Many entries ago, I visited Rock of Isolation, a Detention Center floating the the dark of space in Omega Sector OD-S b4-0, and in my hubris I sat there making jokes about the size of their landing pads, all the while smugly assuring myself that it would never be me locked up in a place like that.
And then I docked at Caravanserai, an Ocellus Starport in the Gandharvi system and my latest stop on the road to Colonia. Switching from Anonymous Access, I contacted the local authorities to turn myself in for my paltry 200-credit fine, figuring I'd just pay it off, get the obligatory "don't do it again, please" and be on my way. Instead, I was slapped in cuffs and my ship impounded while they extracted the credits from my account and then bundled me onto a clunky prisoner transport hauler and jumped me seven light years away to Stuelou AT-J c25-24, where Penal Ship Omicron awaited my arrival and processing.
This is the part where I'm supposed to tell you a harrowing tale about barely escaping with my life and my rear end intact, but it was actually nothing so dramatic as that. I spent about three hours in a holding cell with a fellow who called himself Jack of Spades. I tried to find out more about the man, but he was apparently flying high on Onionhead and only wanted to discuss early Imperial history, a subject about which I knew little to nothing (until I met Jack). Now, having listened to the sot's narcotic-fueled (but surprisingly cogent and informative) lectures, I feel like I could recite Aisling Duval's lineage back through the last millenium if pressed. Just for fun, I jumped on Galnet once back on my ship to cross-check some of the things that Jack had said about Imperial lore, and found that he actually had an extremely nuanced and advanced understanding of the topic, rivaling that of the foremost experts in depth of analysis. What the hell was a guy like that doing messing around with Onionhead? I guess it takes all kinds to make the Galaxy go 'round.
So I processed out of Omicron beneath the stern gaze of one Security Officer Grimes, who called me some slur they have out here for people from the Bubble, a slur that I won't repeat here in case there are children reading (although I have a hard time picturing the kind of kid who'd enjoy reading the log entries of a spacer pushing middle age). Officer Grimes did everything but put an actual boot to my behind as I re-boarded my ship, where Midnight awaited me. Midnight does not exists physically as such, and so he does not have a face, but I could almost feel the old man smirking, waiting for the most opportune moment to strike with some well-placed jest at my expense. Resolving not to make it easy on him, I silently walked to the bridge and took the helm, manually punching in the launch sequence and stolidly refusing to use any voice commands until we had cleared mass lock.
"Enage supercruise on my mark," I said once we were clear of the Penal Ship.
"Waiting," replied Midnight. Did I hear him stifling a laugh, or was it just my imagination?
"Engage," I ordered.
"Engaging," said Midnight as the drive hummed into its powering-up sequence. Any second I expected it: some cutting remark about running around the Galaxy with a jailbird and how his reputation would never recover, the kind of thing I've been listening to non-stop ever since I first picked up the measly fine. Instead, he remained quiet as we jumped into supercruise and re-plotted Gandharvi into the Galaxy Map. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the old man resisted the urge to needle me any further, and in less than an hour we were docked back at Caravanserai and I was allowed to debark from my ship as a free man once more, ready to take in the sights and sounds of the first proper station I've seen since Rohini. As I debarked into the interior of the station I was hailed by a local courier who told me he had a package for me, sent by one Professor Thomas Black.
Nonplussed, I signed for the package, a small parcel wrapped in black-and-white striped gift paper, wondering whom exactly I might know on this station by the name of Professor Thomas Black. This only made me feel all the more the fool when I tore open the wrapping paper and opened the little black box inside to reveal a pair of ruby-studded onyx cuff-links in the shape of a ball and chain, with an inscription on the rear of each one reading "Hands up, you dirty mug! ~ Your Friend, Midnight ~"
Going to enjoy Caravanserai for a bit before heading off to Boewnst KS-S c20-959 and Polo Harbor. Next entry should be from there.