SLAVE TRADE - Chapter I: Idealistic folks
14 SEP 3305, Hamilton Gateway, system Wolf 406 (Headquarters of the Alliance Elite Diplomatic Corps)
This is Jav Marlo, on board the Electra, landed at Hamilton Gateway, the headquarters of the Alliance Elite Diplomatic Corps, in system Wolf 406. I have received a quite intriguing message. Chief Aiyanna Winters, from the Sunflex Group Limited, just contacted me with a request for assistance. He said it was of the upmost importance. That they were preparing a covert operation for rescuing some of their pilots and my cooperation was needed. He asked me to come to system Nauni and said that they will make the trip worth.
Jav Marlo on board the Electra landed at Hamilton Gateway
The Sunflex Group Limited is an anarchist faction that is proudly Federation an operates in the Nauni system. Their principal goal is to rid the galaxy of slavery. Besides that, they also claim to turn a blind eye to criminal activities. Some weeks ago Beaufoy Terminal, a Coriolis station in Nauni, was attacked by the Thargoids and I came with my brother, Zal Marlo
, and rescued many of their people with my Beluga
. It seems that they need assistance once more. I do not really know these faction, and their request for assistance came by unofficial channels, but I got the impression that they were good people, kind of idealistic folks, so I have decided to pay them a visit and see what they are up to. I will keep a log about my steps on this matter, just in case.
The Electra arriving to Beaufoy Terminal in Nauni
14 SEP 3305, Beaufoy Terminal, system Nauni.
Resuming log. I have landed at Beaufoy Terminal. The Pilot Syndicate 4 faction seems to keep the control of the station, like when I was here for the first time. Chief Aiyanna Winters is waiting for me at the landing pad. They must have contacts at the station traffic control because I did not tell them if I was coming. He is calling me and requesting to came on board. That is odd. He insists.
Chief Aiyanna Winters
Commander Jav Marlo, thanks for answering our call. Please let me board your ship. I am unarmed.
Hello chief, I didn’t expect you personally waiting for me. How are things going for the Sunflex Group Limited?
Not well, I won’t lie to you. Since the attack of the Thargoids we’ve been in war with the Gold General Partners and the Jataya Democrats. We lost both. Our organization is barely surviving.
Why cannot we meet at your facilities?
The walls have ears here. It is of the upmost importance that our dealings remain secret. Please, let mi in.
(sound of rear door opening… footsteps)
Thanks for letting me in.
Be my guest. So, what do we do now?
Please set course to Rothman Terminal. It’s a planetary post in the third planet within the system. We will brief you there.
The Electra arriving to Rothman Terminal in Nauni
Resuming log. We were received by a group of Sunflex Group Limited operatives upon our arrival at Rothman Terminal. These ones carried handheld weapons. They said that since the last war it is more secure to meet in the surface than in the space station. They took us to some small dependencies within the landing platform and exposed the situation.
The Electra landed at Rothman Terminal in Nauni
According to Sunflex agents, there was a war against the Gold General Partners, a Corporation from the federation that is expanding its influence within Nauni. The Sunflex Group Limited lost it and, soon after, there was an inquiry and many of the pilots that participated in the war were accused of smuggling and some other illicit activities and taken prisoners. With their forces diminished, the Sunflex has been unable to hold its ground against the other factions and they are now in the verge of collapsing.
But there is more. The Sunflex believes that the inquiry and imprisonment of their pilots was due to a plot of the Gold General Partners. They may be involved in some illicit activities like smuggling, but nothing so serious as to involve imprisonment. They claim the trial was a farce and the punishment extremely severe. All their pilots were taken to Asimov Bastion, a maximum security prison in system HIP 32135. But that is not all. They say that they have discovered a plot to sell their prisoners as slaves. Somebody is clearly upset about the ideals and anti-slavery agenda of the Sunflex people, and must have thought that it would be quite ironic and exemplary for these pilots to end as slaves in some forsaken system.
And here is where I come in. They are not sure they will be able to keep track of their pilots if they are sold as slaves. The want them to be rescued before that happens. Time is of the essence, they say. So, the mission, if I am willing to accept it, is to pose as a slaver and buy the Sunflex prisoners. Me. To pose a slaver. They say that I am perfect for the role. An independent commander of the Pilots Federation with no ties with the Federation nor the Empire. I do not see it so clear.
And there is one more thing. They do not know who might the real slaver be, so I am supposed to identify and eliminate him in order to prevent the transaction before I rescue the Sunflex pilots from Asimov Bastion.
They have a contact, Prospect Anahi Bailey, from the Calhuacan Gold Dragons, a criminal faction based deep in Empire space that has a lot of experience dealing with slavers. They say she can help me to build my character. They also have a Python there that they ‘liberated’ from a slave trader some years ago and could be used for the mission. The payment for my efforts is the Python. (sighs) I need to give this a thought. This plan seems to have too many loopholes.
The Electra arriving to Sakers Holdings planetary port in Calhuacan
14 SEP 3305, Sakers Holdings, system Calhuacan.
Resuming log. I have accepted to travel to Calhuacan and meet their contact from the criminal underworld. I will decide there if I carry on with the mission. I am not really interested on the reward, I could afford a Python if I wanted one, and I think this plan is madness. I do not have a dilated experience in black ops myself, but all this looks like a clumsy operation with many untied details made up by a bunch of people with too many ideals and not much experience organizing cover missions. But I think they really care about the fate of their people. And I do not like what happened to those pilots. One thing is exploding in a ball of fire with your ship in the void as a result of combat, that comes with the job, but being trade as a slave because you were on the losing side of a war is not part of the deal of being a pilot. Not at least in civilized space. Not where I am from. So I am going to meet this Prospect Anahi Bailey and take a look at this Python.
Sakers Holdings is a huge planetary port. There are some imperial factions present, like the Guardian Angels, but the pirates from the Calhuacan Gold Dragons have their grip over the whole system. This city is the kind of place where imperial slaves destined to serve in fancy families are misplaced and end being delivered to mine colonies in anarchy systems out of the fringe of civilized space. I better find my contact.
The Electra landed at Sakers Holdings in Calhuacan
14 SEP 3305, Sakers Holdings, system Calhuacan.
Resuming log. I found my contact from the Calhuacan underworld in a dark cantina by the name of Tenochtitlan, and I must confess she did not disappoint me. She was exactly as the picture I had, not precisely looking like a prospect but more like a pirate, with many tribal tattoos on her face that I do not know how to read, a dyed pink hair, and a pistol on her hip. She also carries a huge Ghurka stile knife attached to her right boot, the tang reaching way over her knee. I bet she could severe an arm with one single cut of that, or a head. There was an announcement at the door of the cantina stating that weapons were not allowed inside, but Anahi Bailey seemed to not care. She was not the only person there carrying weapons ostensibly there though and, besides, I carry a small tactical knife concealed inside my boot too.
Prospect Anahi Bailey
I approached her and used the code phrase the Sunflex gave me: there is a fog covering Chione’s surface. She acknowledged and asked for a bottle and two glasses. I do not know what they served us. Some vile liquor harsh, unflavoured and with too much alcohol. We walked to a table in a shadowy corner that seemed to be ready for us and talked about the details of the mission. She drank glass after glass. I swallowed a couple of gulps of that venom while trying to look dangerous. I could see the disdain on her eyes. When I told her that I wanted to see the Python she called it a piece of junk and said it probably could not fly anyway. I insisted and we went to one of the most remote docks of the station. I must confess that I felt like I needed another drink the moment I saw the Python. She was right. It was a piece of junk.
The Scourge landed at Sakers Holding in Calhuacan
To be continue…