“Bring me a stout ale to quaff with these fine yeoman, Squire” said Richard Von Wolffe, Marquis of Ian. A long trial of misadventure and ill -fortune had brought him to Bowman, encompassing loss of his ship, imprisonment and escape from an Imperial Prison (and associated wanted status), misadventures in the Vargr Extents and, the final indignity, abandonment by a treacherous crew who refused to follow him back into the Imperium to refute the charges that had been made against them.
Even as he pondered the countenance of the arch villain Duncan – how could he have welcomed such a Viper into his crew – appeared before him and spoke to him in that annoyingly pedantic manner.
“It doesn’t matter if we were innocent of trespassing on an Imperial Reserve (and we were anyway). Breaking out of an Imperial prison is ILLEGAL, and they’ll just put us back in. Best if we keep running, and outside the Imperium.”
The knave clearly cared nothing about his greatness -his Family Honour. He and the others -even Dev – preferred their freedom to their duty to their Captain and his good name.
As he thought of his former ship even the title Captain grated- as with their ships – the last time he knew a large Vargr merchant vessel – he was no longer acknowledged as Captain. They were run as a sort of committee with Duncan and Dev as the chief ringleaders. Traitors!!! He was well rid of them.
At least Arpad had remained loyal; Arpad, the vile psychic head ripper who had escaped from the prison with them. He had awarded him for his loyalty by making him his Squire.
Arpad looked on dubiously as Richard turned red and fumed internally.
“He’s off again” thought Arpad, “Fuming at the others for not following his every preference. He is very handsome though”
Arpad sighed, and went off and bought two beers and a Vermouth Shirley: he knew that with Richard the beer was only for show, and he would likely end up drinking it anyway.
Richard stirred as the newcomers came in, some of them with maroon crew jackets which read ‘Unguin Princess’. One of them – their leader possibly – guffawed like a vulgar loudmouth and smoked expensive cigars, one looked a portly shoe salesman, and the other had ‘grease monkey’ written all over him.
The three ladies -they were another matter. Richard preened his moustache, not noticing Arpad shaking his head slightly
The trim blonde and the little asian girl were clearly stewardesses -.both very pretty but as likely as not not on a par with his own exceptional mental capacity.
The other he wasn’t sure about -stunning auburn hair trimmed at the shoulders, and dressed in a practical outfit which he recognised as superior cloth, in various shades of charcoal and dark grey. He spotted the hilts of various knives, and most of the group seemed to be armed with gauss pistols. He sniffed slightly as he patted his hidden snub. She was an odd one -the Captain’s girlfriend perhaps? This might be interesting.
“See? Unguin Princess, Captain?” Arpad generally referred to Richard as Captain, as clearly this massaged his ego slightly. Occasionally he had started to substitute ‘Commodore’ to see how that would go down. He had secretly pondered as to whether ‘Admiral’ might work even better.
“They don’t look much like in the film do they?” he continued. “And I don’t see the Wookie at all.”
“FIlm?” asked Richard. “You mean to say these people with the pink ship have had a film made about them?”
This post is a mainly for Nick and Ian. To be continued…..