written by Fyren
After missing my appointment with The Gnosis, a gigantic ship aiming for exploration and adventure, I find myself searching for adventure in an unhealthy place; the bottom of a bottle. I am inhabiting a corner of a bar on McAllaster’s Claim, a small station in the Jarni system. The station orbits a rather beautiful gas planet, reminiscent of one I had heard stories about in the Sol system. I have found even the smallest outposts have a place to drink. After drowning the sorrows of my missed rendezvous for some time, long enough the bartender to ask me to leave that is, I start asking around to see if anyone is in need of a ride. After all, that is what I do best.
The usual suspects are all here, plenty of business types looking for a vacation. Refugees and prisoners to be transported elsewhere. The fares I end up with though are not usual. A celebrity who came here by mistake and wants to go home, back to the Myrbat system, and a tourist who managed to break several laws during his stay and is now in need of extra discreet passage. I show my customers to their quarters and they all seem eager to get going. So we dust off immediately, my hands still a bit wobbly at the controls from my earlier binge.
It’s a very short trip to the smuggling destination. Appel Hub, the station is quite large and positively crawling with Federal security. This is not my first rodeo though, and I learned a lot about smuggling from my time among the anarchists in the Colonia region. This ship was purpose built for evading security forces and unwanted scans. I switch off my docking computer and circle around the station, lining up the perfect approach. My docking request has been approved by the station operators before they get a chance to scan us at all. I start the approach slowly, there is a Federal ship hanging out by the entrance to the dock scanning all traffic. I rig for silent running, dropping off all scopes in the area, my heat signature just vanishing. The clock is ticking now. Just as I enter the station my computer warns me “Scan Detected”. Too late though law man. By the time the scan completes, we are already docked and the tourist with a price on his head is well on his way elsewhere. Another happy customer.
Just one more stop, to drop off our celebrity, Ayva with a last name I can’t pronounce. Apparently she runs some sort of entertainment program, though it is something I had never heard of. The only media I get is the garbled newscasts from the GALNET. I listen to the stories en route to our next destination. I learn that dozens of stations across the galaxy are shut down thanks to the encroaching aliens known as the Thargoids. Apparently, the situation out there is getting worse. “Uh.. captain? I’ve just received some troubling news”. Of course, and here I thought this would be the boring part of my day. “Send it to my console” I reply. The message appears on my console shortly. An assassin has been sent after the lovely Ayva.
Just as I am making the final approach to our destination. The assassin makes himself and his intentions known. “Amateur” I scoff. I exit the warp bubble just as the computer warns me of the incoming interdiction. The assassin of course if right behind me, but the station is in view just ahead of us. As most stations in Federal space as well, this one is guarded by numerous Federal Security vessels. He can’t well take us out in such a place. “I win the day again” I think to myself as I count my pay. What a day it has been…
continued in Yearning For More