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18 - Home Port

I think I am beginning to like this place.
Its residents take pride in it and in who they are, where they come from, what their ancestors did. You just don't get that in Tau.
For days, now, I've stopped eating those awful ration packs and simply enjoyed the cuisine at the Broth Base. Not only is it so much more enjoyable, it's allowed me to make friends with some of the locals and become acquainted with the culture and mythology of the area. Again, the whole place brings back something strangely familiar.
I acquired a student katana and have been practicing with it. It just feels right, like it belongs in my hand, much like the tanto. The song of the blade as it swings through the air, the soothing ring of the metal when it strikes something, even the excitement at the sound and feel of it leaving its sheath . . . This is truly the sort of thing man was meant to have at his side.
Nevertheless, this sword leaves much to be desired. It was poorly crafted, perhaps because it was merely a learner's tool and not intended to serve in battle as the blade of a warrior. It is not as well balanced as I would like, nor is the edge as sharp as a sword should be. The security katana a friend gave me seems much better, but for now, this one will have to do.
This one . . . That reminds me . . . I was invited again to meet a fellow in the ruins, but he was not a customer. This was our third visit, and it was in the shadowy areas of the ruins, as usual. It's strange. I get the impression he wants to teach me something, but he also does not like to be seen by too many people. I wish he would show his face and not wear that mask and robe. It would make communication easier. He keeps referring to some sort of religious pilgrimage, a voyage of discovery, the walk of P-15, I think he called it.
Today, he invited me to go to Daedelus station with him, saying he wanted to introduce me to his peers. I had to politely decline, as I need to get back to my job at the port of Taungoo. Besides, his friends are creepy and talk funny. As much as I want to learn what Prometheans are all about, it will have to wait while I finish my apprenticeship.
Friends have been visiting me and leaving me gifts from their travels. They find me wherever I go, and I always awake to a notice of some new memento coming in at the port. One friend even brought me several rations packets, saying I looked hungry, and he just felt wrong seeing me this way. The only good thing about those awful sacks of whatever-they-are is that they seem to help me recover from a long workout and prepare me for another. Otherwise, I have enough barf bags for the time being.
That reminds me . . . I have a shuttle to catch. There is no university here, and that means I have to commute to Tau to enroll in new courses. I may as well take a few things with me that I want to have in my main storage there. I may stop in and visit that thief in the ruins as well. As much as I've been practicing, I think he is in for a surprise.


  1. I'm glad you've found a place where you feel comfortable.

    As a weapons collector, I share your fascination with blades. Some of my favorites include the Sword of Many Truths and the Respectable Wakizashi, as well as it's slightly larger cousin, the Eclipse Wakizashi. After using all three for a while in combat, I've settled on the latter for my day-to-day equipment, but I totally understand those that use the optically more attractive choices. Lots of awesome weapons that you can try.

    I have heard rumors of a splendid weapon called Alpha Prime, but haven't managed to lay my hands on one. I trust you let me know if you spot one anywhere, and there is even the slightest chance that I could acquire it.

    Since blades seem to fit you well, I highly recommend the Knife Specialist course on Tau Station. Despite its name, it is highly beneficial to all kinds of blade, including the Katanas you like. On Alpha Centauri's Spirit of Botswana station they even offer a Knife Mastery course.

    To help you with the defensive side a bit as well, I've sent you an Old Combat Suit, which goes together quite well with the Security Katana.

    It's a dangerous world, and a bit of protection never hurts.

    Should your travels bring to the Yards of Gadani, my chosen home for the moment, please stop by for a drink!

  2. Ser Moritz, how good to hear from you.
    At our last conversation, I thought maybe I had angered you. Perhaps it's just the same thing Briggs was getting on about back at Enema -- I mean Anima.
    Sorry, I find I still mix my words a bit. It feels more and more like the few weeks since I first awoke in that vat are the only life I have ever lived, though I frequently get those dreams they warned about, the ones that look like a different me in a vastly different setting. So many things I don't remember seem so familiar, too. Briggs said I'll get over all that eventually.
    I was able to look up the Alpha Prime, as you mentioned. What a beauty. That is indeed what a katana should look like. I will keep a sharp eye out for one, though I think I have a bit of learning ahead of me before I am ready to use it as honorably as it appears to deserve.
    My growing collection of swords and knives includes a few that are a bit tough for me to handle just yet, so yes, I do believe I should look into a course on swordsmanship and another on knives. My butterfly knife has served me well as I paid a visit to a few old friends in the ruins on Tau. I was right, they were quite surprised. I hope they found their tours of the medical facilities as educational as I did.
    My G-73 also works very well, though I don't get to fire it more than once. After that, things get so much more up-close and personal. It's a great way to greet 'old friends' actually.
    You look different from how I remember you. Are you eating well? You really should try the food here. I'd meet you at the Rangoon any day over a good bowl of noodles and an order of what they call 'crab rangoon.' I think it is a house specialty. Their tea is excellent, too, and occasionally you get wind of things harvested from nature somewhere.
    I do enjoy the thrill of a new place, though the travel between finds me reusing my rations packaging every time. I keep a few on hand just for that reason. At first I hadn't mastered the art of finding the lowest fare, and the ticket sellers don't haggle like the vendors at the market, but now I find that what I can earn in a day can get me anywhere I need to go and back with credits to spare.
    I don't think I am ready yet for the rigors of the wormhole. I might run out of spare bags in one trip, not to mention credits. Also, the people coming in from out there seem so much more well-read than I am. They're so sociable, too, even more so than the special customers I've eaten with at the Broth Base. I think I would be a bit out of place.
    I did find several books about Alpha Centauri in my meanderings. I am reading up on it so I can be more prepared when I finish my apprenticeship here at Taungoo and am ready for a real job. Meanwhile, this seems to be quite a nice place.
    A friend sent me a message while he was at the docks there in Yards of Gadani, and behind him was a rather attractive ship, registered to you. Was that a Razorback? We don't see them here, at least not while I am actually at the port. My boss doesn't like them, says they may look elegant and fly with grace and beauty, but that they are true pigs when it comes to fuel and maintenance (What exactly is a pig, anyway? Ever hear of them in your travels?).
    I found myself digging through the specs on it, just in case I encounter one in need of repair. I had to special-order them from Tau. I also found their parts are in high demand, so you may want to choose your help wisely. I am getting handy at turning a wrench, myself, but they don't allow me anywhere near the higher-end vessels for some reason.
    I think my boss moonlights, too, as he has looked the other way several times when visiting captains complained to him about my efforts to satisfy my special customers' rather specific needs. Good ship parts are so expensive, and everyone is looking to get by.
    Tau's portmaster is a lot more watchful, though I hear he doesn't get the job done as well as the one at Kobenhavn. Most of the major customers at Tau say they come for the low prices on fuel and labor. The docks here mostly see more local travelers, though their stories make this system sound more intriguing than the wildest tales of Alpha Centauri.
    Everyone talks more easily over a good cup of tea.
    Here or there, I do look forward to a good visit some day.
    Stay well.

  3. I did receive that package you sent. Once again, thank you. One day I hope to return some of the many acts of kindness.
    I was quite impressed with the suit, but couldn't even manage to put it on. The technical manuals for it are written in a language I don't understand, so I will have to study up on that. I look forward to wearing it, when I am ready.
    I guess I say those words a lot, . . . 'when I am ready'. . .
    Again, thank you. I don't think I say those two words enough.
    Safe travels.