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55 - Going Fishing

I can't remember a day where I slept less and did more without gulping down those vile things they call rations. I have been busy at all the tasks in my career and in the ruins, to the point that I have a whole new shopping list. I wish I could see Mr. Cool's face when he reads all the tasks I finished here, and not low-end ones like he dumped on me.
I also took a trip through the sewers looking for my old friend, El Bandito Peteo. Toe-Moss-Allay-Hondro-Esca-Lontay-Sahn-Rahfa-Yell-Day-Toreeno, I guess his name is. Something like that. Odd that someone who clung so tightly to the traditions and history of a long-dead people would waste all that in a life of crime. Apparently, he is serving a lengthy sentence.
As for his friends, though, they were all at home when I went knocking. They might want to think about that next time. I haven't even seen any of his clones among those of his associates.
I brought Johan to work with me at serving noodles, but I think it's not his thing. He ducked under an empty table and then stood up with noodles hanging out of . . . everywhere . . . Then he announced "NOODLE-FIGHT," which nearly got us killed as his first volley hit a Kyarr bodyguard. The cook had emerged from the kitchen and held me back from any rescue attempt.
From the brutality that ensued, I thought Johan was dead, especially after they'd kept him for 4 hours. When I checked, though, I found out his clone had not been activated. Eventually, the cook's wife's friend, a nurse at sick bay, sent a message that he was there and might survive, so I hurried over there.
All the time I was lamenting over this being the first time in over a cycle I'd heard him say anything but "yah."
The old man came to see me, looking sympathetic but angry. "Your friend is a fool. Will he be okay?"
I nodded, oddly finding words quite elusive.
"Don't bring such friends anymore. Just you. Okay? This should not have happened. You are fortunate the Kyarr are in a good mood from the wedding of their leader's favorite grand niece. Even more so, she was not the one you offended. I told you, you need to learn manners. I doubt your friend, there, ever will. This could have gone badly for you, and for me as well."
I could only nod, but my friend knew that enough had been said.
"My son will keep watch for you," he added as he stepped back toward the door to leave. With Citizen Void out terrorizing the adventurers in Barnard's system, I was left with no cause for fear here.
Through the open door, I saw my friend, Ser Shadow, pass by, perhaps checking up on someone. I had actually brought him noodles without realizing it was him, noticing only as he got up to leave. More than half of Tau Syndicate had passed through here on their way to Barnard's Jump Gate. So had perhaps a third of the veteran explorers on this side of the galaxy.
I took my friend's advice, and as soon as I could bribe one of the medical staff to let me take Johan, I carried him over my shoulders to the next shuttle. It happened to be the one headed to Kobenhavn, and I stepped aboard with two boarding passes just as a Kyarr thug -- I mean community organizer -- was stopped at the gate.
"This one's full, ser. You'll have to . . . uh, ser, the sword won't help you get on."
I was relieved to hear the hiss of the door sealing shut while the two were still arguing outside. I was more relieved when an attendant handed me a packet labelled "Motion Sickness Remedy" and a cup of water. It was a more comfortable flight than I had expected.
At Kobenhavn, I checked him into a hotel room, stopped by my storage unit, gathered a few things and headed back to Tau. During my last run to Alpha Centauri (I thankfully don't remember the shuttle ride because I fell asleep along the way), I gathered up my goldfish and most of the special odds and ends I'd collected. I mean to go on a fishing trip.
That's what Dr. Carson called it, a backwards fishing trip. She was excited to hear I was going to a place that had so much water and said I should take my fish and put them into the biggest pool of water I can find. She said if I did that, then there would be more of them. I'm still not sure how that works.
During my last trip to Gadani, before Void came back to pester people, I had the privilege of manning the Syndicate's storage area, shipping and receiving goods for my friends. I was impressed with some of the things they had collected and were storing for when the rest of us become experienced enough to handle and use them properly.
Then he attacked me, of course. That's all he ever does. I would think he could get a job or something, but no. Not with that reputation. So . . . another tour of the Gadani sick bay. Yay. Thanks, Ser Void.
Good thing I hadn't popped open a VIP pack and a case of rations.
Some people just have no respect at all.
I got a notice on my CoreTechs to check my mail. My friends, Moritz, Dotsent, Quasidart, Shadow, and others had all sent to me urging me to stop dilly-dallying at what, up until now, had been the best place for personal growth and get my semi-living carcass over to Barnard's system, where the gyms made Gadani's look like child's play.
I kept seeing reports over the meshlinks that Ser Void was back in that area too, attacking anyone that moves and looting anyone that doesn't, so I figured that I'd better plan on moving quickly through the Barnard system Jump Gate.
How do I do that carrying 2 shotguns, 2 rifles, 2 handguns, 4 swords, 5 knives, several suits of armor, a case of fresh fruit, a metal box, 4 goldfish in their small enclosures, 82 ration packs and a whole collection of medical supplies? I guess there is only one way to find out. It's hard to walk at all.
One thing I didn't have at that moment was cash, so I got hold of Ser Moritz, and he was able to broker a deal for me. I traded bonds for credits at what I would call premium rates, and from there, I had enough for the horribly-overpriced shuttle to Barnard's system.
On the way out, I checked in quickly on Johan and told him it would be wise for him to stay away from Taungoo. Since when does he do the wise thing? Yah.
"Where ya goin?"
"Fishing, Yo"
"Huh?" he really looked puzzled.
"I'll tell you later."
And all is right with the universe.
(sorry, this entry was somewhat delayed by my attempt to design another ship for someone I am guessing is a freebooter. You just never know who is looking over your shoulder).


  1. I didn't realize it was you, either! I was attempting what Ser Moritz calls the "Taungoo Slingshot," and just took time between two consecutive shuttle flights to grab some of those noodles whose delectable aroma haunts my dreams on all other stations. I hope you have forgiven my state of distraction. And welcome to Barnard's Star!