The space pirate swaggered up to the captain, stepped one of her red latex boots on the chair in front him, and leaned down just enough so that she could blow cigar smoke in his face. His face turned into a vaguely greenish color and beads of sweat began to collect on his forehead.
“Give me one good reason why I should let you live,” she said. His eyes bulged somewhat as he seemed to plead with her silently, but she seemed to grow impatient waiting for an answer. I exchanged a glace with Breck, our chief gunner and security officer. It did not look like this last job was going to turn out well for us.
“Clarisse…? Do me a favor and encourage this man to open up and share about his assets with us. I can’t abide rudeness.”
Clarisse lugged her bulk to Captain Greig and hauled back to kick him. She was huge… had to be almost seven feet tall and probably weighed a good three hundred pounds. All muscle. A tech looked up from a console, took in the situation and then called out, “no, don’t–!” But it was too late, the monstrous woman had landed a her kick right between the captain’s legs.
The short brunette ran up to him and pulled out an injector and stabbed it into the captain. “Um… guys…? I left that one on lock down. He was pretty frisky when we took their bridge if you recall….”
“Oh. How embarrassing,” said the pirate. She puffed on her cigar and idly rearranged the shrunken heads that hung from her belt and then looked back to the captain as he collapsed onto the deck. Clarisse walked around behind him and held him up by his collar. “Well…?”
The captain gathered what little dignity that he could. His voice never cracked, though he cleared his throat uselessly a few times once he stopped wheezing. “I was in Imperial marines for three terms and mustered out with honors at the rank of sergeant. I’ve lead small cadres in a half dozen backwater altercations… and I kept my ship in the black for six years… until I met you. Surely someone with my range of experience can be of use somehow…?”
He’d paused for a moment to gauge her response, but he was at a loss when he observed the coldness of her stare. He was about to try another tack when she interrupted him. “I’m sorry, but we don’t have any leadership positions open at the moment.” She turned to Clarisse and said, “Space him. The existence of this one offends me.”
Clarisse drug him to the other side of the hull to the airlock. He started to make one last threat, maybe, but the thug broke his jaw before he could finish a sentence. We could make out weak moans as she shoved him inside. She slammed the door, and cycled the exterior iris. He was gone.
The pirate turned to Breck. “What about you?”
“Well, uh… I was a bouncer in some of the worst bars in startown. I’m a crack shot with a pulse laser turret. Also… I brew beer as a hobby. ”
“Is that it?”
“Honestly… it is. My family’s poor and we both know the Imperium doesn’t pay ransom money.”
“You’re right about that. It’s too bad, really. You seem like a real nice guy, to tell you the truth. It’s a shame I’ve got all the muscle I need right now.” She cocked her head toward the brunette. “Devv, I’d like this one’s spleen.”
“You got it, boss,” she replied and rummaged through a small crate of gadgets. She found one that looked like a vacuum cleaner and started strapping it to Breck’s chest.
That’s when the pirate turn to me. “So what about you? Do you have any redeeming qualities?”
“Actually, I believe I do. I can do an analysis of your operating costs to identify unnecessary waste. I can perform audits to determine which of your crew are pilfering from you. I can help you organize your assets into tax shelters– you’ll recall that it is the Tax Bureau that ends up taking down most pirates that don’t die in battle. Also, depending on which regions of interstellar space you’re operating in, I can determine if there are any letters of marque available that can give you an official means of getting the patrol off your back for a while.”
She stared at me for a moment, sizing me up. “Well I be doggone,” she muttered under her breath.
That was when the brunette pulled a switch on her device. There was a suctioning sound, and Breck’s spleen appeared inside the canister with an audible thunk. She looked over her shoulder at me and then said to the captain, “aww, can we keep that one, boss? He’s kind of cute….”
The captain put her arm around me. Her breath was rancid with the stench of space leaf. “Listen, son, I think we might be able to work something out….”
Classic Traveller Stats:
Edd Thorrsdi: 453995, Retired Merchant, Age 32, 3 terms, Cr 35,000. Admin-2, Computer-1, Streetwise-1, Bribery-1.