Matt's Personal Log - Episode 20
After figuring out how to bypass the issues the Starlight was experiencing (power fluctuations, no shields, etc.), we eventually got yt Londinium, the center of government for the UAP. Alyr decided to approach the negotiations on his own (correctly, if you ask me – neiher Thanos or I have proven to be indispensible during peaceful talks). After being shuttled around the bureaucracy for a while, eventually the rest of us were given permission to do a little sight-seeing. Thanos, Nova, and myself finally decided to head out to the world Athens, which we were told was quite a place to visit in the system (thinking back now, I really don’t see the draw).
After landing we wandered a bit; the first thing we found was a Starbucks (oh sweet nectar of the gods!), where I introduced my companions to actual coffee. Afterwards, we found our hotel, where these backwater locals treated Thanos like he was some sort of monster(well… alright, but still…) We spent some time at the pool and then hit the lounge, where they served coke (the soft drink, not the powder, but still as addictive). I got real excited, even if the cans were only 6 ounces, which drew the attention of a nearby gentleman. Roderick Cole his name turned out to be, and it just so happened that he owned the coca-cola factory on the planet. He offered us a tour (especially Nova and Thanos, he indicated), which we decided to accept. I told Thanos I was expecting an ambush, and he agreed, ut we were nevertheless quite surprised with the speedy nature in which it happened.
Next thing we knew, we were being auctioned off to different buyers. I sympathetic guard told me where Thanos and Nova were bound to, and then I was sold to be sent to a ‘mud mine’ – probably the one I’d read about when looking for places to visit, the one where they make the phenomenal ceramics used in the system’s spacecraft. Regardless, once onboard and shackled to the wall, I was able to use the free hand I had to disengage the ‘pacification’ device on my back and fashion a one-shot taser out of the parts. True to my luck, however, it was two guards that showed up eventually, and they were certain to discover what I’d managed to do. Contrary to my normal luck, two of the prisoners (Bill and George) had watched me in my preparations and had determined that they were going to aid me in my escape attempt. The first guard was shocked unconscious, the other was beaten to a similar state. We got free of our chains, released the rest of the prisoners aboard, and then led a bloody insurrection aboard the vessel. When everything was over, there were about a dozen of us prisoners still standing and we had taken the ship.
The next thing on the agenda was to find Thanos and Nova. In all the action, I’d forgotten the name of the planet where Nova had been sent, other than the name began with a ‘P’. Since no one else on board could figure out which planet that might be, we turned to the issue of finding Thanos. He’d been sent to a salt mine, and there were only two ships that we could detect on a course to the proper planet. Deciding to take the second one in line first, we burned our fuel and closed as quickly as we could. Through pinpoint navigation and piloting, we made jarring contact with our target and the guys surged aboard. I stayed in the cockpit and countered the attempts of the other pilot to jar us loose; luckily I was able to accomplish this until I saw his blood paint the inside of his cockpit. I then joined the boarding action.
On board the other ship, everything was in chaos. A small group of the opposing crew had managed to barricade themselves in one of the cargo holds and were threatening to blow ths ship. I tried to talk them into surrendering, but their gunshots in my direction was ample answer for me. I left two guys to watch them and returned to the other cargo hold where the prisoners were being held. Thanos was there, but most surprising was the presence of Karr! He didn’t have any recollection of how he’d gotten there, and we didn’t have time to figure out then anyway. I asked Karr to get the other prisoners free while Thanos and I went to the cockpit to see what we could find out. The issue with the hold-outs in the cargo room was brought to a swift end when we decided to open the bay doors and let them out (yeah it was a bit cold out there but they didn’t ask for jackets).
Originally, the plan was to take the fuel from this ship, but instead we decided to just transfer all the cargo from the first ship to the second and then set the first one adrift. A former prisoner on the second ship was able to give us the name of the planet I was looking for – Pakwin. It would be a four day journey, but that would give us some time to heal wounds and make some necessary repairs – situations that had arisen during our confiscation of the new ship we were on.
During the trip, we discovered a locked room, which eventually proved to be a treasure room full of booty (both kinds). Precious metals and gems, artwork, wine – and a droid who immediately offered her loving services to us (I think she’d been lonely until we arrived). Her presence made the four days go by quickly, although several fights broke out among the crew that had to be broken up, but all in all not a bad trip.
When we got to Pakwin, Inglehoff (a former employee of the soon-to-be-Late Mr. Cole) told us that the buyer on this planet was most likely a dilletante named Felix. As we needed a pretense for why we were here, we used Six (the love droid) as a Trojan Horse to gain us entry. I was the lead with Karr and Thanos backing me up. When we got to Felix’s place, we were first met by a smiling, cherubic man with curly hair and glasses – he annoyed me instantly. He got his boss, who seemed more interested in buying Karr and Thanos than he did Six. I ordered Six to disrobe, which she did, and while all eyes were on her delightful form, I shot Felix. Of course that opened a whole new can of worms.
My first thought was to get inside a building and away from all of the guns the guards outside had, so that’s what I did after grabbing Six’s hand to guide her with me. Karr followed us in while Thanos went a different direction – I didn’t see him again until we were leaving, and judging by the amount of blood that was covering him, I think I may have chosen a better course of action than he did.
Inside, activity went by in a blur. I remember gunshots – lots of them. Karr and I took care of the one guard in that room (though after he shot one of the harem girls instead of shooting us – don’t know what he was thinking but my first thought was we’d just lost Nova). He’d been standing by a door, so I decided to shoulder charge it to break through with the intention of shooting anyone with a gun that was on the other side. What I did find on the other side was nowhere near the list of things I had been expecting – a flight of stairs down. Needless to say, all I could do was put all of my martial arts training and parkour skills into immediate action and attempt to lessen the bruises that I was surely about to receive.
As I came to a stop at the foot of the stairs, gunfire erupted around me as a goon charged down the stairs from above. I dove to the side hoping to gain cover but was caught before I could move. One of those slow-motion things occured – we’ve all heard about them – and I could swear I saw the bullets leaving the barel of his gun. I definately saw the bullets ripping through his chest as Karr shot him from above. As the body tumbled down the stairs, a door opened and a second gunman came out firing at me. He must’ve been confused by the falling body, ‘cause he fired at it instead of me – thank the gods. I had managed to hold on to my gun (picked up from some body along the way) and put three rounds of double-odd into the guy’s chest. He fell back into the room as I regained my feet.
Inside the room, Mr. Smiley Major-Domo had Nova by the throat and was pointing a gun at her head. He wanted to live and I wanted Nova, so we came to a swift accord. As Nova ran up the stairs to Karr, he had me back away slowly, which I did. I closed the door and headed back up the stairs, rejoining my companions. The remaining harem girls decided to leave with us – which wasn’t part of my deal with Smiley – but screw ‘im. We got the hell off that planet and headed for Beylix (or Bellatrix, or… I don’t know).
We sold the ship and all of the cargo, then split the profits among the remaining crew. They’ve all gone their own way and we’re working on getting Thano’s ship working (I’d forgotten to mention that his ship was on the second ship we’d taken, the one which was transporting Karr and Thanos). Nova, Thanos, Karr and myself are safe. Six has decided to stick around (to some grumblings from the crew, but it was her decision – not that I’m complaining). We got word of where YunDarr might be, so that’s next. Then we’ll get back to Alyr and figure all of this out. Hopefully by then the deal will have gone through, which will free us up to do some exploring.
Dammit! I just realized – I lost my gun again!
This is getting to be annoying!