The crew was not expecting to find human livestock, nor were they expecting to find a trio of robots emerge from the forest to abscond with the only child that they had seen in the ‘settlement’.
Aerik cautiously followed the robots, as did the rest of the crew, not wanting to endanger themselves more than necessary for the sake of a mere infant.
The crew was in close pursuit when SAM noted the presence of several humanoid lifesigns in the forest. It appeared they had taken up poorly planned ambush positions, so the crew decided to see what happened next.
Violence happened next.
After several volleys of outdated ballistic weapons fire, energy weapon blasts and up close and personal cutlery work, the robots were disabled or destroyed, one of the humanoids (an actual human) lay dead and a Tanzanian named K’Vak presented himself to the crew as the only survivor of the scoutship that had been shot down the year prior. K’Vak also claimed to be the one training the remaining humans hiding in the ruins of a city to be a viable fighting force against the alien race called the ‘Harvesters’.
The crew called bullshit on his story as SAM noted him rubbing his wrists as he recounted how he survived the crash. In truth Lord K’Vak was a prisoner on the ship, being transported to exile after murdering his father in a faile coup attempt. In Tanzanian culture fratricide is considered to be a viable means to climbing the social ladder, but only if one succeeds.
When the scout ship had crashed, K’Vak had made short work of the pilots and emerged to small force of humans surrounding the ship who took him and the remains of the vessel into their custody in the remains of an ancient metropolis to the east.
This was discussed while they were flying to the landing coordinates given by K’Vak… Also the ship’s doctor was introduced who apparently has some hygenic issues.
Upon landing in the city, the crew noted several hundred residents. K’Vak wanted the group to assist in attacking a Harvester ship scheduled to arrive in the next month so that the humans could hijack it to make their escape from the planet.
The crew would have none of that and suggested that K’Vak and as many humans as could fit on the Fool’s Errand (without having to unload the cargo hold full of raw materials ‘found’ on the moon of course.) board and return to the Known Worlds to plead their case.
Also the crew assumed that there would be a healthy bounty on K’Vak’s furry little head.
The crew sent a message to JumpCorp detailing their findings, which took 4 days to reach HQ due to the volatility of hyperspace comms.
Thinkbug’s clandestine message to his people took only 2 days to reach them with the same information.
By the time the ship reached the edge of the system and was ready to jump, JumpCorp’s Regional Vice President of Incident Management, Covuul Janx had ordered the crew to make all due haste to the Shenadoha Station due to their information having been leaked to the media and FEX News host, Milo Wanker was making it his personal crusade to crucify the crew for aiding and abetting warcrimes and genocide.
Aerik had screwed over Milo years ago when Milo worked at JumpCorp and apparently payback is going to be a bitch…
With Lord K’Vak locked in his room, the ship made the jump to hyperspace, docked with the Shenadoha station and found their dock surrounded by Press-droids.
The ‘Pillar of Peace’, the ‘Fool’s Errand’s’ sister ship finally emerges from jump in the Aerik Beta system.
Captain Jim Khark furrowed his brow for the umpteenth time as he reviewed the astrogator’s logs, as well as the comm data showing a working hyperspace beacon indicating they were late arrivals to the mission.
“We skipped getting the weapons and shields addressed in dry-dock so we could get here first, great job crew, you’ve failed me once again.”
Khark was a dick.
Was being the operative word as shortly after this was said the Pillar of Peace became a pillar of debris as multiple missiles impacted, a menacing insectoid warship heading through the debris and on to Aerik Beta itself...