So I thought I’d tell you of a splendid time I had today. That fine fellow, Submarine, pulled me aside before he went on holiday and told me of some great opportunities and an even better cocktail bar at a place called ‘Obsidian Orbital’ in an out-of-the-way system called ‘Mayor’, ‘Mayer’, ‘Maya’ – well, a system called something like that.

He told me it was a bit of a trek so to pack my extra fuel scoop and hip flask, but that the rewards were worth it. He also asked me to let him know about the status of some sort of protest there. I was a bit worried about this, but he said it was just a trifle. Some banner-waving, peace-loving hippies telling us to be nice to aliens, or something like that. Not sure why this interested him but Submarine does like to keep up to date with current affairs and all that.

So, I hopped into my Cobra and jetted off on the way. Submarine wasn’t lying when he said it was a trek! And the worst part was that there was barely a bar between the Bubblebath and Play-At-Ease nebula. I kept having to run around stars to refuel my trusty ship; not an easy operation when one hasn’t had a drink in the last half hour and the ship kept on complaining about being too warm. I also think I may have damaged some of the paintwork, but nothing that cannot be fixed later.

Well, I was just starting to get bored when I finally arrived at this Mayor place. All at once some officious blighter asked me what I was doing there – so I told him I was looking for the pub. This seemed to confuse him and he came back asking if I was hunting the Zargoids or something like that. I said again that I was going to the pub, after which he seemed to leave me to it. I got to the Obsidian station and there were a load more of these fellows – I think they must have been some form of protest for prohibition as they immediately opened fire on me as I arrived. Luckily I packed my extra-large shield and managed to get to the safe confines of the station mostly unharmed.

Well, Submarine was right; it really was a lovely place with a great bar and lots of very friendly fellows who kept presenting me with extremely lucrative business opportunities. They were falling over themselves to load up my cargo hold and give me money for dropping things off back home. Though they all seemed worried about my ship being scanned and told me it was probably better if I stayed under the radar. No problem – I’ve done that before and even without weapons!

So, I loaded up and was on my way. I decided to give the protesters a wide birth; perhaps too wide, as I got into a little bit of trouble for scratching up the station’s letterbox. I informed them that they shouldn’t moan if they allow non-drinkers to loiter outside their main entrance. Before I knew it I was on my way back.

And straight into a sector where I seemed to become the most popular commander in the galaxy! At least five different people and a System Authority Vessel tried to make friends with me all at once, some a little forceably. I had to politely decline and then run away a bit to the next sector, where the same thing happened again. This time the System Authority blighter even tried to interdict me; not a very good example from law enforcement, I think. I will write a letter of complaint to his superiors.

So it had been a few sectors now and I knew my ship could drink from stars, but I cannot and in all the excitement I had upset my bottle of Scotch. A quick look at the galaxy map showed I was barely halfway to my first destination. Still, I had to push on and I was driven by the hope of a stiff drink at the far end. Luckily things were quietening off a bit by this time, and I made it to my first drop-off point without further incident.

As I was docking, a friendly security officer asked what was in my hold. I told him. At that point he got somewhat more officious and less friendly; apparently I was ‘smuggling illegal goods’. All news to me!

I finally docked only to find that no one wanted these goods any more anyway. I couldn’t get any money back for them – apparently they wanted nothing to do with goods that had been marked by the security services. So I decided to dump the crates in a corner and headed to the bar.




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