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It was Friday afternoon. Classes at the Starfleet Academy were done for the day and the week. Cadet Minerva Brax had rushed from her last class to her dorm and got changed. Chet had promised an exciting weekend and she could hardly wait.
Chet came over to her dorm and waited outside. He had a small antigrav sled with several chests and a number of bundles of cloth as well as some strange shaped pieces of wood and some things that looked like padded and duct taped bamboo in addition to what appeared to be two full sets of samurai armor. He was in a short kimono, wide-legged Hakama, tabi socks and wood and leather flipflops that appeared to be raised on two small blocks of wood on each flipflop.
Minerva bounded out of her dorm. She glanced at all the equipment Chet had with him, then looked at Chet himself. "Mmmm," she said sliding up to him. She looked around quick and not seeing anyone paying attention to them, she slid her hand up and under the kimono as she kissed Chet. "You look so sexy," she whispered.
He grinned and bowed to her as if she were a princess before returning her kiss. "I didn't know if you wanted to bring the Furisode and obi you got for Christmas or not, so I talked to the Chatelaine and she'll have a number of different styles and eras for you to try. I also brought an extra set of armor in case you wanted to try fighting as well as the food and all the rest of the camping gear."
He was more than happy to see her once more and even happier that it would be just the two of them off and away from the Academy. Well, Maybe Night Wind would show up, she HAD expressed interest in the group in the past.
Minerva's eyes opened up in an expression of horror. "Oh my god," she exclaimed. "I forgot all about them. Wait here." She turned and rushed back into the dorm.
About five minutes later, She re-emerged, dressed in the Christmas gifts Chet and his family had given her.
He smiled when he saw her in the outfit, more than pleased at how beautiful she looked in it. "You look gorgeous, Minerva-sama."
"I positively feel gorgeous, Chester-san," She said to him, bowing.
He smiled. "You ready to head back in time? They try to recreate the best parts and ideals during the time period from the Fall of the Roman Empire till the end of the Elizabethan age though some still go on either side of those dates for a bit. The absolute cut off for them is 1650 AD but they have people all over studying everything that related to those times, including Japanese, Moslem, Scythian, Mongol and Chinese culture."
"Let's do this," Minerva said to him.
He led her over to the transporter pad and gave the coordinates to the transporter tech who grinned wickedly when he saw them. "Y'all have a great time and make sure to go join the Ansteorran Swim Team at their practice session," he advised.
"Oh, we will," Minerva said to the tech with a wink. She climbed onto the transporter pad.
He pushed the anti-grav sled onto the pad next to them before joining her there and holding her hand.
"Energize," Minerva said to the tech.
"Yes, ma'am." The tech sent them off to the event site, a place in the Ozark Mountains with a large swimming lake and plenty of meadow areas for activities and pitching the tents if the people had not reserved bedspace in the cabins.
Chet looked over to her and smiled as he began setting up the tent, a nylon canvas structure that had PVC poles to act as the framework and had the canvas draped over it and staked down. 'Here I'm known as Hideo the Inquisitive and usually addressed as Hideo-san. I'll explain the different brass hats as we go along. He was more than happy to share what he knew with the woman he loved.
She assisted with setting up the tent, and listened to his explanations. Her heart was beating with excitement. "Hideo-san," she repeated. "I like it."
"I'm glad, now, the suffix -san is like your Mr. or Ms., someone equal in rank to you while to designate a person of greater rank the suffix to their name is - sama, kind of like I do with grandfather when we're back home. and don't be surprised if I call you Minerva-chan or whatever name you pick for here, it's a diminutive denoting affection while it would be -kun for any of the guys you were feeling affections for and not just boyfriends but it could also be cousins or little brothers or the like." he was happy to help her learn more about his culture.
She went over to him and gently caressed his face. "Why don't you choose a name for me, Hideo-san," she said in a seductive tone.
"I've always liked Mariko" He told her, almost bashfully.
Minerva's eyes twinkled. "'Mariko'. It's so pretty."
"Like you, my darling, or I could call you Sakura, Cherry blossom."
Her eyes twinkled even more. Through her wide smile she said, "Mariko will do."
"Very well, Mariko-chan." His eyes twinkled as he started bringing the chests into the tent and assembling the chairs and table to go outside he set up several candle lanterns inside the tent ready to go when it got dark and used the anti-grav sled as a futon platform before spreading the sleeping bags on top.
Minerva helped set up the sleeping bags. She couldn't help but marvel ar how prepared Chet always was for the different situations they found themselves in.
He grinned and set up a small charcoal brazier in one corner of the tent, near one of the flapped windows to begin heating water for tea for them.
"So, what can I do, Hideo-san?" Minerva asked. "You seem to have everything under control."
"I've done this a lot so I'm used to it, would you like to see what the rest of the camp is shaping up to look like?" he asked her, banking the fire in the brazier so that it would stay warm and die down but not go all the way out. "We could find the Chatelaine and see if she has some more clothes for you for the weekend."
"Oh yes," Minerva replied. "That sounds awesome."
"Alright. Let's see if they have Merchant's Row already set up. We might find some interesting things there for the campsite as well as something to eat." He got two swords and slid them through the sash around his hakama.
"Shopping!" Minerva declared. "Now that I can handle." She watched him set the swords. "I sure hope we don't need those."
"We shouldn't, Dress steel is usually just that." He explained. "Many of the swords you see around here are decoratives, what we term 'Wall Hangers' but there are a number of excellent blacksmiths here that specialize in weapons or armor along with a number of different kinds of camp gear. One person I hope is here, Wulf Bjornssen, is a tenth generation blacksmith and runs the Missing Link Ironworks. They started with a lifetime guarantee on all their pieces and now have it as a forever guarantee. If any of their smiths ever made it, they will repair it forever if the owner has provenance on the piece. But back to the dress steel, it's usually not used for fighting. That is what the rattan is for, for the heavy weapons folk. It's a safer alternative to steel since the rattan will disintegrate and not leave jagged splinters that can impale someone. This bunch is very into the safety aspects of the game and they even have had some of the fencing associations looking into their light weapons armor standards to improve their own safety factors for foils, epees and sabres. That armor has to withstand being penetrated by a broken foil blade at full lunge and it's rigorously tested to make sure it will pass."
"And... You know how to use them?" Minerva asked, indicating Chet's swords.
He nodded to her as he set up the sword rack by the futon. "Yes. I do. Grandfather taught me and had me take lessons to the point I'm at least a black belt in Kendo as well as a few other Martial Arts forms."
"Can you teach me?" Minerva asked.
"Sure but for safety reasons we'll use Bokken, wooden swords, or we can use the Rattan ones they use here for combat," he told her.
"The wooden one sounds fine to me," she told him. "As long as they give me the actual feel of the sword. You know, weight and how it feels to wield it."
"That's one of the nice things about rattan, it has pretty much the same weight and feel in your hands as steel or wood and less chance of injuries with it and the proper armor," He explained.
"That sounds good to me," Minerva told him.
"Cool beans, we'll grab one of the knights or squires to help marshal, or referee, and we'll start after dinner unless you'd rather rest up for the midnight dagger duels..." he offered.
"That sounds excellent," Minerva exclaimed.
"So shall we see if the Fat Cat and the Drunken Dragon are up and running? The Dragon is where many people go for drinking while the Cat is usually better for the food but it's your preference." He told her as he looked to see how full of tents the area around them had become.
Minerva giggled at the names, then she got into her role and bowed to Chet. "Whatever is your desires, Hideo-san," she said.
He returned the bow and showed her where each of the establishments were, pretty much on either end of the campground's Merchant's Row. He took her to the Fat Cat first which had a flag that looked like a chubby tiger striped alley cat gnawing on the bones of something that looked suspiciously like a carved up dragon. "They have all kinds of cuisines here, so order what you think you want to try."
Minerva giggled again, at the sight of the Fat Cat's logo. She briefly wondered what Cadet Sheme or Cadet NightWind would think of it, then paid attention to what else was going on. She looked at the different food and chose one of the menu items. "Is this stuff good?" she asked Chet.
"Yes, it is, these two taverns are known from all the times they have shown up at Pennsic, our biggest get together like a global convention though some people come in from other planets too." Chet grinned." I've heard that they are branching out to Vulcan and Klingon cuisines due to the different peoples that show up."
"Oh, that must be a sight," Minerva said. "A Klingon dressing up like this?" She indicated her clothing.
"Actually Lt. Mahrek from the Columbia, DOES play and he goes as a Mongol. He's turned out to be danged good with a Bow." He grinned. "What is hilarious is seeing an Andorian in a Monk's habit. They cut holes in the hood for their antennae."
Minerva laughed. She had a sudden picture of Soan dressed as a monk. "Oh, that I have to see."
Chet grinned wickedly. "You will tomorrow..."