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by Jeff Gambetta
It is during his time at the Academy that he found his niche, Starship Engineering. To him, the sounds that the engines make just before jump are music to the soul. If was almost as if he had a physical bond to them. He could almost tell what was wrong with them just by the way they sounded or vibrated. It was uncanny. It was here too, that he picked up the nickname "Sprocket." Seems that one of his classmates had some old terran cartoon videos and one of the characters had his same last name. After the Academy, Syd served aboard the Guild ship "Andrea Doria," a Far Trader, for four years. They made the circuit from Justabit to Jump to St. Denis and back. Syd bidded his time, watching, leaning, just waiting for his chance to jump ship and be clear of the Guild. He spent his first two years watching and learning Guild Security procedures aboard ship, in ports, and most of all, the transfer of personnel. It was in his third year, when the ship had some down time due to a brush with a Vampire ship, that he acquired contacts with criminal element on St. Denis. It was here that he learned his skill in forgery that was to serve him so well soon. It was just a year later that Syd was again in St. Denis. This time, however, there was another guild ship there. Using his dirtside time with his criminal friends, Syd was able to forge orders transferring him to the other ship. He simply walked of the Andrea Doria and disappeared.
He spent the next four years hiding from the guild in backwater dives, underground retreats and criminal safe houses. He worked most of this time repairing equipment for different gangs in exchange for food, lodging and safety. However, towards the end of this period, he became embroiled in a fight with a rival gang that sold him out to the authorities during an off planet smuggling run. He was caught and convicted and sentenced to 10 years hard labor in the coal mines. Syd hated prison, even more than he hated the Guild. He promised himself that if he ever got free that he'd never be captured again, alive. Prison was hard on Syd. St. Denis being a dry world, water was a luxery, so personal hygiene was not the best. This really bothered him for awhile. But he soon became descentitized to it, and learned to live with dirt and sweat and stink. Something that has followed him since. Towards the end of his 4th year in prison, a new batch of prisoners were brought to the mines. They were pirates that were caught in a raid that had gone bad and were sentenced to life in the mines. They claimed that they wouldn't be here that long, 'cuz their shipmates wouldn't leave them here. Syd struck up a friendship with them, as he recog- nized that they were his chance to escape. Sure enough, about 2 weeks later the prison was attacked by a Patrol Cruiser. Their ship, they said. Syd begged them to take him with them and they did. He made it out in the confusion of the attack unscathed, but one of their rescuers was slain, the First Engineer Mate. Bad for the ship, but great for Syd. Thus "Sprocket" joined the crew of the Shinai and left St. Denis.
Sprocket has been with the Shinai for eight years now and was voted Chief Engineer about four years ago. He constantly tinkers and fiddles with the engines, but they are running at their best in long time.
"Dog crap, what dog crap???"
"Yeah, yeah, I'll take a bath next planetfall. Now get out of my engineroom."
"Touch those engines again, and I'm gonna put this spanner where the sun don't shine, capiche?"
Throw Range: 28
Unarmed Combat Damage: 1
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