Episode 03: In which we learn who tried to steal the Kinsloab
After showing the Plutharc the Hartufaan drug Trifardoon he spilled his guts. Literally. He became so frightened that he retched everything in his gullet.
I thought his breath was foul but it paled in comparison. Once Plutharc had recovered he then spilled the information I had wanted.
Dlandro Tfad’Tkunp (the “D” is silent) was the villain that had hired him. I knew the name. He was a medium level crime boss that operated out of the Nhalik Cluster, a handful of space stations clinging to the Asteroid Belt that bordered on the edge of the trade lanes and had little contact with the agents of Star Patrol!* In other words, a dump.
I had Jonsey pull up as much data on ‘Landro he could find in the database while I prepped the ship. Travel to the Asteroid Belt will only take a few hours but I do not like to go in blind. I also called in Luap McCartan, the inhouse Space Patrol! lawyer to ensure we had all the correct forms filled, t’s crossed, and i’s dotted. Lawsuits are a bitch.
It seemed ‘Landro started as a small time crook and by the wonderful natural process crime has in reducing the criminal population he worked his way up the ranks. Eventually he murdered the head of the Tkunp family and moved right in. Since then he has expanded the family’s reach into the sex trade, major drug movements, and into the illegal packaging and transportation of radioactive Prometheus Elixirs. Space Patrol! HQ deemed the illegal transportation of the Elixirs across planetary lines worthy of placing ‘Landro on the top ten Most Wanted list.
He has narrowly escaped capture a handful of times and after the last incident - where he lost a leg - he has become much less active. Records indicate his younger brother Kemmer has assumed much of the daily operations. Kemmer is noted as being much less personable, volatile, and violent. With any luck I would be able to get in, get what I wanted, and get out before I crossed paths with Kemmer.
Ninety minutes later - after an hour of fixing misfiled legalese forms - the ship was released by Space Patrol! Headquarters and we were on our way.
“Jonesy, this is going to be dicey,” I said from the cockpit. Jonesy was somewhere in the ship, working on his latest invention.
“I hear you boss, ‘Landro sounds like a foul character,” I could hear him turning gears and the clinking of his tools. “I am working on something new for you, could come in handy.”
“Good to hear. What’s this one do?”
“Smoke pellets boss, these tiny pebbles are filled with pure concentrated Hydrochloxichorine. Toss these down and within seconds you will be hidden behind a screen of white smoke. They are small and could easily pass for a button or gem on a ring.”
“Sounds like they certainly could come in handy when I get to the Nhalik Cluster!” Jonesy’s gadgets have me out of more jams that I give him credit for. “Great job Jonesy, see if you can work a few of those into a regulation Space Patrol! belt. I will give your pellets a field test!”
* use of the ! is mandatory in published works under the provisions of Star Patrol Field Manual 135-02.3b), provision 135-02.3bb precludes the use of the ! in Field Regulation titles