wait – don’t you want some Sandfish so this mission actually pays something?
wait – don’t you want some Sandfish so this mission actually pays something?
Natasha Fatale, captain Audacious Blip go over balance sheets and not like what she see.
Natasha see that repairing damage from last mission cost more than mission paid, frown deeply.
Natasha note that promised deferred signing bonus of b3 not credited to account, realize that other captains who seemed so foolish before seem much smarter now. Natasha wonder if “defer” mean “never.”
Natasha scratch head and think what might best benefit БПMК, then choose
Natasha defer purchasing decisions until can communicate with Unizone Customer Service and find out about signing bonus.
Quirky looks over the pamphlet stuck to the hull of the Somewhat Broken Heart. He knows a lot of Squamata. Was this that one guy from Clutch Five? The guy with the sack lunches, and hardly any sibilant S?
(Looks at the More-You-Know-ulater™. Loads Captain Falkayn’s info-post.)
Could be. Only half the eyes of the fella from Clutch Five, though, and – it had to be said – a bitchin’ hat. Still, if it was…
Quirky lurches into Duck’s, and takes his place at the bar, flicking his tongue into a cheerful tumbler of Zip’s Quick-Fizz. As the stinging bubbles climb up his sinuses, he begins to wonder if he has a problem.
Quirky (mumbling): “If I don’t, I better get one, and soon, I reckon…”
Quirky spins the Omni-Pay™ on the bar counter. It spins, and spins, and spins. The bubbles tickle, and tickle, and tickle. Quirky’s tail twitches, and twitches, and twitches.
Quirky (way too loud): “Like a kitten, a candy store. Doggy-dog world. Lizard Orphan Annie.”
He slaps the spinning Omni-Pay™, stopping it entirely and hitting the selectors for:
Unizone Blasters (+4 FP) – b20 on credit
Mission 3: To the Chase – b10 on credit
Quirky: “Ssssssssss! Thhhhhh! Play it, Jukebot Willie.”
Luckybeard paced the floor of his ship. “We’re looking at a few options. One is going after that sonavabitch that put that poster on the hull we’ve finally been able to get off. Thanks to Jasper, Skinny, and Wahoo for their hard work with the blowtorch. Another is a simple escort mission which could result in us coming out way ahead financially and so we can stop sleeping in shifts in case the Hula Gang comes for their 'bits, can’t find them, and takes their payment in other, more physical bits.”
He stopped for a moment, considering, listening to his Beard. “On the Dabohaze we have two things going for us: Our fine strong hull and our guns. Some of our guns even have swords. We’ve been waiting for something that needed our firepower, our luck, and, our charm. But going mercenary to track down another captain seems like a poor long-term decision if we ever disagree with the Powers That Be. So we’re taking the safe, cheap route and using Mission Three to get out of debt and show we somewhat comply with the PTB in one fell swoop. Not to mention providing our charming companion with all the Hot Pockets they could possibly want. And probably a few more.”
“So clean off the Visitor’s Chair, the one with the great view up front! Wash those portholes! Pull that laundry down! Steve, we do appreciate your clean underwear though! Comb out those beards! Check the chore chart and make sure we clean the head! We’re going to treat this person with the respect and admiration we have always shown Miss Fio to earn that extravagant tip! I want those dents banged out and everything looking ship shape by the end of the day, get to it!”
With that, he stepped off the Dabohaze towards Duck’s to have a Hot Pocket.
Do make the side trip to Benemede… please!
“We run your higher functions, so you don’t have to.”
M E M O R A N D U M
To: Active Crew, the S.O.L. Jr., a division of ConGypsCo
From: Captain Mrs. Richard Basehart, CEO of ConGypsCo
Re: Shipping out
I know that last mission was a little rough, what with the asteroids and all^, but we’ve gotta get the ship back to, uh,ship-shape so we can head out again. Below is the pre-flight checklist.
We really need to succeed on this series of missions. If we can pull this off, the ConGypsCo board of directors is sure to green-light my request to acquire the Galactic Parcel Service’s fleet. And guess who I’ll be appointing to captain those ships when the time comes?
^ Those of you who lost limbs due to asteroid damage can pick up replacements at the company store on deck 3. Limbs and installation are half-price until blast-off.
^^ Mold-related limb loss is NOT covered by our health insurance policy. Thanks, Obama!
Sign me up for…
Another good, lo-key affair for the Grand Striped Blazer. Set all systems to “gym reflexes”! Now where did I leave my fishing suit?
Mission 3 – To the Front
I’m pretty sure I saw that guy at the slug races. Or maybe it was his cousin.
“Dieux de l’espace me sauver!”
Jacques wrestles with the power coupling cable from the new blasters. Nothing is working right: no bolts or even bolt holes appear to be had on the new hardware: instead he’s been looping bits of cable and a few spare belts around various parts in order to affix them to the fuselage. His zero-G suit’s faceplate is beginning to fog at the top. He is already in pirate space.
The hydrospanner slips his grasp, tumbling away into the void. He dives for it, touches it with is fingers, and now it spins away all the faster, and he is loose from the ship. He grabs his tether and start hauling himself back in as quickly as possible. Now a quarter of faceplate is fogged, and the bottom is flecked with spittle. Before he gets back to the hull a flashing light appears on the side of his HUD. If only he’d read the manual! It was red, though, and there was some sound as well. Could it be an interception warning? He pulled faster, grabbing the power coupling again. Maybe he had only moments to attach them! In desperation he shoves the terminal end into the fuselage socket without watching where his grip is. A loud humming sound pervades and then overwhelms his consciousness.
Initially bemused by the spectacle of a man trying to do some sort of mid-flight repair, however ineptly, the flash of light, the dangling spacewalker being pulled about, and the ship lurching into some kind of wooden juke and dive manoevers sends the watching pirate crew into such paroxysms of laughter that the ship is well away by the time somebody asks whether they should have tried to board it.
“Hell no,” says the captain. “Don’t want no part of that mess!”
“Excuse me, sir? Excuse me?”
Someone is tapping his foot. Jacques twitches away. And looks around. No-one. The side of the ship. He looks down. Standing on the space port floor below him a docker is tugging on his boot. “Sir? Can we speak to the captain of this vessel?” Jacques dangles helplessly at the end of his tether. As he slowly rotates he takes in the port id. He has arrived.
“I can introduce you to the captain. But first may I have a stepladder?”
The militiamen, somewhat distasteful sorts, judging by their furtiveness, offload the munitions crates by hand, babbling “Blasters & Ammopacks” jargon to each other. Jacques is too busy reading through the Slap-On™ Toolless™ Unicorp™ Junior Blaster Set instructions and mentally kicking himself to notice when they are finished. He tosses the instructions back in the box, and then kicks the box to the corner of the cargo bay in disgust.
This reveals a second, identical box that, in his haste, he had not noticed before. A sinking feeling strikes him. The panic, the Unicorp™ Echo, the voice recognition system…
“Non, non, NON!”
“Wee, wee, WEE.” The space lobster at accounts payable is not only unsympathetic, he somehow makes every mocking line he speaks in Human sound scatalogical.
“You most certainly ordered two. Here is the VoiceReceipt™.”
“Confirm” says a frail, tinny voice, paired with a flashing hologram of an order number and SKU. The lobster stops the recording deftly, “And now the other.”
“Confirm dammit! Mer-”, the lobster cuts the second recording off. A second order number floats in the air.
“But I did not pay…” “We have accepted your first installment!”
Jacques sinks deeper into his seat despondent. He flips open his Unicorp™ Claymore™ SpacePhone and stares at the Unicorp™ PartnerProgramApp. Maybe he can work this with a change of plans. The money is sunk…he’ll have to pay it eventually. He’s out credit whatever he does: if he pays it off he’ll be out for mission overhead, and the interest on that is steep. He thumbs through the parts menu. This is worth thinking through carefully, Jacques thinks, even if only to waste more of the clerk’s time.
“Hmmm”, he says, relishing the sound of mandible-clicking on the other side of the desk.
Jacques has 28.5 StarBits.
Jacques has on credit from the Unizone Parts for Partners Program
b20 on Unizone Blaster
Jacques will spend:
b10 on To the Front
b10 on weekly epic-mega-deal Communications Enhancement Software Kit
b5 payment against his Unizone debt
b0.5 on drinks at Duck’s for everyone to celebrate his lucky escape.
As it turns out, Jacques uneventful return voyage had been courtesy of his fellow light freighter pilots barging into pirate space blasters blazing and basically driving the remaining pirates into hiding for weeks after. Definitely worth filling a few rows of shot glasses! His head hurts, but at least his bowels are in order. And that second blaster set “Slapped-On™” like a charm. He was capable of learning!
General good feelings, rare and always retrospectively premature, flitted through his head as he gently slid the razor back and forth under the cheap paper. It was a smooth, certain motion, learned long ago from his mother. Slowly but surely the hull door yielded the odd poster intact. Deftly Jacques arranges it on the stiff card next to him, then a pre-cut mat over the top, and a panel of Plasti-glass™, a few swipes of the FrameGun™ (dial set to “Ornate”), and done. Jacques contemplates it at arms length for a moment, than marches it into the lavatory attached to the captain’s quarters. He turns a couple of times, assessing impact, and then his original edition of the Frontier Times takes its position of honor directly opposite the combo commode/bidet.
We see our glorious days of moving boxes from one hub to another are pretty much behind us.
So lets pick up some Unizone Blasters (+4 FP), mount then on the either side of the Space Dirigible and prepare to go
Mission 4 - To The Front
I understand that some of you were promised mystery and intrigue, and are probably wondering when you’re going to get it. Well, I was just muddling through a stout mug of coffee over at Duck’s, and I saw a very drunk captain wander out into the darkness with another very drunk captain, and I’m NOT GOING TO SAY WHO (OR WHAT) THEY WERE!
I assume this was meant to say “Mission 3 – To The Front”
– as the parts list makes perfect sense for Mission 3, and no sense at all for Mission 4.
[Lazlo yanks the Unicorp flyer from the hull of the Didn’t See That Coming with a dextrous walking leg]
“Hmmm. Sounds like a buncha chilly-livered university kids up in claws about the ‘The Humanoid’ lookin’ to make that evil profit at the expense of the hatchlings. Oh Twelve Hells, they even used CheapStik to splop it on the hull. Kids these days. I suppose it’ll just ablate off eventually anyway. Someday…”
[Lazlo clambers along catwalks leading to Duck’s Pond, reading and re-reading the flyer.]
“…and furthermore…when I’m dictator…Duck - was this you, buddy? 'Cause otherwise security protocols in the docking bay are even worse than I remember. Say, did the new missions get…”
[Lazlo stares, goggle-eyestalked, as he watches spacer after spacer press little black Unizone Credit Chits against various terminal screens. Forgotten, the flyer drifts from his claw to the ground.]
“O Holy Clutchmother, what are they…‘Buy now, pay later?’ Without having spelled out the contractual obligations? This is madness!”
[Lazlo makes the sign of the Tidekeeper with his dominant claw as he heads toward the nearest empty booth and grabs the nearest Unicorp Mission Monitor™. Caressing the screen image of the Lucky Dashboard Bobble, he grumbles to himself as he sizes up the available options.]
“Ain’t out of the reefs yet, ol’ biscuit. That claw-shaped temple sure sounds interesting, but I didn’t come here for no supply run. And while none of these options seems to involve a dustup, I can’t but help be drawn to phrases like ‘weaponry and skill with stealth’. At least I’ll be able to tackle it on my terms. And maybe hope the exec has a soft spot for hard shells. Hate to take another mission on credit - especially at those terms - but at least I know what I’m gettin’ myself into. Hopefully.”
Purchase: b20 - Unizone Blasters (+4 FP) Mission 3: To the Front (on credit, reluctantly)
Pilot Lazlo “Scuttle” Deepwalker of the Didn’t See That Coming.
Databassse archive query: retrieve captain’sss log, I.M.V. Flatulent Deity, databackupssstream ssstardate 0926.2013 keylog BSD1.4/viewall/authkey=GilliganLovesDusssty/exe
No. No, that’sss… unposssssible.
Mondo is dead.
It wasss all over the news. That half-breed amphibian is DEAD!! Falkayn would have me jumping at shadowsss, overreacting with blind fury at the hint of a resssurgence of thisss ancient family feud.
I shan’t take the bait. I know not Falkayn’sss game, but the suressst way to win is not to play. Though the few remaining biological organsss remaining to me ssseem to all be endocrine in nature (which is why I retain the sssplenetic temperament of the typical Alpha Ssspace Lizard dessspite my coldly clinical cybernetic appearance), I possess the advantage of an almossst completely cybernetic nanotronic cerebral cortex, and I know which ssside of my morning passstry is lubricated. I have uploaded to my consciousssnessss all sssurviving recordsss of the Squamatic Warsss as well as the more recent events of the Charybdian Revolution, and while I cogitate upon the repercussionsss and ramificationsss of these eventsss, I shall have to keep an eye on thisss… thisss rabble-rouser.
In the meantime, it’sss time to dig in and get back to work. The piratesss were a fairly tasssty sssnack, but they did give usss a few ssscratchess and dingsss, and the resonance array is uncomfortably out of tune. One can’t make an omelet of one’sss nessst-sssiblings without breaking a few eggs in the clutch, Mom always sssaid, ssso I plan to go further in debt to try to put thisss ship on a better-payin’ basisss in the long run. Invesssting in the future, that’sss the Ssspace Lizard way.
+------- Ship -------+-- HP ---+- FP -+- SH -+- EN -+- ST -+- LK -+- GRIT -+ |Carcinogenic Denture| 86/102 | 21 | 23 | 22 | 28 | 24 | 3 | +--------------------+---------+------+------+------+------+------+--------+ Hat: None StarBits: b26.8000
Mission 3 – To the Front
Unizone would like a security detail to escort a high-level executive from the galactic front into the local mining district. The job requires training with weaponry and skill with stealth.
Mission Cost: b10
beginning balance: b26.8
2x b10 - Unizone Communications Enhancement Software Kit (+6 EN) (+12 EN total)
b20 - Unizone Blasters (+4 FP)
b20 - Hull Whole Hole Filler (+10HP)
edit 3/5/15 11:05 AM PST - typo in starting balance
Sorry. Those asteroids rattled me antlers more than I thought. Mission3 - To The Front
Go big, I like it! But I feel obliged to point out that it’s 26.8, not 28.6.
• b10 - Unizone Communications Enhancement Software Kit(+6 EN)
• b20 - Unizone Blasters (+4 FP)
Damnation, you’re correct! I ssshall edit. My thanksss to your sharply focusssed accountant’sss green eyeshade.