[AP] PRODIGAL SON, A Rogue's Tale - Book II

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Post by Coupaholic » Mon, 9. Apr 12, 18:05

Lookin' good so far peoples - I will continue to lurk!

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Post by the_chalk_outline » Fri, 13. Apr 12, 15:06

I should read more carefully!

Welcome back (even though you wrote the start to this before I last posted on the From Nothing thread) :?

I've had technical problems of my own with X3TC and haven't played for a while. I may just bite the bullet and buy AP myself.

I think we've heard the last of Preacher unless a situation presents itself at some point in the future.

I look forward to the rest of part 2 :) Don't get blown up too quick!
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Post by Maxwell Jones » Tue, 17. Apr 12, 00:54

You sure can build suspense SD.

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Post by Scion Drakhar » Sat, 21. Apr 12, 11:54

Hey folks. Sorry for the delay. I'm actually posting this from the local library. I had a problem with my computer; a problem involving a cup of coffee, a dog, gravity and delicate electronic equipment. It's being worked on, the hard drive wasn't damaged, but it will be "another few days" - says the guy at Circuit City. Apparently they're waiting on the new motherboard I want. So I'll let you know when I know and we'll be underway as soon as possible.

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Post by stads » Sat, 21. Apr 12, 13:23

sorry to hear about the loss of the coffee :cry:
hope the cost of replacement parts wont be that high

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Post by Triaxx2 » Sat, 21. Apr 12, 13:46

Been there, done that. Mine was soup and there was no dog involved.
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Post by Gosnell » Sat, 21. Apr 12, 14:36

Lucozade and a open window with mine.

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Post by the_chalk_outline » Tue, 24. Apr 12, 14:01

Angry Wife!

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Post by Deeparth » Tue, 24. Apr 12, 21:08

the_chalk_outline wrote:Angry Wife!

Angry Dad.

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Post by Knucles2 » Wed, 25. Apr 12, 03:28

Angry cuppa joe!!!

i hates me attitudinal joes

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Post by Scion Drakhar » Wed, 25. Apr 12, 18:24

Alrighty then! Thanks for your patience, folks! Last time I dog-sit, I tell yah. Anyway, here's the next installment.

Note: Installed NPC salvagers to compete with me for abandoned and bailed ships.

5. Terran Conflict

Nathan’s Voyage was more of the same. One or two stations had opportunities for employment but nothin' I was interested in. Although I did discover that someone has gone and slapped a name on the ‘unknown’ sector in between Nathan’s Voyage and A148. They’re callin' it ‘Enduring Light’ now. I don’t know why but I found that funny. Of course that might just be the stress gettin’ to me. In any case I led the way through the gate into Black Hole Sun.

Now I don’t know if it was that big ole Argon Military Base sittin’ right in front of us or what but for some reason the instant I was in Black Hole Sun I felt good about it. A few moments later, after the Endless came through the gate and shared her sensor data with me, I found two great big reasons for why that might be. The first one was an Argon Express in really bad shape, but still sellable, even if just to scrap it. On my way in to claim it, though, and I noticed somethin’ else. Yeppers. That would be one Mercury Super Freighter XL, and with almost half it’s hull I’m tempted to keep it. After I claimed it I discovered somethin' even better, though. Namely three 25mj shields. Hell, yeeah. I didn’t even wait. I had that Mercury dump two of those shields out into space before headin’ for the Military Outpost. After pickin’ ‘em up I spent the time it took for the Mercury to get to the Outpost installin’ the things myself. Afterward I scooted on over to collect the Express. I never quite got there.

Did I say I felt good about bein' in Black Hole Sun? I did? Yeah? Well that was before I heard the missile lock engage and started listenin’ to Betty stutter over lettin’ me know there were way too damn many missiles pointed at me. I used the external cameras to try and find the source. When I did I swear before the holy light of the creator that I nearly pissed myself. There was a massive tunnel of flail barrage missiles leadin’ from just over the Military Outpost back to a Split Cobra near the south gate. Now I knew I’d never be able to shoot ’em all down, and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to outrun ’em bein’ out in the open as I was but the west gate was only about twelve klicks away so not seein‘ any other option I hit the boost, cursed that I didn't have one of those Split Turbos available and ran like the devil himself was breathin’ down my neck.

Even close as I was to that gate I still took some hits from the nearest flails as the event horizon of that gate filled the world. They kicked the hell out of my shields and had I not stripped the those two 25's from that Mercury I'd have been done. You know I don’t think I ever realized before just how fast those bloody flails are. Holy shit, that was scary! At the very least the Endless was safely wrapped up inside the Military Outpost's shield, my people were safe, I had a new freighter - sort of - and I even managed to max out the shields on this Tenjin.

Of course the instant I exited the event horizon into Treasure Chest I discovered that I wasn’t much safer than I had been as the target of that flail tunnel! The instant I exited the warp tunnel both a pair of Terran Scimitars and a Saber seemed to be barrelin' down on me! Now I think I've mentioned before that I don't believe in the concept of a fair fight. There are winners and there are losers and if you've got to pick one I know which one I prefer. So I certainly don't sit around waitin’ for someone to punch me in the face before takin' a swing myself, at least not when I know it's comin'. So I opened up into the face of that Scimitar without so much as blinkin'. He passed me and I fell in behind him. I beat the snot of that fighter with my HEPT’s and dropped his shields down low before the Saber got behind me and ran me off. I even managed to admire how hard those Terran ships are to kill and wondered if I was gonna survive the fight before realizin' those two fighters were already part of a scrap and had been when I arrived. Some Argon military fighters had already engaged them and fortunately the Argon never let up. Between myself and the Argon, in two Discos, one Buster and a beat up old Nova, we managed to destroy the Terrans, but not before that Nova got it’s ass kicked by those bright blue swarm missiles the Terran’s use - Poltergeists, I think - and the pilot bailed. Afterward there was a moment when the remainin’ Argon seemed to be confirmin' my IFF signature but I apparently passed the muster cuz a moment later they were flyin' away and I was takin' deep breaths tryin' to remember what it felt like to be able to swallow.

Hoo, yeah. Crazy how fast things can heat up out here in the dark. Either way I’m still breathin’. I don't have any unnecessary holes in my ship. My people are safe, and somehow I managed to come out ahead. While I was sittin’ there catchin’ my breath the oddity of what just happened made me look up. For a moment all I could do was stare. I could see skirmishes takin' place across the whole sector. There was even a decent sized cloud of Xenon layin' into another Argon fighter patrol less than ten klicks from me and one hell of a rumble goin' on near the far gate involvin' three Boreas destroyers with a Titan movin' in to help out. I couldn't see what they were all worked up over but considerin’ what Z’ppt told me and what just happened with those Terran fighters I’m pretty sure it involves the Sol system bein’ somewhat irate about their Torus Aeternal bein’ used for fireworks. I couldn’t help but wonderin' if maybe I'd made a mistake gettin' out of bed this mornin'. But then I remembered stealin’ a Teladi Casino right in the middle of a Xenon attack and it occurred to me that I do seem to have a talent for turnin’ mayhem into profit. Which is when I found myself lookin’ at some of the goodies floatin’ in space around me, not the least of which was that Nova.

Hmmm. Well, all right. When life gives you lemons, right?

So, I made a call back to Black Hole Sun, and not wantin’ to risk the Endless or all those people, I had the Mercury transfer anything of value over and then stick it’s head out to see if anything took a shot at it. While waitin’ to see if I’d lose the freighter I scooted in and got close enough to that Nova to make a quick EVA over to claim it. While waitin' on the Mercury I watched those Boreas destroyers mop up whatever was irritatin’ ’em over by the west gate and then scoot on through, I’m assumin’ over into Omicron Lyrae to whoop on some more Terran backsides. The thought of which made me smile. At the same time those Xenon were poundin' the bejeezus out of the trade lane, leavin’ another pilot-less Mercury and few missiles floatin’ around just waitin’ for me to scoop ’em up. By that time nobody'd killed my freighter and I felt comfortable lettin' the Endless undock to jump to me. So after sendin' Gin a burst transmission tellin' her to do just and another to the Mercury SFXL tellin' it to get back under cover. Then I jumped out of the Tenjin and reprogrammed that Nova and when Gin showed up I sent it on to meet her. Then I went to claim that Mercury and sent it over to a nearby Silicon mine to wait for me to be able to do somethin’ with it. After that I hoovered up the odds n’ ends I can use or sell from the trade lane and made my way to the far gate. Before headin’ on through I did agonize for a moment about leavin’ the Endless unprotected. After a few moments I decided I’d rather spend the e-cells and have Gin and the Endless safe at the Military Outpost than floatin’ in space without so much as the ability to even shoot back.

Bloody hell, but I need people. I need gunners and techies to man that ship and make it so the guns work. I need mechanics to repair these fighters I’m findin’. I need a helmsman and a navigator and an engineerin’ crew. I need ... Right. I need to get my head in the game, scoot through this gate into Omly and see what’s what.


So Omicron Lyrae is pretty hot too. It’s just fighters but I can’t shake the feelin’ that the Terrans are just feelin’ out the sector defense and maybe gettin’ the Commonwealth to tip our hand.

Huh. I don’t know if I like what my brain just did. I said ‘our hand.’

I mean considerin’ what they did to me I’ve certainly got enough reason to hate the Terrans, well most of ‘em anyway. Gin’s terran. But she’s got at least as much reason as I do to want to kick the hell out of some GEOSS ass. But either way I certainly don’t have any bloody intention of joinin’ the crusade and bein’ some kind of idiot hero! I just want my damn money! I want some good card games and some pleasant company and some good weed and some fine drink and ... frak!

Bloody hell. I’ll never be able to let it go. These assholes destroyed everythin’ I built and I can’t help but feel like maybe I need to return the favor. I need some bloody payback.

Frak. Whatever. There's nothin' I can do about it, now. What I can do is capitalize on some other folk’s misfortune. There’s a lot of stuff floatin’ in space from all the skirmishes and I think I’m just gonna scoop it up. The Argon sec def does seem to have everything well in hand at the moment and I think I’m gonna bring the Endless in so I can use her sensors to help me see what’s what. Right. Time to make some money.


Bloody hell! Note to self. Keep an eye on the angry Terran Corvette! Good frakkin' God, that was stupid. I saw this ATF fighter, beat to hell but still with a shield in place and that frackin’ reflex kicked in. “Oooh! Shiny!” Thinks I and then get all sorts of bloody tunnel vision, thinkin’ about what kind of nifty Terran tech might still be aboard and wonderin’ how fast it goes and how much shieldin' it'll carry and whether I can get my hands on any guns to bold onto it. I even hopped right outta my ship, claimed it and had it flyin’ on back to meet with the Endless before I saw that frakkin’ Katana! No that’s not true. I didn’t see that frakkin’ Katana! Not until after it started tryin’ to kick my head in anyway. Bloody frakkin' idiot I am!

It shook me up so bad that before I realized what I was doin’ I'd tumbled end over end hit the thrusters and dropped in behind it, weavin’ and dodgin’ it’s EMPC fire as I lay into it with my HEPT’s. It wasn’t until I looked down and realized I had no shields and the occasional ping of those electromagnetic plasma cannons was actually tearin’ into my hull! At which point I decided that I was outta my mind, whipped the ship around and hit the booster. Sheesh!

I managed to get away. That Thor that lured me into the bloody mess in the first place is now confetti but at the very least I didn’t lose any equipment from the Tenjin. I’ve got a lengthy repair session ahead of me but as I was runnin’ away the nearby Argon Military Titan seemed to take as much exception to that Katana shootin’ at me as the Katana did to me claimin’ that ATF fighter. And I must say I weathered the Katana better’n the Katana weathered that Titan. Heh heh. PPC’s apparently hit pretty hard. So, I didn’t get the new toy, but I’m still in one piece and my enemy is dead. I’ll consider it a win and see if I can make sure I don’t get distracted again. Bloody hell, I’m as bad with starships as I am with women. I can’t help but look and I’m almost always distracted by the pretty ones.

At the very least these skirmishes are leavin’ a pretty decent amount of salvage lyin’ around. In both Treasure Chest and Omly I’ve collected a number of missiles, and even with the loss of that Thor there are ships just floatin’ in space for the claimin’. They’re beat to hell but even if I just scrap ‘em I should net me a few credits for the trouble. Although I have to admit I was feelin’ a bit iffy about this one Rapier. I found myself seriously debatin’ whether the risk of becomin’ a new hood ornament for an incomin’ capital ship was worth the couple thousand cred I could net for that thing. I snagged it anyway of course, but I did do it quickly. After that I ran around grabbin’ the missiles left floatin’ around in the aftermath of the Commonwealth - Terran skirmishes. I even found something I might be able to make use of. It’s got some equipment on it at the very least and it’s not in terrible shape. At the very least it merits a closer look when I get back aboard the Endless


Right, so being that the sector was temporarily clear of the worst of the hostiles I decided to head back to the Endless to think things through. I need to get across X347 to bypass the Split, who have already tried once today to shove some high yield warheads into some places I‘d rather they not go. Being that the Xenon aren’t likely to be any more friendly, and since the Terrans blew up my destroyer, I’m inclined to take a small, fast fighter through X347 in the hopes that I’ll either be too small to pay attention to or at the very least too fast to catch. I’d prefer a Kestrel but if the Rapier I just obtained was repaired and fully tuned I’d be willin’ to make the trip with it. So let’s see what I’ve got that I can use to get the Rapier kitted out. Four heavy fighters but only enough gear for one. Two of which are barely more than scrap and will cost a small fortune to repair. The Buster is a bust as well and before I put any money into that Pericles I‘d rather get Legion‘s Mamba in fightin’ shape. And I need money. Right. So I’m gonna strip and sell everything but the Mamba, the Tenjin and Rapier.


Oh this turned out very nicely. That Rapier had an electromagnetic plasma cannon and, perhaps more importantly, a docking computer. That docking computer alone is worth it’s weight in Nividium. With it if I can use the Tenjin to defend the Endless and if I get in trouble I can just beam back aboard the TL to take cover. The Pericles had a pair of particle accelerator cannons, one of which has already been installed in the Tenjin’s empty turret, giving me complete cover, and a transporter beam, which I’ve also installed in the Tenjin. If for no other reason than I have nowhere else to put it. In addition, if I get into trouble while claiming or repairing a ship I can just beam back into the cockpit. So all in all I’m feeling quite a bit safer.

I’ve repaired the Rapier to the best of my ability. It’s not as good as a professional repair but then I’m not a professional. She’ll hold together, though. I still need to take her on to the Equipment Dock and have her upgraded but I think I’m feelin’ pretty good about what’s about to happen. The Rapier isn’t as fast as a Kestrel but after I max her out she’ll do over 450m/s, which ain’t half bad. Good enough to outrun any Xenon I know of anyway. Unfortunately I’ve only got a pair of 1mj shields for her, but I don’t intend to get into a fight with it anyway. Her job is to run.

I didn’t get a great deal on the fighters I sold at the shipyard, but considering it was all gravy I’m not complaining. Much. It’s hard not thinkin’ about how just a couple weeks ago these assholes would have given me a blowjob just to make sure I thought of 'em if I ever had need of buyin' any ships in the future. Of course it’s now unlikely that I’ll be spending three hundred million credits on new fighters any time soon. Either way I’m about ready to take that Rapier to the shipyard. After it’s got everything I intend to bolt onto it I’ll see about gettin’ us through X347. One way or the other it should be a pretty quick trip.


Right. So I upgraded that Rapier’s engine as far as it would go. Then I had boost extension installed, thinkin’ that every little bit helps when somebody’s tryin’ to introduce you to something that will atomize your bones. I had them bolt on a Duplex scanner and a navigational computer. It already had a couple things I didn’t notice earlier, which I think I can make use of. A freight scanner, a mineral scanner and a CLS. So if just for the equipment I’m pretty glad I decided to stick my neck out to snatch this thing out from in front of that gate.

So, now I’m off and headin’ into Nyana’s Hideout. Hopefully I don’t die tryin’ to scream in a vacuum.
Last edited by Scion Drakhar on Sat, 1. Jul 17, 08:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by stads » Wed, 25. Apr 12, 20:45

good to have ya back

love the story took a risk with the rapier but it seems to have payed off :D

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Post by Tohron » Thu, 26. Apr 12, 01:21

We should start measuring your chapters in terms of "heart attacks induced"

Getting targeted by a flail barrage in a fighter in mid-sector with no turboboost, jumpdrive, or docking computer definitely sounds scary. If it had been me who got through the gate and saw those Terran fighters, I'd probably have just strafed back through since active missiles disappear once you leave sector.

REALLY think you should boost your Teladi rep (docking computer lets you dock, buy/sell 1MJ shields, undock/dock and repeat to boost rep) and get a Kestrel from PTNI rather than trying to run through X347 then pirate space in a 2MJ Rapier - both Wasp missiles and Flail Barrage missiles will outrun it - and Xenon regularly use wasps. It would be a real shame to see this run end because you weren't prepared for a missile barrage - and you've already had one close call.

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Post by Zaitsev » Thu, 26. Apr 12, 06:05

You might know this already, but a trick I use when ever I'm about to cross Xenon sectors is to get away from the ecliptic as fast as possible. Once you're through the gate, head straight up and place yourself at least twenty clicks above the gates. Unless they changed something drastically in AP the Xenon rarely stray far away from the "middle", and if they do they send maybe an M or a couple of Ns. It also helps to let a few freighters fly through first, to keep the Xenon busy. I haven't tried AP, however, so take that with a grain of salt.
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Post by Triaxx2 » Thu, 26. Apr 12, 16:28

I like a nice screaming climb at full power. I aim for the mid point and most of the slower ships can't catch me, and the faster ones can be avoided. Then turn and dive OVER the gate, and strafe in the back.


Log, Split Special Council: Rhonkar Presiding

"You told me he was DEAD! You said that the Terrans couldn't possibly have let him survive!" Tkr's representative was furious. The voice was at the top of his lungs. Rhonkar's representative remained calm, picked up the gavel and smashed it into the other Split's forehead. Tkr stumbled back, startled but unhurt.

From a lesser family, or lesser family member, such a blow would be an act of war. From Rhonkar's Representative though it was merely an insult to be tolerated. Still the blow was more than just an insult, but was in fact a reprimand. Rhonkar's representative had become a little less tolerant lately and no one quite knew why. Njy's representative, calmer than his counter-part from Tkr by far had remained seated as the other jumped to his feet. He'd been expecting a shouting match. It had been commonplace once they learned that only the fish had been killed in the attack on the complex.

Now that the captain of the Cobra had revealed that Drakhar was alive, as well as the disgraced captain, Tkr's representative was beyond furious. Njy's had been drug from his bed to attend this conference and despite his typical Split readiness to be prepared for battle at any time, he was not really interested in being here. He'd been given word that if there was an opportunity to break the alliance he was to take it. Sadly the insult wasn't stronger, or he could have taken Rhonkar's side, demanded a trial by combat and had Tkr dishonored, which would have been enough to break the alliance.

Taking a slow, deep breath, Njy waited, hoping Tkr would make more of the insult, but it failed to occur.

"Apologies." Tkr backed up to his chair. Rhonkar replaced the gavel without removing his eyes from Tkr.

"Ugh." Was all the response Rhonkar gave. "Our sources of information were incorrect."

"As I told you they were." Vo'l'nt snorted, entering through the large double doors. "I was on my way here to bring evidence of a sighting in Grand Exchange, when I heard the news."

"He moves quickly." Njy noted quietly in the break. It was the first thing he'd said the entire meeting. Vo'l'nt nodded.

"Rumor says that the Argon have granted him clemency for his past deeds." Vo'l'nt noted. The two representatives snorted almost as one. "I have a contact in the Argon government digging to find out the truth of the matter. He was allowed to pass their space without incident, at least without incident involving Argon forces." She didn't glare at Tkr. It was a Tkr ship that had opened up on one lone fighter with a full set of barrages. And failed to land a single hit.

"The Terrans also attacked him when he retreated." Tkr objected.

"And also failed miserably to terminate him." Rhonkar smiled, showing every single tooth in his smile. Tkr swallowed. "It would seem this one is as slippery as a Ch'thar'ok." Rhonkar sighed.

"If you are about to ask we sue for peace again, do not. It will not..." The gavel hit him square in the face again. The throw was perfect, head striking exactly in the same spot as it had at close range. Vo'l'nt applauded. Njy swallowed a snicker.

"You do not tell us what will, or will not happen. If you are told to make peace, you will make peace. If you are told to attempt an EVA without a space suit, you will do so. Because Rhonkar commands. Obedience is a requirement, NOT a request." Tkr appeared ready to slide to the floor, but held himself by the table.

"Understood." His Ser'kavi was very deep, but also very shaky. He seemed half an instant from falling.

"Now, what I had been ABOUT to say was that he is very slippery indeed, and that tact may succeed where brute force has failed."

"The fish tried an assassin. He spotted and killed it before it got close enough to do more than die in a splatter of blood." Tkr objected. Rhonkar's eyes narrowed. Njy took an involuntary step back. Vo'l'nt leaned away, looking wary of getting blood on what was obviously a dress uniform. Of course, if the opportunity presented itself, she'd coat it in an opponents blood herself without thinking twice, but some Split considered it bad form to let a uniform get bloody from someone else's opponent. Njy filed that fact away. He also considered she might just not want to soil her uniform for no good reason.

"You are an imbecile. The assassin the fish used was a rank amateur, because she was not yet capable of fully understanding humans and did not recognize boasting." Rhonkar relaxed slightly. Njy fought the urge for another step. "We will chose our assassin more carefully. There will be no doubt about the chance of success."

There was the noise of a communications device. Vo'l'nt tapped hers and it chirped. "A moment." Rhonkar nodded and she stepped across a blue line in the corner of the room. The sound dampening field projected to the ceiling muffled her conversation, though it pulsed blue to show that there was a conversation occurring. After a few moments, she stepped back out and gave a Ser'kavi. "My contact called. The Argon have indeed granted him Clemency, though they are keeping tabs on his movements. A natural precaution for 'reformed' pirates."

"Then he now has a safe haven." Tkr snapped. "This is just fantastic. We had a chance to kill him and missed it and now we will have to fight the Argon for the chance to kill him! How can this..." The Jatra Split his head like a ripe Idkalda melon. Vo'l'nt deftly sidestepped the splatter of brains. Njy did the same in the opposite direction.

Rhonkar turned to Njy. "I charge you with the task of having this piece of filth delivered to the head of Tkr. And tell him to pick a more intelligent representative next time." Njy nodded quickly.

"It shall be as you say." He answered, as Rhonkar's representative reached for his Jatra and then paused. He considered for a moment leaving it in the body, then put his foot on the chest, and jerked the weapon free. He reached out without looking and took the white cloth Vo'l'nt held out to him. He wrapped it around the weapon and put it on his podium. He would clean it later, and the cloth would keep him from putting the weapon away.

"How open is Njy to peace talks with Drakhar?" Rhonkar asked.

"Very. But our agreements with Tkr prevent it." Njy answered, a bit more confident without his hot-headed counter-part to get him into trouble, but more worried to be the center of attention.

"If terms can be reached, Rhonkar will bear the terms to break Njy from Tkr. The Terran threat cannot be ignored, and we cannot make peace with the Argon while we still persecute one of it's citizens." Rhonkar took a deep breath and let it out.

"Shall we make overtures to him, under the table?" Njy asked.

"Not yet. At the moment he is only one man, and he does not yet have resources enough to be either a threat, or be worthy of our attention. Indeed, the universe may well take care of our problem for us." Rhonkar shook his head. "For now, watch him. Perhaps he himself will come to us. If so send him to Rhonkar, and we will deal with him. The Patriarch wishes to end the bloodshed. Perhaps that will be enough." Rhonkar reached for his gavel, remembered it was still on the floor, now beneath the body of Tkr's Representative and instead rapped his knuckles on the podium.

"Someone ensure I have a new Gavel." and walked out. Njy and Vo'l'nt waited a moment then started towards the door. Vo'l'nt touched Njy's arm. He stopped.

"I may have an in for you when the time comes to attempt peace. It will smooth the process."

"Thank you."
A Pirate's Revenge Completed Now in PDF by _Zap_
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