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Escape Velocity

by Matt Burch & Andrew Welch

[EV screenshot1]

[Reprinted from the posthumous autobiography of the inscrutable Captain Scumdog]

I found myself mired in the armpit of the universe, Hodgson's World, waiting for those lazy-ass 'bots to refuel my ship. Hodgson's World is the kind of place where kicking dogs and the vid-tube are the only kind of entertainment around. I don't much get into kicking dogs -- scuffs my boots, and aggravates my old spaceball injury -- so I hunkered down for a little 'tube.

I'll be damned if I didn't actually find some useful information: those boys on Samson's Planet are paying a mint for metal. Thankfully the majority of other mercenary pilots in the galaxy are 'tube illiterate, so I won't have much to worry about in the way of competition if I can just get off this rock...

[EV screenshot2]

On my way to Samson's, I was chased off course by some Confederate yahoo's who didn't take kindly to what I told them they could do with their cargo inspection. I now find myself smack-dab in the middle of the Serpens Nebula, which is a great place to lose those jackboots, but not a good place to be lost and low on fuel.

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Surprise attack! Some scumbag pirates lured me in with an assistance call, then opened all their laser turrets on my backside just as I began to dock with 'em. Thing those boys didn't know -- and won't be able to tell their friends -- is that I'm partial to weapons of mass-destruction. Stuck 'em in the business-end with a few missiles before they knew what hit 'em.

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Ah, the sweet rewards of victory. I'll take great satisfaction in looting their ship, peeing in their head, and then detonating their shoddy vessel while I count the spoils. I just wish a few of 'em survived so I'd have someone to do my laundry and clip my toenails.

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With my newfound wealth, I decided to pop on over to New Columbia and see what I could do about upgrading the good ship Darkheart. Just a few hyper-jumps away, so why not? Screw lugging metal from one arm of the galaxy to the other, let some other sap act like a space-donkey.

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Rick Hardslab? Who the hell is that, and why is he... oh yeah, that's right. Takes the 'puter a bit to figure it out when you plunder a ship from some simp who couldn't cut it in combat. It's a good thing actually: maybe I can pin my deeds on a corpse.

Time to move on, and with the adrenaline injection from that last sparring match, I'm definitely up for something a little... off color. I've found that the best place to drum up business of the sordid kind is often over a pint or two...

[EV screenshot7]

Yep, never fails. I don't much care about the war between the Confederation and the Rebels, but this deal sounds both dangerous and lucrative. Just the way I like my adventures, and my women.

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