The Circuses at Hanuruha (early enough in the day that the matches are non-lethal, late enough that there is still a boisterous crowd). Captain Chabra, Gunnery Chief Ns. Kashi, and Gunner’s Mate Aelig Goff.
Ns. Chabra and Kashi are vaguely discomfited by the spectacle of violence in the background, and the pescatarian street food enjoyed by the spectators. The Kravyad battle-witch Goff is made of sterner stuff. Conversation ensues.
“The repairs to the Parindra are complete, but we only have about half the complement of crew that we need. I’ve managed to get an Operation Chief and an Engineering Chief to sign the articles, but we’re still down a chief navigator…besides the captain.”
“We’re going to need a new name for the ship, you know. We don’t want the naval designation listed on the new letters of marque, I suspect the Governor-Admiral of Betwa will have some objections.”
“We can’t hire a full crew until we get the bounty of a combat action. But we’re not likely to survive a combat action until we have a full crew.”
“So what can we do?”
“Steal one? No, hear me out. Crew is at a premium right now because of the Abhva running slaving operations in the interdicted space been quadrants three and hour of the Yami Belt. So, we stake out the space, and follow a smaller vessel back to their stockyard. Discretely.”
“Well, discretely for us, anyway.”
“It’s a five-thousand metTon ship. It’s just coming out of Dockyard in the new configuration; we’re at half crew, and the half we have is still getting to know their shipmates; and we’ve never worked together as an integrated command staff before.”
Said shakedown cruise did not result in any damage, but did reveal the limits of non-stealthship “discretion”.