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Story 42

The planet formerly known as Ularos X

A system wide comm comes in and you nod for it to be played on the view screen. Bic ,with blue and white face paint, appears on your screen. 

“The potato of justice looked me in the eye and found me lacking, although not in pyridoxine (which a potato is a good source of), but in the starch necessary for my collar to stand up to the injustice of the Ilex perpetrated on those from the world of Tig. That starchy tuber convicted me of my shortcomings. Today, I had the pleasure of helping those from Tig push back the tyranny of the Ilex and re-establish their own self governance. Today I enjoy a diet rich in potatoes.”

Your screen fades out. Ularos X reverts back to the authority of the Neutral government and is once again known as Tig. The Avenger NPC remains in play and continues to hairy Ilex ships or those that have visited Ilex planets. 

Your ship receives a private text only message from Bic, “I have convinced the Neutral governments to permanently remove your ship from any registry that shows you as having visited an Ilex planet.”

Remove your Ilex token and gain an additional fame point. Also, remove the Ularos X overlay from Tig.

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Story 12

The Bic

As you leave your ship you can hardly wait for a meal that consists of anything other than space rations. You’re so tired that you’ve already decided that you’re not going to spend the next hour trying to find a place that serves four star cuisine and has no dress code. You spy a tavern near the spaceport and upon entering you are surprised. You’re not sure that you’ve ever seen a greater hive of villainy and scum despite the jaunty music coming from the band on stage. You’re ready to leave and find someplace else when an argument breaks out at a table near the back of the room. A huge tree trunk of a man, that would stand out at a bodybuilding competition, is seated with three other men that look to be yelling at the big fellow when you notice that they have a fourth man with a blaster drawn trying to sneak up behind the big guy. You look straight at the big fellow intending to warn him when he reaches behind and grabs the guy with the blaster and throws him at the person seated across from him with enough force that you’re pretty sure the crunching sounds you just heard were bones breaking as they both hit the floor. The other two at the table try to jump up. The large man kicked the chair out from under the one causing him to pitch forward and smack his head off the table hard before crumpling to the ground and the last one was stopped when the big guy slammed a utensil through the man’s hand keeping him from moving.

For some reason, of all the details to hyper focus on, you can’t help but wonder, ‘What type of eating establishment uses metal sporks?’

The large man stands up towering over everyone in the room. He bends down to eye level with the one that was just sporked to a table, flicks him in the side of the head and makes a tssking noise while declaring loudly, “These negotiations are done.”

He tosses some hard coin at the barkeep and makes his way towards the door where you’re standing. The large man, with amazing alacrity, suddenly scoops you into a bear hug and cheerily shouts, ‘Hello new found friend’ which seems like quite the juxtaposition to three men lying on the floor and the fourth howling in pain while still pinned to the table.

As you and your new found very large friend leave the tavern he simply states, “You didn’t want to eat there anyway. Any place that serves food and expects you to use a spork to eat, can’t be any good.”

As you make your way out to the street, you speak up, “OK, I’ll bite. Who are you and why are we suddenly friends?”

“To answer the latter question first, I could see you wanted to warn me about the guy trying to sneak up behind me, which makes you the nicest person I’ve met in a while, automatically elevating you to friend status. As for the former, my diminutive friend, I was hoping you would recognize me from such movies as the ‘Eliminator’ and ‘Somewhat Remembered’.”

Suddenly a tumbler falls into place. “You’re Bic the holo video actor!”

Bic suddenly pauses and smiles as if posing for a camera. Then he continues, “You look like a spacer, any chance we can just make our way back to your ship, and dine on some space rations while I pitch a job offer to you?”

– – – –

Back aboard your ship the two of you are peeling the foil from your rations, which seem like a better option than when you originally left your ship. You nod to Bic to continue.

“So apparently my co-star wanted to spend some time in a real swamp to better understand his character’s motivation. He had decided to go visit the swamps of Tig, and unfortunately that’s when the Ilex decided to do some empire building.”

“So you want us to help you find and rescue your co-star, Willy Williams, from an Ilex controlled planet? What if I don’t mind the Ilex and don’t care about their expansionism?”

“Beware of the Ilex, they make terrible bed fellows. They always steal the covers!” 

Your only immediate response to Bic is to blink at him.

Bic flashes you a big grin and continues, “All I need you to do is drop me off, and I’ll free Willy all on my own.”

“I don’t really like the Ilex anyway, but I’m assuming you want me to get near one of the prisons on Ularos X, which has to be difficult.”

“I have an idea to that end, but I’ll need you to swing by the set where we were filming, near Outpost 338, for us to pick up something.” Bic claps his hands together as he finishes his pitch, “So how about it, two quick stops and you’ll have a cool device from one of my upcoming movies and 3,000 credits.”

You have two options:

You could try to help the big man recover his co-star with the reduplicative name, which at least sounds interesting. Plus, a few extra credits for two quick stops doesn’t sound unreasonable. Read and or listen to story 36 when you reach the Mission Point on the Outpost 336 sector.

Or

You can decide that following a mediocre actor into an actual war zone sounds like an awful idea. You choose to have no part in it and decline Bic’s offer.