Getting Karthik Farin off the planet doesn't look so easy. And there might be a secret, that Arden wasn't expecting.
- 📖 "Sending a message sounds good. We will see about the payment in the meantime. Hansen..." The person pointed to the young scientist that spoke up. "... you go with him. I'll draft the message to send." He took a piece of paper and began to write. Two minutes later he handed it to Hansen.
Arden took the young man to his ship. He seemed shy and insecure all the way. As they boarded the ship, Pandora greeted Arden. Her fur confirmed the feelings of Hansen.
"Are you okay?"
Hansen just noded.
- 📖 The boy, Arden didn't took him older than 20 years, was quiet the whole transit to orbit. Pandora sat vis-à-vis Hansen and kept him in her sight. Her fur changed from colors of wonderment, to unease and fear, especially as the ship shook violently as it exited the gravitational pull.
"You're up." Arden pointed to the communications panel on the side of the room. Arden stayed in the cockpit, his central computer showing him what Hansen typed into the keyboard.
Hansen was shacking with every letter he typed, checking everything twice with the paper he had in his hand. Arden wasn't happy what he saw on his screen.
- 📖 'Product secured and ready for shipment. Renegade elements exterminated. Others comply. Due to destabilized ecosystem, immediate extraction required. Coordinates follow - F596J45.XJ'
- 📖 Arden was quiet the journey back. More than usual. Pandora noticed. 'Renegade elements exterminated.' The words floated in his mind. Might this relate to the apparent escape of the others. And what is this product? Arden needed a lot of answers and he had a good idea where he might get them.
The reentry was as turbulent as before. The storm raged outside the ship and Arden made every effort to not just drop out of the sky and land in the ocean. However he managed to safely land just outside the lonely building.
Hansen and him passed through the mazelike corridors until they reached the meeting room again. Arden was about to get his answers.
- 📖 Hansen trotted back into the room, shyly nodding to the man talking to Karthik in passing. He turned to Arden.
"So I guess the message has been sent then."
"It has. And it opened up some questions."
"The better question is, do you want to hear the answers? Some questions might be best unanswered."
There was a silence as Arden was thinking.
"Right.", the man continued, "As I was saying to Mr Farin, he's free to leave now. However his payment will be paid in three installements. One now, one once a ship arrives to evacuate us and one after we reach our destination."
- 📖 "I'm not leaving with at least half", Karthik replied. "How can I trust you to actually pay me when I leave?"
"Trust is a good point." Arden broke his silence and looked over to Karthik and then the man. "Tell me again how you got stranded? Wasn't there some issues with trust there as well?" Arden slowly moved his hand to the holstered pistol.
🎲 Compel - Threaten (+iron): 6(5+1) vs 8/3 (Weak Hit)
- 📖 "I see how it is. I'm not sure Mr Farin will be happy with your intentions Mr Quinn."
Arden quickly looked over to Karthik. His movements did not go unnoticed, and Karthik had moved his hand to his pistol as well.
"I tell you what. Since you drive such a hard bargain, I shall pay half to Mr Farin here. But whatever you think happened here you should immediately forget and not tell anyone."
He grabbed a tablet in his vicinity and typed on it.
"Done. Now I suggest you leave immediately. I won't bargain anymore."
Karthik nodded begrudgely.
I've reached 100 entries in the challenge. There were some up and downs. I'm quite enjoying the more narrative style I've gotten into the last two weeks. Just a few rolls and mostly dialog and some drama. But I'm also excited to get into some more exploring. There is a vow still open that I have no progress on, since the very beginning. Let's see if I can even fullfill this, this year.