After an exhausting series of events, we had finally returned home. As Nick readied the ship for docking I took the opportunity to explain what we had learned while Ten listened quietly. Nick thought about the information for a moment as he maneuvered the Eagle onto its designated landing pad. “Yeah, I’ve never heard of this ‘Whistmire’ guy either, but you know what’s weird? Persing’s the guy who hired me t’hunt you two down’n the first place.”
“Really? Why didn’t you say something?” I asked, feeling surprised that such an important detail had been glossed over. Nick shrugged his shoulders in reply before freeing himself from the pilot’s seat.
“Who was the last guy who hired you t'hunt down a pirate lord?” he countered. It was a fair argument, so I could only sigh in reply. “Anyways, I’ve got some good news though. I still have his contact info, so if I can getta hold of ‘im, maybe I can convince im to setup a meeting or somethin.’ I could say I took you two out or… somehtin’ like that. And while I’m working this stuff out, you can go back to Inara and get your ship back.”
“And if we can get to Persing we can get closer to Whistmire?”
It sounded like a good plan on the surface, but the longer I thought about it, the less I was sure. “Don’t you think they’ll want some sort of proof?”
Nick smiled. “Yeah, I’ve already thought about that. I’ll need a bit of Ten’s hair. Otherwise I’ll be able to handle it.”
Before I could say anything, Ten had already drawn her blade to cut a lock of hair free, leaving a noticeable spot where the hair was now missing. “Here you go.”
“I didn’t want it now!” Nick protested as she held out the strands of hair. Reluctantly he took them anyway and started to search for a safe place to put them.
“Are you sure you can handle it?” I finally asked. Nick’s brow furrowed as he heard the question. He gave me an irritated stare, as if I had offended him.
“Tell you what. If I make it back, I want another million.”
“If you can get the information we need I’ll pay you five million.” I quickly replied. It wasn’t that I didn’t expect him to succeed. If he managed to pull this off I genuinely intended to pay him that much. I just hoped I’d have enough money leftover to pay him when he got back.
As Nick departed in his Eagle, Ten and I took the Merchant. She was awful to fly but I had grown strangely attached to the ship recently, and wanted to go on a trip with her. Besides, it was possible that Ten and I were wanted in the Inara system after our little misadventure, so hopefully they wouldn’t expect a wanted bounty hunter to show up in the lumbering behemoth that was the Type 9.
These past couple of months have been quite an adventure, meeting Ten and Nick. Now that we’ve learned the identity of the Custodian, we’ll soon be able to track him down and find out where this “Factory” is located.