Things don’t go smooth.
When we got back, things went as I expected. We got locked up for debriefing. And I cooperated in this for the most part; I just left out firing on the scoutship for obvious reasons.
This went on for about a week or so, mostly without incident. Except for the one time when the alien robot went on a rampage on the ship.
But then the cruiser picked up around 400 passengers of a civilian vessel; all students from the academy, and a former professor Mordecai. They were on an unscheduled field trip to somewhere; right.
Well, they were there to ‘rescue us’ from whatever untold tragedy awaited us. And this started another round of bickering, yelling and calling names. In the end, I went back to my quarters while the rest went to steal the FTL ship on board and take off to whatever unknown fate awaits.
Mordecai had told us the plan was to drop us in a housing container, together with the FTL ship at specified coordinates to be picked up by an unmentioned party. My idea was simply to trust in the chain of command and follow orders.
So later that containers was opened, by none other than Freakshow in person, on board of that very same FTL ship. I was greeted by gloating faces, asked ‘how I now felt being rescued after the fleet had blown up the container’ and ‘how I could be taken out with the rest of the thrash if I so desired’. Well, that’s when I snapped. Maybe it wasn’t the smartest or most tactically sound decision, seeing as they were the ones holding the guns. But at that point I just needed to punch a nose. So I did and shut the sob’s mouth; for about three seconds. But it felt good.
And then I got thrown into another brig. That whiny engineer tried to smart talk his way into my good graces or something, but I gave him my rank and serial number and called that a day. I think he got the message.
A few hours later Raptor, who was now in charge of this ragtag, with Mordecai and a few others came to visit. I didn’t know what to expect, but they wanted me to take command. I once again told them there’s nothing to take command of. Sure, I could command the vessel; but to what end? To do what?
Mordecai then provided me with the one piece of information that changed things completely: the Interplanetary Peace Force is no longer taking its orders from the PAN, nor reporting to it. The decision to not fight the alien raid and everything that followed was made by the chiefs of staff. So, in short, the military has effectively made a coup.
I announced to the ship that I took command, that we’re working for the PAN and were heading into unknown and most likely hostile territory for a scout mission. My decisions would stand without exception, and we were not having traitors onboard.
A few developments.
Dr Alexandra had opened one of the cryo tubes. She freed a semi human female. In short she’s the daughter of some kind of emperor ruling an empire of over 20 worlds. The other tubes hold her guards; they will remain there for the time being.
The princess has a procedure to link minds and teach someone a language quickly. In the end it became necessary to take a risk and have this done. No ill effects for now, but time will tell.
We traveled to the suspected alien home world, only to discover an immense space station with over thirty ships docked, circling over barren rock. This is Morrs’ Station, a privately owned space station owned by what I would call a mob boss. Everything is for sale there; weapons are not permitted onboard. He gave me important intel, in exchange for revealing our home world. in the end that information is not important; they will find out about us in the long run anyway. Better to make friends then having no friends at all.
- Earth has been declared off limits by the empire; none may come there
- Earth has been ignored by the empire each time they expanded, for some reason
- he gave me a set of two coordinates for Troodon worlds; he doesn’t know where their home world is.
While we were there a Troodon vessel docked. I ordered Shade to observe them unseen. Among other things, they were selling human slaves, and he sent me pictures. I made the mistake of showing these to scientist Manson, thinking he would cross-reference them with our database without me telling him exactly that. He started handing them around, and of course Whiny recognized his daughter.
So now I was left with one of my men who was sure to contract the Blue Flue in a matter of minutes unless I found a way to deal with it. I asked Ideas on what could be sold for a serious amount of cash, and confiscated the pictures. Freakshow said he had an idea ‘if I would let him see the pictures’. I was not about to change my chain of command into a zoo, so I told him he could tell me his ideas right there and then or gtfo my bridge. Apparently he had blueprints for building a portable railgun. No idea how or where he got that, but if it would sell I would take it.
I made some cash, enough to buy one slave but that would have to do for now,but the slaves had already been sold. I talked to the person collecting them, and arranged to meat with the person he was working for. That man is an imperial governor ruling a remote part of the empire; a very corrupt man, interested in slave, drugs and other debaucheries.
I did have my meeting and managed to buy that girl, and again I had to reveal our home world to get it done. But at least I managed to avert a breakdown in my command structure.
Our doctors found out the girl has a nano hive in her brain; tiny robots that are altering her brain in some way with no way to stop this for now. Our only chance to save her for now was putting her in one of the two spare cryo tubes. The only place where they can remove this cyberware safely is in an imperial hospital. So, that will have to wait for now.