December 24th 2014
Well, that was quite a day.
I had gone to Vivenden’s estate, quite fed up with the increasingly ghastly messages that his associates have been relaying to me about the delinquent payments.What I had thought would be an attempt at being civil quickly descended into more threats.
I will admit that I hate falling behind on loan payments. I tried to explain that very point. They seemed to believe I was taking advantage of them, that I enjoyed having this arrangement looming over my head; they refused every assurance that I wasn’t wasting their investment.
At the end of the day, they proved themselves to be solely fixated on money. Unlike them, I had research to pursue, so I left.
Arriving back at my lab, I was seized by a sudden fear that one of Vivenden’s associates would try to reclaim the Pytheas. I knew that the only way for them to get the credits I owed was out in the stars, so I quickly transferred my current research and hustled to the hangar for a hurried launch.
As I ascended through Tangaroa’s atmosphere, I saw no sign of Vivenden’s people. Perhaps my abrupt departure was a paranoid move, rather than a rational one. I don’t know. I must escape this cloud of indentured servitude somehow.
Also due to my rushed launch, I was unable to contact Tio or the rest of my usual crew, so I am currently flying solo. I will need to find a crew somewhere.
As I travel, I will need to figure out how to pay them.
I confess I spent more time than I should pausing to study the binary stars on the threshold of catastrophe at the center of the system before making my way to my destination. It was truly fascinating.
Several days in Haven proved to be as terrifying and exhilarating. I had not been in the labyrinthine canyon city for more than a few hours when I was cornered by a pair of local children, a Human and a Tevarin. I was about to ask what they wanted when I was attacked from behind by several more who tried to immobilize me to abscond my mobi. Suddenly the child thieves scattered back into the dark alleys. I turned to see what had scared them away to find a Human man lowering a stun baton. He helped me to my feet as I thanked him profusely. As luck would have it, the man, later introduced as Derek Voughn, was a pilot looking for work.
I told him of my expedition. He listened intently. As he seemed like a capable pilot and, with the bruises from my potentially dangerous attack reminded me, clearly honorable.
With Derek’s help, I was able to put together a crew. I confess that desperation may have clouded my judgement on some of them. I continued to remind myself that Haven is not known for many upstanding sorts, but I needed people and the lack of dispensable funds made it difficult to hire who I did.
We’ve been in Hades system for just over a week now. I must say, Derek has performed up to expectations, proving himself to be a competent and skilled pilot. It turns out that my initial apprehensions about the rest of the crew were completely unfounded. While they may be rough around the edges, they are an effective team.
I’ve been rereading previous explorer logs to look for any potential anomalies that they might have missed or (in the cases of the older texts) where the newer technology could discover what they were simply unable to. So far, we haven’t found any signs of potential jump points, but I’m hopeful. This crew and the camaraderie that quickly developed between them, gives me that hope.
On a personal note, it’s so satisfying to be back out here, surrounded only by work and the prospect of discovery. One of the inherent downfalls of civilization, I’ve come to realize, is the extra baggage that comes with the day-to-day life; the money concerns, the petty dramas between people. It lacks the immediacy and purity of life on the drift.
Out here, it’s so simple.
I love it.
Still no luck. It’s very frustrating, but thankfully I had a breakthrough in my research. Rereading some excerpts from a hauler’s journey notes, I think I may have discovered a potential lead. The woman had made a note of a subtle signature anomaly that she attributed to a faulty avionic package. I think it might be something more. Unfortunately, the exact coordinates aren’t listed, but I should be able to triangulate a rough position based on flight data.
The crew did not share my exhilaration at this discovery. Over the past few days, they have grown quiet in general. I spoke to Derek off to the side and assured him that we were close.
Something seemed different in his response.
I just need to prove it to them.
Mr. Vivenden, this is Buassi Prentice. I know I have no business turning to you, but I find myself in a situation. I have procured a crew with promises of payment that I ultimately could not produce. As I have failed so miserably in my role, they are turning to you to make good on the promises that I could not fulfill. I hope that my years of dedicated service will make amends for my recent actions, but if not, know that I set out on this unauthorized expedition to make good on the promises I made to you.
They want me to tell you that even if you pay, it is only for my freedom. You will never see the Pytheas again…
I’m sorry… it’s not the Pytheas.
It’s the Rip’N’Rag now.