Camera pans over a dingy spaceport terminal- A squirrelly looking man in a beaten up leather jacket [[Dr. Elias Barnes]] huddles in an alcove with a much larger man in sleek looking armor the color of vegetable oil —Sir Osric of Whiterock.
Once more, Sir Osric outlines his plan of action to his boon companion the magus. In his cleverness, Sir Osric has devised a scheme to return to High Prelate and rid his people of the yoke of the false gods: the pair must contact the selfsame charioteer of the ship “Caliban”, which had been destroyed some weeks earlier by an unseen (and doubtless dishonorable) foe.
The good doctor, once more at his wit’s end (most likely a chronic state), decides to run a search on the ship via a public access terminal (just about as distasteful as it sounds)- going over shipping manifests and crew logs, Elias discerns through the power of search engines that the pilot of the Caliban, Zhang is presumed dead in the blast. He reluctantly relays this sad news to Sir Osric.
Osric, undeterred, asserts that he had witnessed first-hand as Zhang escaped in a pod. Returning to the terminal, Dr. Elias runs a search on pod docks in the last couple weeks- he finds that against incredible odds, a remarkable pilot had managed to dock a pod in SHOAL 239 (escape pods aren’t even designed to be piloted!).
The Duo resolve to take public transit from their current location to Shoal 239, which is even grimier and dingier than most. After managing to liquidate some funding from a financial subsector of his previous employer- Dr. Barnes procures two tickets for a one-way busing to Shoal 239.
Upon disembarking on their destination, Sir Osric’s lordly eyes spy two suspicious rogues in the crowd,obviously intent on the doctor. Dr. Barnes, cracking under the pressure, sprints as fast as he can towards the site of the pod-dock (with the suspicious men in hot pursuit).
Unfortunately for Dr. Barnes, Agents of Szubo Tai had already headed them off, and the two heroes find themselves cornered in a hallway node. Unfortunately for the agents, they did not account for their target being protected by a sentient refrigerator. After a brief scuffle, their foes are slain or disarmed, and Sir Osric and his charge are free to continue on with their quest.
Following leads from the dock, the pair finally corner Zhang in an opium den, and after a not-so-brief negotiation. The pilot agrees to take them through the Kronin slipgate, acquire a Kronian Watcher to lend the ship credibility in Kronian space, and through the “Backdoor” slipgate from Kronin to High Prelate (a system which isn’t even supposed to exist).
Haggling the Flame of Gao-Dun out of impound for only a nominal fee and a shipping agreement, the adventurers are safely underway to Kronin.
Upon reaching Kronin, they request a docking permit on an orbital station/gun battery, where they are re-acquainted with a ‘Friend’ of Elias, OX-e-9b, or OX. He creeps everyone out.
After a routine bit of black market smuggling, the crew is underway.
Unfortunately, two weeks out from slip-jump, they find themselves waylaid by particularly hungry pirates. After a battle in the stars, they find themselves boarded while Dr. Barnes frantically works to bring the engine back online. Sir Osric prepares to defend the gates of airlock 2 singlehandedly, while Ox decides to go for a space walk onto an incoming ship,
for reasons that escape all involved. BECAUSE HE IS THE HERO KRONIN NEEDS.
Sir Osric crushes, cleaves, and smites the enemy boarders with gusto (presumably in slow motion) as the Flame rolls away from the docking ships. Ox fights his way towards the escape pods of the second pirate ship, as a clever bit of computer hacking has set it on a collision course with its compatriots.
As the battle rages, Sir Osric finds himself running low on battery, his armor exhausted from the battle. Things look grim for the noble hero, as he is put on the business end of a hull-cutting blowtorch, and just as his head is about to be reduced to gelatin ‘Raiders of the Lost Arc’ style, an Amphetamine crazed Chinaman (Zhang) puts a revolver slug in the last pirates face.
MORE TO COME, NEXT TIME ON: OH GOD, WHAT THE FUCK, AND OTHER AMAZING TALES.