Tuesday, April 5, 2011

In Coromaur's Debt - Part 4.

Viper awoke with start, a glow lamp dangling by a few wires flickered above his head, threatening to extinguish itself at any moment. "That last shell must of takin' more out of me than I thought." Half-standing he stretched as best he could, remembering for once to keep his head ducked. The last thing he needed right now was a concussion to add to his throbbing head. Sniffing, he reminded himself that a quick clean up might be in order.

Reaching for a hand-held nozzle he pressed the button to activate what served him as his on-board hygiene facilities, only to be reminded that it too was in desperate need of repair. "Guess it can wait," he mumbled as he reached for a fresh shirt. His little jumper had weathered through it's fair share, and like Viper both were in desperate need of an overhaul. Perhaps this job would be a change in luck, maybe he could find his way into good graces with Coromaur and manage steady work for a change.

Grumbling Viper's stomach protested it's lack of attention, demanding his focus. Now, with fresh coin in hand it seemed odd to be able to just simply go buy himself a meal. Not only that, but the realization that once he had had his fill that he could also repeat the process soon was entirely comforting. "Alright," he told his hungry belly, "I'll see to you and then we'll get to work." Wouldn't do to waste too much time, not when Coromaur had been so gracious and forgiving. Five minutes or not, they had done a serious number on the pub, not to mention it's clientele. To still have his fur intact was a blessing from the all the tribes.

From the docks the pub was a short walk, and the only place in the whole of the outpost he already knew how to get to. Grunting, Viper stepped out of Ghost-Face's makeshift hatch and mimed entering a security code on it's exterior panel, one he knew had never really worked. But nobody else would know that, and assumed security is better than nothing. Not that anyone would see much worth in his small little scrap-pile jumper.

The outposts' pub was just like he remembered it, same smells and all. Viper couldn't imagine how the got rid of all the blood and scorch marks, but somehow they had. New bartender though, shame what had happened to the previous one too. He had probably screamed more than anyone Viper had ever seen before, even in his time in the penal colonies. For the life of him though he couldn't recall who it was who had actually killed the poor portly guy.

Shrugging, Viper found an empty seat and ordered himself a bowl of hot nutra-noodles, determined to both put it out of mind as well as appease his gut's grip on him. Wolfishly he caved to his hunger and devoured the generous portion he had requested.  Wagering himself satisfied enough to wrest dominion away from his appetite Viper placed an oblong plastic rectangle on the table and waved his hand over it. The little mini-comm's holo-vid display sprang to life, awaiting his commands. Mindful of eavesdroppers Viper called up his optical overlay to ensure his business remained for his own.  Repeatedly he reviewed the data Coromaur had supplied him, and repeatedly all he could determine was this had to be just like he had said; nothing more than a courier run. Undoubtedly it was illegal or stolen goods, but something that small couldn't hold any weapon or dangerous item he could think of. It'd have to be some curiosity or valuable knick-knack, Coromaur seemed the type to collect unusual trinkets and the like.

According to the information, Viper had to rendezvous with a transport vessel about 10 hours out and present them with documentation Coromaur had provided that validated him as the next courier and deliver the cargo to a designated location. Before he could do that he needed to refuel and get a new deuterium regulator. If he hurried he could might be able to manage it with some time to spare, there were a few personal things he needed to see to if possible. For one his cyberarm was in bad shape, it's dull tetrasteel frame had seen better days and was in sore need of maintenance.  It had proven a useful replacement for his mangled original arm, but he hadn't been able to afford it's upkeep in a long while. And if he wasn't mistaken, he recalled a rumor about a vendor on Coromaur's Outpost that was known to deal in psicraft shells. His supply for his Mark VIII was dwindling and anytime he could locate some of the increasingly rare ammo became a priority.

"Best get to work," Viper remarked to the empty air. With a gesture he pulled up a public layout of the Outpost. "Highlight cybernetic maintenance,  ship repair, and reference local merchants known to deal in antique weapons or psicraft shells." Mentally he tried to memorize rough directions to the marked sites as his overlaid vision cut in and out. The curse of cheap implants he noted and prepared to get to work.