04 An Abridged Firefight
Last week, the crew of the Prosperous Cheetah tracked a missing archaeologist and retrieved a stolen artefact. They found the First Idol of the Dancer hidden on a bridge in the Coriolis Promenade. Suddenly, the person who hired them appeared…
- Omar Kayyam – captain and leader of the crew (Chang)
- Ramsis – the engineer (Libb Wei)
- Kariim the Hashinin – the former legionnaire and soldier (Ivan Lim)
- Alrazzi Kowalski – the pilot (me)
- Gamemaster (Ivan Tam)
Journal of A. Kowalski (an account of what happened yesterday):
An Unexpected Arrival
It was that Coriolis smell that got to me. The spoor of the dark and the dank permeated everything. Even more so here high above the Promenade. There were uncountable bridges and gangways that connected one structure within this space station to another. The bridge that Lavim Tamm sent us to was unremarkable as it looked like any other.
Now, Captain Omar Kayyam was speaking to Merez Alcan who sent us on this wild goose chase. The entire crew of the Cheetah was on edge, clearly, as Alcan brought with him a cadre of armed goons that have cut off our retreat from the bridge.
The only way off the bridge was to jump overboard, but I did not survive this long to die in such as stupid fashion.
I wished I was back aboard the Cheetah instead of taking in the stench of Coriolis.
I was not paying attention as I was daydreaming about flying the Cheetah in space, my idea of bliss. Then, accelerator and vulcan weapons appeared in outstretched hands, pointing at one another. Something had disturbed the peace.
I saw the woman again, the same woman that Kariim had attacked earlier and then disappeared into nothingness in her chameleon caftan. Alcan was in a panic. I heard him call out her name: Salindre. I recalled that I thought, This was not the time to lose our heads. But by that time, Alcan’s goons were firing at us already, and we were firing back.
An Unexpected Crossfire
The goons closed in on us from both ends of the bridges while another was escorting Alcan away to safety. This woman, Salindre, appeared to be on our side shooting at the goons. Omar and Kariim were quicker than me to react. Even our gearhead Ramsis was issuing death and destruction with his vulcan cricket.
By the time I could react, I thanked the universe and its aspect the Traveller that none of the return fire from the goons had struck me. I suspected that this would be an unpleasant thing.
Ramsis beside me was returning fire to the ones coming from the east end of the bridge. I hit the deck quickly as projectiles lanced through the space where I had been. I squeezed off a shot. The accelerator pistol whispered and a goon was struck in the shoulder. Everything was a blur and later I discovered that I could not recall the details.
The single goon from the east end had his vulcan pistol pointed at me. I loosed a shot, but the bolt missed. Thankfully Ramsis’ weapon took a big chunk out of the goon’s chest. Before the celebration of sparks had died out, the goon was motionless on the ground.
I got up and saw that the others had neutralised the other threats. Alcan had disappeared, but at least, Omar told us, he had paid us the birr that he owed us.
Salindre introduced herself to us. We suggested that we take our discussion elsewhere. We should not be here when Judicators arrive. As we left, I sent an anonymous call to Samaritan Sanatorium so their spider-doctors could fix the fallen goons here.
An Unexpected Direction
We found a near-empty bar that was away from the regular pedestrian traffic of Coriolis. I tried recalling the name of the bar later, but I could not for some reason. I do remember the barkeep looking as if she knew she should not be asking questions.
Salindre told us she was commanded to retrieve some artefacts for her Order. Omar was adamant that we should not get involved with her plight. After all, we had been paid. And we almost were not because of Salindre’s arrival.
However, the young woman had a proposal. She would like to hire us to travel down to Kua, the planet that Coriolis pirouettes around. She learnt that Lavim Tamm was at an archaeological dig site in Terenganu Valley on Kua’s surface. The dig site was in a thick tropical jungle environment and she could use some help.
If we found and sold off any Portal Builder artefacts, we could make some serious coin. I was just gleeful at the prospect of flying off from Coriolis on the Cheetah again.
We agreed to the task.
An Unexpected Shopping Spree
As we had been paid for our recent Orun II salvage job, it was time for us to spend some birrs. After all, we have never been on a mission in a treacherous jungle before.
I was not paying attention to what the others bought for themselves, but I purchased a set of protective clothing (+3 armour), a pair of binoculars, a compass, two reloads for my accelerator pistol and just for the hell of it: One hand grenade.
One never knows when one needs to use a grenade in a pinch.
The crew and Salindre returned to the Prosperous Cheetah in the docking bay. While Ramsis showed us his new proximity sensor, a six-wheeled crawler rolled in and parked under our cargo ramp. Omar had bought a brand new, eight-passenger crawler.
It was time to fly to Terenganu Valley.
- This adventure consisted of a combat scene followed by a lengthy weapons and gear buying session.
- When honked, the crawler’s horn played “La Cucaracha”.
- I worked in the real Terengganu for almost seven years.