A strange building on a strange planet and it looks like nobody is there. What is Arden going to find?
- 📖 The Cerelis Nine landed harshly in the court of the building. Arden wasn't sure if it was intended as a landing platform, but it seemed to fit. Heavy rain and wind lashed painfully into his face as he exited the ship. He had to fight against the storm to reach the door. It gripped onto him and wanted to lift him off his feet with every step. Breathing was even harder. Lucky for him the door was not closed.
- 📖 The interior was as dull as the outside. Grey walls and floors, dimly lit with lights. At least the heating seemed to work. Arden looked around. Nobody to be seen. He felt uneasy and reached for the pistol on his side and lifted it in a tight grib. He again scanned the room through the sight of the pistol.
"Hello! Anyone here?"
Arden waited for an answer.
- 📖 "Hold it right there!", it answered.
Vis-à-vis Arden stood a man in similar attire as him, gun aloft. Black boots, brown pants and shirt, covered by a leather jacket. He was about the same height, short brown hair and a scruffy beard.
"Who are you and why are you here?", the man asked.
"I'm Arden Quinn and I'm looking for Karthik Farin."
- 📖 "And who send you?"
"I'm not sure. Big dude, muscular, robot arm..."
"I know the type. Well, you found who you were looking for." Karthik gestured at himself. "But there might be a slight problem."
He lowered his gun and holstered it. Arden followed suit. Together they wandered through the halls, that Arden thought he's in a maze. They ended up in front of a small room with a glass front. Inside he could see four other people in a heated discussion. In contrast to Karthik and him they didn't look they would pose any threat. White shirts tucked into beige pants. Lean unmuscular figures with a light complexion.
- 📖 Arden followed Karthik into the room.
"This is inacceptable, the product is not to be ... Farin who's this." One of the figures with eyeline to the door spotted Arden and mustered him from head to toe.
"He's my ride. Pay me what is owed." Karthik answered for Arden.
"Ride? So we finally have a way off the planet?"
"I don't think you all fit into my ship. I was only sent to get Karthik Farin."
"I see. Karthik here is to protect us and our product. Him leaving without us, is a breach of contract. No payment."
Karthik turned to Arden. "And this is the slight problem."
"Scientists." Karthik muttered derogatorily.
- 📖 "Look.", Arden began. "My ship holds only two people. Maybe three if you really wanted to. But the travel won't be neither comfortable nor safe. It is more safe for you to stay here and wait for someone else. Isn't someone looking for you anyway? How else did you plan to get off?"
"Our communication broke down in the last storm. Shortly after the rest of the expedition left in a hurry in the middle of the night and left us stranded."
A short young guy spoke up from the other three scientists in the room, covering behind the man Arden was speaking to. Arden notices the stern look he gave the young scientist, so that he covered behind the others again.
- 📖 "We can not stop Karthik to leave with you. Let's face it, you both will be able to take us down with ease. Our only leverage is to hold his payment." The first scientist spoke up again.
"So if you don't have any other suggestion, you can either leave with Karthik without payment or leave empty handed altogether."
Arden thought for a minute.
"I take one of you to my ship and out to orbit. I don't think any message will penetrate the storm outside otherwise. You send a message to whomever might pick you up. I come back and take Karthik with me and you pay up. Agreed?"
🎲 Compel (+heart): 6(5+1) vs 5/8 (Weak Hit)