What time is it? Have we been on the Oracle all day? I haven’t been this out of it since Reese and I tied one on at a tourist installation after I lost all that race money. I remember that too, amazingly. Reese drank a load of gin and then walked around drunkenly asking women if they’d seen his shoes while I cried into a sea of empty beer glasses.
Hey, don’t judge. If you lost two million credits in ten minutes you’d cry too.
The worst part is I only had three beers with Jenny and the megaship crew. Three! Normally there’s no way I’d be feeling like shit after anything less than six, maybe four if I’d been mixing drinks. It’s not a full-blown hangover yet at least. Mostly just nausea and a headache. This is embarrassing.
At any rate, the megaship repair crew all laughed at my sad alcohol tolerance as they trooped off for the return flight back to the hauler. Jenny herself gave me this sort of half-amused, half-pitying look before she mockingly told me to be home by nine or strange women would pick me up and molest me, or steal all my money, or something. Jesus christ. I really should have wasted all her heat sinks while I had the chance.
That was hours ago. Maybe Dr Wu was right. Maybe I should avoid alcohol until I’m in better health. And not on meds.
Well, lesson learned. I’ll be good and stay away from the hooch for now.
I’ve just been hired to recover four tons of bootleg liquor.
Ferrying the Phantom over to the Oracle as we speak. I am on a serious power fade here. Currently sitting in a coffee bar at the space station nursing an expresso. I don’t mind paying for the ferry over, and the allotted time for this recovery job is more than generous.
Recovering salvage from planets tends to be pretty straightforward at least, nothing strenuous. Fly to a crash site, deploy an SRV, scoop the goods, fly back to the client. Sometimes you have to shoot down some trash-tier pirates on top of all that, but not always. It’s exactly the sort of work I need to stick to right now, at least until I don’t feel like a packet of smashed crap.
The client this time is the Cooper Research Associates, an Alliance-based scientific organization. I sort of suspect they’re here to study the Thargoids alongside their skeevy Fed and Imperial counterparts, but I couldn’t prove it to you. I also couldn’t tell you why they’re so hot to get their hands on four tons of illegal liquor but wait maybe I just answered my own question right there.
Phantom’s here. Good thing too, I was half-asleep at my table. This hand is basically a prop for my head right now.
Off to- wait, where am I going again? Do I even have a manifest yet?
Merope. Uh oh. Isn’t that the really dodgy system with all those thargoid barnacles?
Fuck, it is. But according to the nav beacon I just scanned, my target is on Merope 3 C and not the alien funtimes planet. So off I jolly well go.
Chasing down the crash site now. I thought I had it pegged; then the targeting reticle had a nervous breakdown and skated across the HUD a few times before picking out a new location roughly three hundred kilometres away.
Just as the Phantom dropped out of orbital glide too. Of course.
Back into supercruise I go.
Just find a stable signal, you fucker!
And... landed. Finally.
It’s pitch dark out. I had to turn on the Phantom’s forward lights just to illuminate the barren crash site. Crumpled metal glints at the edge of the powerful beams. I can see what looks like the back end of a Cobra crunched into the rock, and some scattered canisters. Somebody had a bad day.
At least there are no skimmers loitering around. I can’t stand those things. I do enjoy picking them off from my ship. Watching a mindless drone explode in a burst of multi-cannon rounds is pretty satisfying. But then I usually end up with a fine or a bounty for trespassing on a protected salvage site and for destroying private property, and the irritation comes back.
Just realized I’m going to have to drive the SRV around in low gravity while buzzed and nauseous. Ugh. If I hit a small rock and flip this thing I’m gonna hurl.
There’s an escape pod out here.
My ship is full of booze. Get me the hell off this planet before I throw up.
Just securing all of the salvage now, including the escape pod. I always try to pick these things up when I come across them. God knows I’d want a friendly pilot to pick me up if I ever end up adrift in space inside a sealed metal coffin. Emphasis on ‘friendly.’
My armed and armoured Phantom is not outfitted to be a hauler in any sense of the word. Its cargo bay is tiny, mostly just intended for the occasional limpet or canister, and with the vehicle bay crammed in here I can’t squeeze in much of anything else. I make do when I need to. Four tons of anything doesn’t take up much room at least.
Lights are activated on the escape pod. Vitals look stable. That’s good. I’ll turn it over to search and rescue officials once I’m back at the Oracle. My good deed for the day.
Back in space. If a pirate interdicts me at this point over a measly four tons of cheap home-brewed piss liquor I will be pretty annoyed.
Just had a thought. Cooper Research hired me to recover all of this alcohol, but not to rescue their stranded pilot? That’s kind of a dick move.
Think I’ll wake the guy up. He’s had a pretty lousy day. I bet he could use some friendly company right now.
Starting to see why Cooper ditched this guy. Arm the harpoons.