Chapter Fourteen: Undeclared Cargo   Leave a comment

Captain Manx, still wounded from his encounter with the Black Service, tracked down Rathko, an information broker of his acquaintance who hung out in the krill fighting pits beneath Kesparate. With some reluctance, Rathko coughed up a hot rumor: the Guilds were convening on Criticorum to aid in the rebuilding efforts, and that sort of turnout was bound to draw the Iconoclast’s attention. Manx then realized that Rathko was stalling him so two goons could circle around and snatch him up!

Aboard the Straylight, Fannagus set to work encoding a new algorithm to make Arcos capable of questioning itself. After countless hours, he came up with a solution he was happy with. Now, to implement it!

Manx tried to evade the two goons, but ended up starting a firefight, shooting them dead, and fleeing in the chaos. In the dock at Kesperate Orbital Control, he found two “allies” waiting for him: Mohaim Avracek, the Muster functionary he’d impressed into his cause upon first arriving on Leagueheim, and Alok Tmnegar, burned-out Charioteer.

Mohaim Avracek and Alok Tmnegar

Mohaim Avracek and Alok Tmnegar

Reunited on the Straylight, Manx learned that Sir Victor Swindon had departed in the night, returning to Ravenna to save Lady Maryam. The pilgrims also realized that Ferizio had not yet returned, so Manx dispatched Avracek to go fetch him. In discussing what to do with Arcos, the pilgrims learned that Arcos had “partitioned” the humans like Fannagus had “partitioned” it, by releasing the dormant Symbiots to roam free through certain sections of the ship.

Fannagus uploaded his new specs to Arcos. After a prolonged round of programming and interrogation, Arcos accepted its new framework. It admitted that it might be able to find a new solution on Criticorum. Shortly after this, Avracek returned with Ferizio in tow, and the crew made ready to depart.

Having learned that the Straylight could make the jump from Leagueheim to Criticorum directly, the pilgrims filed a false flight plan to Madoc. Manx used the ship’s automated medic to tend to his injury, then rigged the ship’s fire suppression system to spray the free-roaming Symbiots with the solution that put them in stasis. Fannagus made up with Ferizio, apologizing for having ignored his friend’s concerns, and the two came to a truce.

The Straylight made the jump to Criticorum and was greeted by two ships, apparently from rival factions. Manx tried to pit the two of them against each other, but couldn’t prevent one of the ships from grappling on and sending a boarding party. The pilgrims repelled the boarders by trapping them in a killing jar and getting some help from Arcos. The enemy ships withdrew, leaving the pilgrims to proceed to Criticorum.


Posted March 20, 2015 by John Perich in Uncategorized

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