Captain’s Log – Star Date February 16th , 2380 – The Collector, Pt 3
The Erebus venture was fairly uneventful. We are deep into Zeta Capuli at this point, and are hunkered down for the haul. We picked up all necessary shield parts, stocked up the food, the fuel, everything, even some really nice whisky too. It cost a little bit, but it’s so worth it. I also made a sojourn to all of the text shops I could find, and I found more JOSM material. I actually found a damn near intact copy of The Collector story. Unreal. You have no idea how long I’ve been looking for that. I knew the markets were good there, but damn.
While we were there the final details of our mission came through. It is a pick up and carry gig. With pick up gigs we fly in, grab a body or two, and then get out. These missions suck because they only ever occur in worlds under distress. This is actually no surprise in this day and age, because distress is everywhere. With the Corp sucking up the universe like a digital virus, and Groot Desseyn amplifying their holy war to eleven it’s rough going in the realms of space known to terrestrials. Humans took their need for extreme to limits our ancestors could never fathom. As a result the conflict is staggering. But there are those of us that stand between Groot Desseyn and the Corp. We aren’t on anybody’s side but our own. Fuck those bastards.
We, the members of The Rocket Snail, and others like us take this work seriously. We take care of each other. We are the team that will go anywhere, and do anything if it means taking care of our people. We are also up for sticking it to either Groot Desseyn, or the Corp. I personally will stand beside anyone who stands up to those fuckers. This of course has its pros and cons. The pay can be good, and the ride can be pure chaos. But with a team like the one I have – a woman can get to feeling pretty comfortable in the chaos. Actually, I think I’m at home in chaos by nature any way. Who knows. At any rate, we are headed to the planet Sirona to find a Sozone named Ejow Scoyfol. We do not know much about the Sozones at this point. I’ve never come across one in my travels, and no one else on the ship has either. We have not consulted with Ellegua as of yet, however. Ellegua often times has information accessible to no human, and superior to what can be found in the digital interwebs. Gibraltar made it pretty clear though, that now was not the time.
After we collect Ejow we are supposed to bring him back to the Azura base where arrangements will be made for us to part with Ejow. For all we know we could be transporting a dictator, a revered rebel, a drug dealer, a diplomat, who knows. It is not for us to know. We just transport. Sort of. See, SV 2380 is a band, and they are my crew, but they are so much more. They are a one of the most effective underground strike forces in modern warfare. They use the cover of a folk band, and just so happen to use the cover of a band I love. I also serve as home base for their operations off of the Azura base.
I feel it necessary to share these details in this log because this may be our last journey. I have a weird feeling about this mission. I feel as strong as usual, but with Orange Face assuming full control…well, that makes things a little trickier. He’s the kind of person that when sensing failure has no qualms with dropping a grenade into the room. He’s so convinced of his success, that the reality of failure is not within his sensibilities. That means death surrounds him. No, I don’t think we are on a death mission. But I do think that shit is going to get weirder than usual. So be it. We should reach Sirona in another 14TDs or so, give or take. There’s much still yet to share, but this you must see. I hope you enjoy it.
THE COLLECTOR, Pt. 3
“Plenty get lost when people fall away without telling their own story,” he said. “New people come in, they mash up this, they mash up that, they finish off the people they meet, and lots a times they don’t even know what it is they killing and mashing up.”
He got my full attention then. I looked at him. He was carrying a cane, but he wasn’t as old as I first thought. Grey sideburns reached down from beneath his off-white cowboy hat, and inside the plaid wool shirt he wore his shoulders looked as though they were at one time more trim and robust. But there were few tell-tale lines to his leathery face, no down-pulling jowls or watery eyes. Despite the grey hairs in his wispy moustache his skin was tight and firm, and the steady, alert gleam in his eyes told that he had held his own in some tight corners over the years.
“That happened here?” I asked.
“And plenty other places . . .” he said, leaning back with his elbows on the rail, making a small circle in the air with his cane. “. . . plenty other places. You ever hear about Bodie?”
Of course I had heard about Bodie. Who hadn’t?
I had not heard of Allensworth.
“That’s what I mean,” he said. “This America is a helluva place. A young fella like you should be passing on the story of Allensworth to the family, but you enh never hear of it. Not only in America though . . .”
“Are you from Africa?” I asked. I had detected a slight accent in his voice which I couldn’t quite place. I doubted he was from England, and I couldn’t think of anywhere in the Pacific from where he might have come. Africa was a safe guess.
“No. I from the West Indies.”
The West Indies! Now, how did he, an ordinary brown-skinned man his age, make his way to Northern California and live there long enough to look and sound almost like one of us?
We walked out of the visitors’ gallery together, and found a bench in the park where we sat while he told of a young child’s boat trip with his mother and an adventurous father. They had left the West Indies bound for Panama. Lots of men from the islands had already gone there to work on the Panama Canal. Adventure. Brutal conditions, but maybe a chance to make decent money. His father was a tailor so he wouldn’t be doing any back-breaking labor. He could set up shop where several of his customers were already living and do well. But as a result of a red hot tip picked up aboard their freighter – for a small sum – his father decided they would head for the gold fields of California instead. Here, it was told, an earlier West Indian had struck it real rich and now owned lots of land with mines waiting to be dug somewhere near a place called Negro Bar. Imagine the wealth!