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Passports, Warrants, And Digital Fingerprinting.

Posted on Thu Jan 23rd, 2020 @ 1:02pm by Commanding Officer Mickey Serendipity & Pilot Allegra Jennings & Executive Officer Kenneth McTigue & Passenger Kol Wescott-Fitzgerald & Comm Tech Wulf Edevane

Mission: Port In A Storm
Location: Martian Orbit, High Elysium
Timeline: One Week After The Eros incident

The line through customs was longer than Mickey would have suspected given the amount of Navy shipping hanging off the piers.

The customs hall was a large space, with a line of glass-enclosed booths in which an MCR customs agent sat. Ahead of them, a crew from a Belter freighter were trying, among the five of them, to translate for one of their crew what the customs agent was asking. And judging by the tired, resigned look on the agents face, they were settling in for the long haul.

Mickey looked up at the ceiling in the casual, not so causal way that people do when they are trying to eye up close circuit security systems. He was pretty sure he spotted five cameras' set into the light fixtures, and what looked like a clamshell armoured shutter covering a riot gun turret.

"Look, guys, I think these jokers ahead of us are going to keep us here all day. So if any of you need to use the head, now would be the time to do it," Mickey said under his breath. No doubt in the two public heads marked by helpful signs along one wall, there would be as many cameras in there as possible and no doubt testing of any fluids donated to the High Elysium recycling system.

Kai leaned against one of the railings that kept the line snaking around the customs room. She knew that as soon as she was fingerprinted that the agent would know exactly who she was. That her family would know exactly where she was and that someone would likely be summoning her as soon as possible. She had mixed feelings on it not wanting to remain on Mars but yet she knew that hanging onto this crew of misfits who valued their emotions more than their logic it would get her killed.

"Right." Ken agreed and stepped out of line. "I'll be right back, got to vent the exhausts."

Hand terminal safely locked down for travel through ports, Wulf played a game of Defender with the volume switched off, mindlessly shooting in the simple graphics while he waited. His head jerked upwards as Ken wandered off, but he looked to Mickey. "I could go translate for them?" Wulf offered, not moving out of the line just yet. "Sounds like a mix of Belter Creole, Mandarin and... Hindi?"

"And why are we in such a hurry to get through the port of entry process?" Mickey asked, putting on his best Mariner Valley drawl. "Why it might just be you's folks have somethin' to hide, wanting to pass on through so ably. Why don't ya just take a load off, sit over there, whilst Carl gets the rubber gloves on?"

He then yawned extravagantly.

Wulf never quite got used to Mickey's chameleon act, but he nodded even as he looked genuinely concerned. Rubber gloves bad. He was nervous, wanting this bit of the process done and dusted, though he wouldn't say that out loud for obvious reasons. Having something constructive to do would definitely help.

"Hurry up and wait kid. Plenty of time to be elsewhere after we're-" He was cut off as another glass-enclosed booth lit up with a green light atop it. He made a non-committal noise and walked the group over to it hoping Ken would come back from the crapper and not become lost and found baggage.

At the booth's rounded was a one-way airlock, permitting a single soul through to be cleared before letting anyone else in. The Port Official sat in the booth looked over the group arrayed before him, and then used his terminal to throw up the relevant information concerning their entry process. No fruits, no vegetables, no gene-engineered life forms, no designer narcotics, no self-replicating micro or nanoscale machines, and any internal implants of a medical, recreational, or military nature must be listed on all entry document.

The list went on a ways.

"What is the nature of your visit to the Martian Congressional Republic?" the border guard asked.

"Commercial. We're running out a personal haulage contract from Hygeia Station to Mars on behalf of a Soong-nu Medical," Mickey placed his terminal against the glass, and a fan of document folders migrated across the smart screen. "Documents ar all there. Transit waivers, flight plan, registry fees."

"Ah huh..." the guard said, eyeing the documents that until a week ago had never existed. The waivers were forgeries, the flight plan whilst accurate had been snuck into the data stacks of the navigation database for the station. And the registry fees, alas, were as real as they come. The last of the liquid assets on hand went with them.

"This all seems in order," the guard said after a moment. "Please enjoy your stay on Mars. And do not exceed the 30-day temporary visitor's visa being issued to you. Failure to abide by local laws, and allowing your visa to expire, could lead to civil penalties and fines."

The terminals everyone carried chatter to themselves as they received the electronic passports.

The door next to the booth turned green, and Mickey stepped in. After a second the door closed, and then the far side opened and released Mickey out into the waiting crowd of people waiting for friends and colleague to pass through.

"Next?" the guard asked.

For all his previous impatience, Wulf now hung back, content to let the three Martian ladies go through first. The tech lurked at the back of the group, keenly watching out for Ken's reappearance and keeping Kol company.

Kol looked Wulf's way for a moment, "I'm actually pretty excited, you know" the ex-agent said conversationally, "Never been to Mars before" He commented. Beneath a carefully crafted calm exterior Kol was on high-alert. He knew if he stayed calm he'd likely get through their time here over without an hitch. He also knew that Martian surveillance technology was leagues beyond what the UNN had in use. One slip up, one off-hand sentence and he could be responsible for bringing all eyes on the crew.

Wulf had some kernel of an idea of the situation Kol was currently in, not from the agent's point of view, but kinda the opposite. Nefarious reasons to be concerned had tainted his first visit here, but the Mickey-led beautiful lie had held strong and true, and now he had multi-coloured memories of paid love to fall back on. He wanted to make the other man feel a bit more at ease, so pitched in on a friendly, support team level.

"You'll love it," Wulf promised, wholeheartedly. "Ken and I spent all our spare money here last time, and it was totally worth it." He beamed an indulgent grin. "We'll show you round, introduce you to Cally and Alyessa's friends." Just as soon as we all get through this shitty section of anxiety and stand safely beside Mickey and the ladies...

Standing with the others Allegra had been content to just stand there with her hands tucked away inconspicuously into the pockets of her cargo pants, and wait. And keep her mouth shut. She wasn't up for being the first person through the booth. Not here. Not on Mars. And certainly not with her father probably having her flagged for some crazy shit just to get her attention, or worse yet -a visit. The pilot tossed a glance at the others at the guards call, Wulf and Kol seemed to be hovering back and Kai...well, Allegra didn't know. Instead, she gave her shoulders a shrug, pulling her hands free as she stepped forward, "Guessin' that'll be me." Allegra eyed the green light as she stepped inside.

The border guard ran the scan, which picked up her terminal inbuilt PassPort. There was a moment's pause as he read something on the screen, his eyes flicking back to look at Allegra.

"Always nice to see a fellow Vet returning home," the man in the booth said with a hint of pride. He pressed a button and on his side of the booth and the little customs airlock opened to allow Allegra passage. "Next."

But before any of that could happen.

After Allegra had been processed a group arrived at the gate, Kai immediately recognized the leader of the group, this was a problem. Despite the guards' protesting their arrival they very quickly displayed their IDs and then pointed directly at Kai who made no attempt to pretend like she didn't know what was going on. She approached the gate and was waved through she squarely up at the leader of the group who was tall enough to require her looking up.

"I'll cooperate, but hands-off," she said, firmly.

"One wrong move... I was given a lot of latitudes to bring you back to your father," the man threatened.

"Understood," Kai said. "It wasn't really that nice knowing you, Captain," Kai said, with a mock salute before the entourage whisked her away.

The MCRN guards on the arrivals side of the checkpoint took all of two seconds to figure out the next steps. Which were loud, definitely not opinions or suggestions, and were backed up by the presence of the rifles being raised. The other travellers near them scattered as the group of Kol, Wulf & Ken were surrounded by men who really only wanted them to answer some questions.

"Hey there were two others," the border guard shouted and turned to look into the crowd of panicked looking people waiting for people to process through on the other side.

Mickey and Allegra were gone.

 

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