The crew is bored… it’s been six months since Scorpio has taken over and there has been nothing to report except the occasional bar fights. So when Scorpio gets the order from the board of directors to pick up a package in the Britannica system, he takes it without complaint despite the fact that the Antares is a war ship, not a currier. Turned out the package, however, was the most recent incarnation of the Dali Lama and his escorts; and that his payment for safe travel was not money, but information. This information came in the form of a true prophecy given not only to the captain, but to Ivan and Liz as well. It also came in the form of a strangely powerful, heavy, black sphere that frightened Hope when she saw it. She wouldn’t say much about it except that it was crystalid made and that she believed it held information, but Ul Taire, the Quor’den Master Trader, may know more. It was put away. While passing an asteroid field, the Antares was stopped by space pirates demanding their package. Their ships were smaller, but they had Scorpio’s ship surrounded with several of the asteroids training guns on them as well. Fearing for the young Dali Lama’s life, Ivan and Liz smuggle him and his escorts onto her shuttle, which cloaked as soon as it detached, while Scorpio stalled the pirates. They forced him to planet side where he soon realized that the pirates where not after his passenger, but the sphere. Meanwhile Liz and Ivan discover that the jump-gate out of the system was blocked by even more of the same pirates so they start to carefully make their way back to the ship. Scorpio receives quick help from Ul Taire in downloading the information of the sphere into a computer and takes it out in hopes to bargain for his ship and crew. It goes badly, the sphere is lost, and Ivan and Liz return to a gun fight. With no time to land, Ivan jumps from the shuttle and helps Scorpio and the marines take out the ground fighters while Liz takes things from above and Hope fires from the ship. Two marines were killed and they had to make a speedy escape when one of the pirate ships reactors blew. Getting out of the system proved to be an even bigger challenge that required Liz to scout out the system while Hope, Ryn, and Gregory hacked the asteroid guns. In the final run for the jump-gate they trained the asteroid guns on the ships and attacked with the Antares, while Scorpio piloted Liz’s shuttle to take out the incoming ship. Once out of system Ivan retires to inform the families of the deceased marines. Liz returns to her shuttle feeling better than she has in a while. Wondering what else that little ship can do she sits down and starts to write a letter to the Scout commander. Scorpio, devastated at the lost of some of his crew and how close he came to losing his ship, opens a bottle until Hope comes in and sends him to bed.
The True Prophecies:
To Scorpio: The answer to your question lies deep within the dark, and when you stand closest to your goal, the key will be torn from your grasp. When the Dog Star wanes, the Lord of Death shall take his throne.
To Liz: The damaged soul shall heal, the injured heart shall mend. The foes of each shall know the death that was brought her friends.
To Ivan: Be wary and watchful, in all that you do…. But… You do need to learn to be more human… Be careful that you don’t become your role more than yourself.