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Story 18

Cinder-Beard the Retiree

A comm comes in and you nod to one of your officers to put it on. As your screen resolves you see one of the great menaces of the black ocean, Cinder-Beard the Pirate.

“Avast ye! I come with an offer.

In an honest service there is thin commons, low wages, and hard labor; but in this, plenty and satiety, pleasure and ease, liberty and power; and who would not balance creditor on this side, when all the hazard that is run for it, at worst, is only a sour look or two at choking. No, a merry life for me which I expected would be much shorter. When I started this my beard was solid black, but now it is gray all the way through.

It is a glorious thing To be a Pirate King, but now I look for my swan song through a passing of the baton, as it would be. I offer up my ship and my own base, Athamantis, but for some coin as I look to retire to a calmer life fit for a prince.

I will give you each one stand to make an offer and then leave access to my effects at the Kiln, but know that I will not accept too paltry a sum.”

With that final pronouncement, the view screen fades to black, but the appearance of the garishly dressed old salt remains in your mind.

Your comm officer cuts into your thoughts, “It appears that his message was sent on a tight beam to a very limited audience.”

You simply nod, as that is about what you expected.

Each player, at the end of their turn, may make a silent offer to purchase both Cinder-Beard’s ship and his asteroid base. After every player has had an opportunity to make a silent bid, writing the number down, all the bids are revealed. If the bid is for less than 5,000 credits, it is thrown out as not being a serious offer. The highest bid wins and immediately wires the funds to Cinder-Beard. Remove Cinder-Beard’s ship from the board and place Athamantis Asteroid Base at TK-421 on a space with asteroid debris (the winner of the auction may choose the precise location). If for some reason that sector has not been revealed, as soon as it is revealed you may place Athamantis then. 

If you are the winner of this silent auction, receive your new ship at the Kiln. You may sell your current ship at 50% value. You will need the ship that was flown by Cinder-Beard to access the Athamantis Asteroid Base. Your new ship does begin play with an outlaw marker and add 1,000 credits to any bounty you currently have. Athamantis can only be accessed by you and is well protected. You may safely dock there to avoid entanglements, you can store supplies and materials there, and its generators produce enough excess power that you could refuel your ship up to 10 energy if you dock there. Winner of the auction also gains 2 fame points.

Clarifications: If there is a tie, then those players may make additional bids out loud until there is a winner. If no one makes an adequate bid, Cinder-Beard simply does not retire, and the asteroid base does not come out. 

Additional info about the Athamantis Asteroid Base: Only Cinder-Beard’s old ship can dock there, no other ship can. The asteroid debris space functions as regular asteroid debris for others when trying to pass through, but when Cinder-Beard’s former ship passes through that area it does not need to roll for damage.