Well, it has been a very busy few days since my last log entry. I almost don’t know where to start…
So, Fran at BD+71 1033 finally managed to hire a decent pilot to take care of the supply runs between Forskaal and Burton. We stayed on for an extra day to show him the ropes and Mal even spent a few hours with him going over some advanced combat maneuvers. A plucky kid by the name of Bradston Stormchild, originally born on Abraham Lincoln station around Earth, his parents moved them out of the Sol system when he was 5, when they settled in Eranin. He’s a promising pilot, and with Mal’s expert tuition, he’ll do alright I reckon. So long as that tuition hasn’t included how to neck a bottle of Eranin Ale while barrel-rolling into a station, flight assist off!
After our goodbyes and a small get together in the canteen on Burton, where Doris had prepared an exceptionally bland batch of “Pea and Ham Soup”, we set off for Styx. Why Styx you say? Well, we went to meet a friend. And as it turns out, he wasn’t in Styx. So we reset our FSD’s for Korubu.
I must say, I have never been to Korubu before, and would generally have no desperate desire to visit, if it weren’t for ‘Dangerous’ Dave Mackintire. Now the first thing I should tell you about Dangerous Dave is he has a rather antique name. I don’t know many people in the sector, or in fact the whole galaxy, called Dave. Though I hear it was a popular name back on ancient Earth in the late 20th century.
You see, Dangerous Dave is a bit of a wide boy. Most of his fat little fingers are in pies of various descriptions and flavours, all through the sector. My mother would have called him a “Bit of a Dell Boy”. I have no idea what this means, but I gather it is in reference to some late 19th century ‘television’ celebrity who had a brother called Rondy. Or was is Rodney? I can never remember.
Anyway Dave sent me a message about 2 days ago and asked if he would meet us in Styx as he had something “Cool” to show us and a lucrative business deal. Skeptical I agreed. And so after arriving at Markon Gateway in Korubu (not Styx!) Mal and I headed for the “Frog and Ferret” tavern on C Deck to meet him. He had obviously gotten there at least 30 minutes before us as he was pretty much shit faced. And Mal jumped straight in playing ‘catch up’. I dispair of these two together in a bar, I really do.
So the following day we met up on the pad in the main hanger, Dave and Mal looking like they’d just been dug up and Dave asks us to go look at his ship.
“Pfff, what have you done to it now you goon? Plastered some go faster stripes down the side and fitted a toaster?” I teased.
Dave has had the same old beat up 3257 Sidewinder for… oh, as long as I have known him. The fact it is still able to launch without exploding, let along make a disaster free jump to another system is a miracle in itself. I guess I should have been impressed that he even still had it.
And I was all super enthusiastic as we headed over to the pad until I noticed we were headed to a large docking pad.
“Hey numb-nuts – you realise we’re at a large docking pad right?” I said while simultaneously tripping over the guard rail. “You can’t park a Sidewinder on a large pad you doofus!”
“Ah, just wait my old friend. You’ll see.” replied Dangerous with a wry grin.
I’ve been here before with Dave. That grin usually leads to bounties, fines and worse. Add hungover Mal to the equation and it can only mean I want nothing to do with it.
But I was feeling particularly optimistic and blissfully full of Eta Cephei caffeine, so we headed down the stairs to the sub level hanger. Well, I did. Mal and Dave sort of bounced off everything, including each other, while giggling like a pair of Eranian Raspberry Frogs.
My angst was short lived however once we got inside the hanger. For there on the pad, resplendent in shiny Imperial white paint – was a brand spanking new Imperial Clipper.
“Aaaand just where the feck did you get that from?” spurted Mal all goggle eyed.
“Before you ask, no, it’s not stolen. Well, technically it’s not. Not yet anyway” Dave’s wry grin returning with renewed vigour.
“Holy space balls – can we get a nosey inside…” Mal’s voice still visibly slurring from last night’s excess in the Frog and Ferret.
“I don’t wanna know Dave. Whatever it is, I want nothing to do with it.” I said turning about face and heading for the door.
“I told you Darius, it’s not stolen.”
“So where did you get it from?”
“I borrowed it. From a friend.”
“For real borrowed, or dangerous Dave borrowed? You do know the Empire will have your ass if they find you flying about in one of those right? And they’ll have mine for even talking to you. I have enough things to worry about right now Dave without an Imperial bounty hunter on my ass as well!”
“HEY – this thing has a chilled storage locker!” came a voice, not unlike Mal’s, from inside the ship.
“Get him out of there Dave! MAL, WE ARE LEAVING!”
“Aren’t you just a little bit curious to find out why I have it?”
“Nope, not in the slightest. MAL GET YOUR ASS OUT HERE!”
“I have a contact in the Empire. Discus Mordenson. He is quite high up in local government but wants out of the Empire.”
“So!? You are still flying around in an Imperial Clipper in Federation space! In fact, how the hell did you even get permission to dock…”
“Well, I know this gu…”
“No Dave, I don’t want to know.” I said, cutting him off.
“HEY GUYS” came a muffled bark from inside the Clipper.
“Look Dave, I really don’t need to be tangling with the Empire right now…”
“GUYS, YOU NEED TO SEE THIS!”
“YES MAL, I UNDERSTAND, IT HAS A BEER FRIDGE IN THE COCKPIT! NOW GET YOUR ASS OUT OF THERE!” my voice bellowed around the hanger, the two fuel guys at the far end now wondering what all the commotion is about, start heading this way.
Hot footing it out of the station behind Dave’s stolen Clipper.
“GUYS, THERE IS A FREEKIN DEAD PERSON IN HERE!”
Suddenly the hanger grew very quiet. The two fueling guys still heading over didn’t hear Mal, thank feck, but now my morning situation just took a whole new turn. And for the worst. Not only do we have a stolen Clipper on our hands, but this particular one apparently came equipped with a beer fridge and a dead body!
“Quick, inside” Dave headed for the stairs to the cockpit, beckoning me to follow him.
“Oh good grief, how the hell do I let myself get into these situations!?”. I had no choice but to follow him.
Once inside, we closed the access hatch while the fueling guys walked around the outside studying the Clipper.
“So who’s the stiff?” inquired Mal, reclining in the pilots seat, his feet up on the dashboard, beer in hand, although now somewhat more sober.
“Well… he’s the owner. Or was. Anyway, it’s not what it looks like. I didn’t kill him, I swear!”.
Now Dave maybe many things. He is utterly incompetent as a pilot and can’t handle his liquor, but he is no murderer.
“We we’re out at this fancy bar in Wolf 359 – I can’t remember the name of it, but anyway, we met these girls and… well, we ended up back at the ship and were having a bit of a wild time when suddenly Discus – the er.. the stiff you see over there – keeled over of a heart attack!” Dave’s face now visibly pale.
“Ok, so why didn’t you report it to the station authorities?” I asked.
“Ah. Well. Let’s just say that would not have been a great idea.”
“But leaving the station in a stolen ship with a dead body was somehow a better idea!? – Are you feckin insane Dave!?”
“We should probably leave.”
“You know Dave, that’s the most sensible thing you have said all day!”
“I’m taking this beer fridge!” came a voice from under the dashboard.
“Mal, leave the fridge, we’re outta here!”
And so in less than 12 hours Dave had landed us up to our eyeballs in it with the Empire. Just what we needed. Being a largely independent sort of outfit, we try and stay as neutral as possible with both the Feds and the Empire. Makes life easier. And easy is just fine with me.
So we left, in a hurry, and followed Dave – not too closely – to a secluded corner of the system in a dense asteroid field to figure out what we were going to do. And so here I am bunked down for the night way out in the sticks. Probably with an Imperial bounty hunter on our trail already. You gotta love Dave.
To be continued….