Here is page 14! I'm exicted to move past the immediate action in the cargo hold and into some more scenes, introducing the crew and the conflict of the moment.
This page intorduces a new poll (below) but please be aware of the on-going poll -- a call-to-create new officers for the ship, the Vigilant. Don't miss voting on this choice, or tossing your own ideas into the ring.
On to the Choice ...
This one takes a little bit of setup. While the story details will come out in the following chapters, I want to be able to pose choices that require some knowledge up-front. So, here is a little story in the words of Captain Avenira to help you make the choice below:
"Three years ago, we took a simple smuggling job from a fixer. One job turned into another and more, as the pay was flush. In time, we came to know our employers, a covert intelligence team of eight code-named Mercury Third.
We spent a year tracking back and forth across the Quadrant for them, smuggling, running secret messages, spying. In that time, friendships were formed (more on that later), and while they were tight-lipped about their work, I knew that they served the Prince Cade Saung of Steel Song on some unspoken critical mission.
Our time together ended abruptly when we returned to the Mercury Third hideout on Metta Prime to find it ransacked, all of their number murdered, and their equipment and data stores razed. We fled and did not look back.
Years have passed. Some months better than others, some raw. None of us expected to see a data cube with the faded branding of Mercury Third come aboard our ship on a regular smuggling run for our fixer, Voddax.
I decided to take the risk. For comrades years dead, but comrades still. A message was sent to Prince Saung. The good Prince offered a high price for the last scrap of data from the Mecury Third team. Very high. Today, we landed on the wild world of Lioka Cross to unload the data cube into the hands of the Prince's agents. Voddax will be angry, but the Credits are too good. And it's a way to honor old friends.
Then the bounty hunter ... and the claim he was sent by whoever hired Voddax to move the data cube ... and the claim the so-called prince's men are planning to backstab and kill us."
So the Choice ... pick one of the A,B,C or suggest your own idea --
A) Hand-off as Planned: Raven and Ace will not be pleased (Ava has been shot, a bounty hunter has compromised ship security, damage unknown), but the Captain makes the calls. The credits are good and the data cube needs to go. The hunter has made it clear that every day it is on board our ship is dangerous. We'll need to get creative with the plan just in case the hunter was telling the truth. Normally, we'd go out in the RTV to meet the agents.
B) Wake and Interogate the Hunter: we are short on time, but Raven could patch and force-ressucitate the bounty hunter. Maybe we can get some answers. We can make a better decision, but the timeline will be tight.
C) Cut and Run: From the safety of space, we can recoup and replan. Whatever forces are after us will still be in hot pursuit. Maybe we need to dump or stash the data cube -- this pay day may be too hot for us.
D) Other ideas? ;)