. Just not anyone who cares to be found."
    Ominous. But surely Maroon is out of their three-armed reach now.
    "Why don't you take them there for a while, Niarlo? The shore is west of here, uh, that way."


    "It was paid for with looted things from the wreck of your ship, more or less."

    "But if you wish to make some donation or service to the hospital, it would be accepted."
    "This here is the Nexus. It is most likely incalculably distant from your destination."


    Russel lifts the other victim patient onto the slab, and the priest begins repeating the spell.

    [Sanctuary]

    The priestess raises an eyebrow. "Oh? What do you have in mind? If Inari would object, I'm not sure I should be getting involved..." Vice isn't even pretending to not be evil, is he? But she's tempted all the same.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
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  10. - Top - End - #250
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Sanctuary]

    "A doppelganger." Vice explains. "A version of you that could go back and fulfill your duties, while you stay here and enjoy yourself."
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  11. - Top - End - #251
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    The priestess considers this.
    "Won't my doppelganger be just as unhappy or conflicted as I would be? It doesn't seem fair."
    Last edited by Recaiden; 2018-07-25 at 07:21 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
    ~Inner Circle~
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Sanctuary]

    "I can make it so she wouldn't be." Vice offers.
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  13. - Top - End - #253
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    Default [Sanctuary]

    The priestess starts to walk out towards the arboretum, motioning for Vice to come along.
    "So then what's the catch?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
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  14. - Top - End - #254
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Sanctuary => Arboretum]

    "Catch?" Vice thinks for a moment following along. "I'd ask you to be a follower of mine, but you're already preoccupied with Inari."
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  15. - Top - End - #255
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    Default [Arboretum]

    The priestess laughs. "That's right. Maybe my doppelganger will be more flexible?" Probably not though. The obligations the copy has to fulfill are also closely tied to the church of Inari. "Go for it."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Arboretum]

    Vice reaches towards the ground and concentrates, pulling up something smokey and liquid all at once. Black and red swirls and coalesces, until the blob of twisting pulsating stuff has reached the height of the priestess. Vice snaps his fingers, and suddenly there is what appears to be a black granite copy of the priestess. He taps its head and there's a loud CRACK! and now strands a living, breathing replica of the priestess.
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  17. - Top - End - #257
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    Default [Arboretum]

    "Are you really-?" The priestesses both start, and then stop, laughing. They look to Vice, amazed. A whole person, out of nothing! Well, out of rock, but just like that! "Amazing." "Do I really look like that?" The priestesses look at each other again, and blush.
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  18. - Top - End - #258
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Arboretum]

    The priestess might notice that the doppelganger is actually an idealized version of herself. Somehow she's just... more. More vibrant, more melodic, more everything.

    Vice just smiles.
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  19. - Top - End - #259
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    Default [Arboretum]

    "No, you're taller than me! Some doppelganger." It can't be by very much. The priestess was already fairly tall. "Just don't slouch." Hmm, smoother voice too. They both draw themselves up, but it's true, the doppelganger has an inch or so over the original. "I'm not! And you really don't mind going back to Icehome?" "It will be an honor. Besides, this place needs one of us now more than ever."

    The original looks to Vice. "How can I thank you properly for this?" At the moment, she's overjoyed. It will take time for any jealousy and second-guessing to set it.
    Last edited by Recaiden; 2018-07-26 at 11:20 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
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  20. - Top - End - #260
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    Hospital

    "Hmm, yes. But are the abductors the same as the builders, and who created the artefacts? The same people again, or another group? The structures have been abandoned for centuries, millennia sometimes, according to the archaeology. Nothing abandoned for less than five centuries, and few clues to the inhabitants in anything built less than six centuries ago. There's maybe as many as three species of builder, but we've found remains only of one. That one disappeared in violence a thousand years ago. Their structures are true ruins, their remains incomplete. We don't know if it was civil war or invasion. Nothing on planets, either; asteroids only." Niarlo nods and waves at Maroon, to attract the squid's attention. "Let's go, this way. What's your gender, by the way? I do not know your species. I am male-stage."
    "This one is too young to breed. It shall breed when it feeds upon the translation unavailable. Then it shall die to disperse the next generation." Niarlo nods, absorbing the rather strange information. And starts to wonder how a species without a parental instinct developed complex communication.

    -

    "What would be accepted that I can give?" Adherbal would like to offer something, and learn about what the world later.

    Aethelstan doesn't return.
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Hospital]

    "Surely Maroon is not five centuries old. They must still be around in some form." The captain shakes her head.
    Probably communication helped the adolescents coordinate and survive, or at least kill each other less.


    "You're a technician, were you? I'm sure there are things you could teach us about your world's technology - look for someone in a green uniform." The priest looks down at Aethelstan and nods sadly.
    "Well, he's properly passed on. There's nothing more I can do. But a day where we've saved one of you is still a good day."
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    Hospital

    "No, probably not. But we don't have any extant settlements or buildings for them. And the abductors might not be the builders, they could be another people. Perhaps even the one who destroyed the builders." It's hard to tell with the little information they have.

    Adherbal nods and moves away, looking for anybody in green.
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Hospital]

    A mystery that for Niarlo is going to have to remain unsolved.
    "Well, it's all long past now. Good luck out there. Don't make me regret giving you another chance."
    The odds of the professor accidentally destroying the Nexus are not good, but it bears saying.


    There are not many people in green in the hospital, he'll want to end up out in the arboretum or garden, where at first they'll be confused about why he was sent to them and not to someone in Intersection. But eventually, Adherbal will be directed to a Deputy Gardener who knows what's up. She's one of the small-but-big-eared desert foxpeople, and has just finished pruning an ornamental tree. "So what's your specialty? It can be hard to tell, sometimes what people think is perfectly ordinary is near-miraculous in other worlds."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    Hospital

    Maroon and Niarlo might come back. It's not like they have anywhere else to go to.

    "I'm a technical support officer. Or I was. I'm a generalist engineer with a more advanced, but still pretty generic, skillset than the maintenance engineers. I... Basically, I was intended to replace anyone who died aboard the ship. I can work with communication, astronavigation, robotics, cybernetics and a bit of quantum science but I'd not want anyone to rely just on me. I'm probably best at the communication side of things, that's the thing I always enjoyed. Radios, internet, that sort of thing." I had to panic a little to figure out what most of the job titles I'd given the crew meant, including this one.
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    "Okay." Not ideal, but, who knows?
    "What is communication technology like where you're from?" There's internet here, and phones, and magical messages...
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    Hospital/Garden?

    "Um, I'm not sure what's available here, but... We had planetary internet systems on most worlds, we manipulated radio-waves for television, telephones and holographic communications. We had a system of satellites that broadcast radio waves into a quantum reality to achieve faster-than-light communication, although that's still mostly military-grade tech and not often used for civilian purposes. We had wireless internet, holograms, and so on." Adherbal lists them off. He's more comfortable with the quantum radio satellites, as that doesn't involve the risk of trapping people forever in a realm with no inherent matter. Interestingly, the quantum radio satellites usually orbit as close as they can to the system's star, since the interactions between gravity and that realm make those the best places to pick up the signal.
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    Default [Garden]

    Compared to sending ships through the quantum world where things like this can happen? Interesting about the orbits - as if people didn't have enough reason to hang out near stars.
    The gardener nods at each communications technology listed off.
    "We have those things, although maybe not as widespread. Mostly the military that has holograms." Shrug. "You mentioned cybernetics and robotics?"
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    Garden

    Gravity in realspace pulls objects in quantumspace towards them, and in quantum radiowaves count as 'objects'. So satellites orbiting a star are near the biggest gravity well in the solar system, where the signals are inevitably pulled. The signal is then sent to traditional satellites, which transfer the signal to the relevant planet or space station. So despite being 'faster-than-light', it is still pretty slow.

    "I can repair and assist in the installation of cybernetics, and I can repair and program robots. Build them, too, but I don't know how to manufacture the parts needed. I... Might be able to lead in the installation of an external cybernetic, if I'm assisted by trained medical personnel. My training didn't quite cover surgery. We had an autodoc rated for most routine procedures, and I could operate that, which was seen as easier than training me in surgery. I can also repair and operate powered armour, exoskeletons and loading mechs, but I'm not battlefield level. That's not quite robotics or cybernetics, but I didn't mention it earlier." The autodoc can fix people, and install replacement parts, but it was specifically not programmed to be able to repair said replacements. Because then it would need upgrading more often as the field advanced.
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  29. - Top - End - #269
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    I wonder if black holes are any use in this communications system, or if they tend to be too out of the way.

    Well, sounds like he could do his job pretty well, little as that helps them here.
    "Do people where you're from do things outside of their jobs?" It doesn't actually go without asking.
    "It's clear that you had a lot more robots and automation in your environment, but that actually makes it worse; we wouldn't have anything like that for you to work with."
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  30. - Top - End - #270
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

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    They're a bit out of the way, and rarely possess enough orbiting bodies to make them worth settling. There might be one scientific station orbiting a black hole, but I'd not want to live there.

    "I worked on a space ship. Everyone aboard was pretty well versed in what the others did, except the guards. They weren't technically crew; they were complement. And my job was to fill any position which might become vacant on a voyage, as well as fix anything that broke down. Unless you mean like hobbies, in which case yes. Although, on a spacecraft, space is at a premium, so mostly in downtime we watched films, documentaries, read books, or played games. Data doesn't take much space, and neither do a pack of cards and some dice. I've always been interested in carpentry, but... I've not got any training or much experience in the craft. I couldn't pack a set of chisels and a couple of logs in my personal locker." Even if he could, somebody would have given him a funny look, and the sawdust would have clogged the air filters.
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