In this continuation of the main OtherSpace storyline, we meet a newcomer to the station:
For the most part, the docking area of Meriweather Station at the moment is quiet, with mostly a few Stellar Consortium registered transports and freighters docked. The lone form of a husky human male, thumbs hooked into the beltloops of his station uniform, slowly patrols the area with a bored expression on his face. The name tag on his chest reads “Bellarte”.
Griffin Bright walks down the ramp of a recently arrived shuttle, PDA in hand. Newly arrived from Earth, he comes to Meriweather Station – his father Arjun’s creation – in the aftermath of news that Arjun Bright and an expedition team went missing on the planet New Amundsen.
Not far behind Griffin the soft tap of a cane can be heard, and out of the shuttle door appears Dr. Willard R. Tilsworth II, decked out in a clean but rather worn lab coat, thick glasses, and a simple shirt and pants beneath. Adjusting his spectacles slightly, the hunched old man begins to make his way down the ramp carefully.
There’s a look of surprise on Pablo’s face. “Mr. Bright! Welcome! I am sorry, we weren’t informed of your arrival, or we would have arranged for a more appropriate reception!” The security man licks his lips, looking around. “I assume you brought luggage, do you need assistance?”
Griffin appears distracted as the security officer approaches. He draws back, eyebrows inching upward, and then looks from Pablo to the shuttle. “Oh, yes, I…” He shrugs, then returns his attention to Pablo. “Just a couple of suitcases. I don’t plan to stay long. We’re going to find Dad and then I’m going back to Cancun.”
Tilsworth reaches the bottom of the ramp, counts his lucky stars, and begins to make his way over to where Griffin and Pablo are standing.
Pablo radios down, seeing if he can summon some help. From the look on his face, he’s less than successful. “Uh, well, erm. Yes. I guess I can help with those suitcases, sir. We are all worried about your father, great man.” The approach of Tilsworth doesn’t go unnoticed, and he nods to the elderly man.
Griffin furrows his brow at the description of Arjun Bright as a “great man,” but lets that go without comment as he follows the security officer’s glance toward Tilsworth. “Did the flight crew have to shake you awake?”
“Only because the ride was so comfortable.” Tilsworth says with a grin. “It’s rare when I can find a shuttle seat that doesn’t make me stiff as a titanium plate.”
Bellarte stays quiet, awkwardly smiling as he stays on the periphery of the conversation with the elderly stranger.
Griffin nods to the old man, then gestures to him as he regards Pablo again. “This is Dr. Tilsworth. My father hired him as the new athletic coach for station personnel. Keep him away from the women’s locker rooms – especially when Timonae are around.” He smirks at Tilsworth, then adds: “I’m kidding. He doesn’t have a preference.”
Tilsworth smirks. “Honestly, Griffin, you think /I’m/ capable of teaching athletics? Unless you count exercising brain cells.” he says.
The guard pats his stomach. “Had me worried there for a moment.” He nods to Tilsworth. “Pablo Bell-Artay. Pleasure to meetcha, doc.”
Griffin chuckles. “Tilsworth’s okay. Pretty sure he schooled Dad more than a few times in college. Smart guy. He’s actually here to make sure the machinery keeps running properly. I know the previous chief engineer, Orman, was part of the expedition.” He looks from Pablo to Tilsworth. “We’re going to keep the old man as far from danger as possible. Family orders.”
Tilsworth nods to Pablo. “Indeed, I’m sure we’ll be bumping into each other quite often.” he says, looking to Griffin. “Machinery, perhaps from a ‘put this part there’ aspect, but I’m no mechanic. Science is my game.”
“At the risk of jinxing myself, but up until your father went missing, this mostly has been a quiet posting. Hoping it stay that way,” Pablo says with a shrug. He smiles broadly at Tilsworth. “But, glad to have an engineer aboard. It’s space. Things break. I like eating. Showering. Plumbing. The important stuff.” There’s a thumbs up. “But, I’ll do my darndest to make sure he stays safe.”
“Good, great,” Griffin says. He crosses his arms, then adds: “I’m going to need my clearances updated. And, uh, quarters without a window. Not Dad’s room.”
Tilsworth tilts his head slightly. “No windows? Me, I’d prefer the view.” he says. “Settling in sounds very good, though, I need to rest these old bones.”
“A bit above my paygrade, but I will make your wishes known, sir. Should be able to find something that works,” Pablo states.
The station owner’s son considers Pablo for a moment, nods. “Very good. Well, once I get settled in and cleaned up, maybe I’ll set up a meeting with whatever passes for senior staff now.”
“Well young man, just let me know. I’m the stations new Chief Science Officer.” Tilsworth says with a grin. “I look forward to learning more about the planet below, perhaps even find our wayward explorers.”
“Well, station staff is now aware of your arrival, and they are finding quarters, sir,” Pablo informs as he moves to grab Griffin’s bags. “Glad to have you both here, we are.”
“Thanks,” Griffin says. He waits for Tilsworth to move after Pablo before following himself.
Tilsworth gets in gear as best he can, his cane tapping on the deck plates as they head further in the station
Griffin Bright shows his identification – a scannable subcutaneous carbon ID wafer – to another guard who checks, out of an abundance of caution, to make sure he’s legitimate. He then passes into an AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY corridor.
Tilsworth holds out his hand, albeit a bit shakily, for the guard to do the same, and once verified follows Griffin into the staff area.