The Star Dragon is massive, several dozen feet long, with a wingspan that covers the team in shadow. It swoops down from the atmosphere, roaring.
The captured shapeshifting alien yells out “That’s the Klitar! We…we were merely transporting it’s egg…to…to..”
Cutlass speaks up, “To either train it as a war hound, or to splice and dice the baby critter?” The alien goes silent. Cutlass punches it out.
Aurum and Firework leap into action. Firework flies up to the creature, hoping to cut it off. Aurum teleports in front of the massive alien, and begins to cast a spell.
The Star Raiders all get into The Marauder. Syd begins to rummage through the storage hold, going through heaps of various items, trying to locate the egg. Captain Cutlass starts up the engines.
Wildheart and Juanito stand outside The Marauder, while the rest of the team gets into The Plucky Puck. Bouncer orders the ship to take off, and to lay an intercept course with the dragon. They begin to ask what capabilities the ship has.
They seem very random.
As they get weapons primed, Bouncer has this unnerving sensation. He glances around at the various controls in the ship and sees a big, red button, next to the captain’s chair. He asks the computer what that switch is.
“That button initiates the self-destruct sequence.” responds the computer.
Jesuit laughs, “Why would someone put something like that in? And who would be dumb enough to hit it?”
Bouncer nods in agreement…but can’t shake the feeling that it would be REALLY NICE to hit that button…
Aurum casts a golden mandala, hoping to calm the beast down, or at least distract it. Firework, seeing Aurum has it in hand, flies back to The Marauder and scours the ship, looking for the egg.
The Dragon does indeed slow down. Where before it roared in rage, now it seemed calmer, though no less fearsome. It extends its massive claws and begins to land ON TOP of the Marauder.
Captain Cutlass activates the shields, which the Space Dragon lands on, wrapping it’s paws around the ship. This inadvertently traps Firework inside!
Juanito and Wildheart attempt to distract the dragon. Wildheart hears the engines start on The Marauder, wondering if the space pirates are just going to abandon them.
Syd finds the egg, and tosses it to Firework. Firework shouts that Cutlass needs to turn off the shields. Cutlass says the only thing protecting the ship from the dragon IS the shields! Firework convinces her to turn them off. As she does, the dragon gets a hold of the ship, damaging some parts, but not destroying it out right. The mandela effect is still ongoing.
Firework phases through the ship and holds the egg in front of the Dragon. The Dragon growls, gently grabs ahold of the egg, lets go of the ship, and flies off. It roars triumphantly as it leaves the atmosphere.
As the dragon flies off, it passes by where the unconscious shapeshifting aliens lie, in a heap. It opens its mouth and a blast of radiation burns them to crisp. It flies up, pasts the Plucky Puck, shaking the ship in its wake. The urge for Bouncer to push the button is increasing. Jesuit notices and activates his Angel Eye. He sees that Bouncer is being influenced by something. He follows the trail and yells out, “Something is on the hull of the ship!”
Down below, Wildheart and Juanito are attacked! Giant alien bugs with long tails start to spread out, some attacking The Marauder’s damaged hull, some focusing on Wildheart! The Star Raiders exit their ship, and help in the fight. They all quickly realize that the blood from the creatures is acidic, eating through whatever it lands on!
Cutlass yells out, “Parasites! From the Space Dragon!”
Back on the Plucky Puck, the parasites begin to chew through the hull. Bouncer orders evasive action. The Plucky Pucks does a barrel roll, tossing a few of the creatures. Some get through, though, and attack the team. They fight back, with War taking the lead.
And by lead I mean causing an explosion that rips a hole in the hull. A hole which Bouncer tosses several bugs out of. One of the creatures tries to attach itself to War, who drags it to an airlock. As the acid burns away his flesh, War chucks the beast outside.
Down below, the Star Raiders, with the help of Juanito, Wildheart & Firework, take care of the rest.
Aurum, still reeling from the memories of Jesuit, conjures up very potent alcohol and proceeds to get drunk.
As the Plucky Puck lands, Wildheart turns on Cutlass. “Were you planning on just leaving us!? After everything that’s happened, after we helped you!?” He was not happy.
Cutlass, still breathing hard from the fight and near escape from the Space Dragon, wasn’t having it. “Look, a SPACE DRAGON…DRAGON…was coming towards my ship. Hell yes I was trying to get away.” She points to her damaged ship, “Cause it coulda been a lot worse! But I said I would help you, already gave you my word. What more do you want?” Disgusted, she turns and leaves him.
Firework offers to patch up both ships and gets to work. It’ll be a days work before he’s done.
Cutlass yells out, “Zok-Ten! Grab the mule. I need a drink.” The Blue Tech alien pushes a few buttons on his sleeve, and a hovercraft descends from The Marauder.
Cutlass looks at the team. “There’s a town a few clicks over. It’s not exactly friendly, but the drinks are good and strong. If you want in, get in.” The Star Raiders all climb in. Bouncer goes, “A hive of scum and villainy? Sure why not.” He is joined by Jesuit & War, and Wildheart. Juanito starts to hop on when Wildheart goes, “Uh uh. You’re underage. Watch the ships.”
Juanito sulks but goes into the Plucky Puck.
Aurum, drunk by this point, goes, “Bah. I don’t need…your….transportation…” He conjures up a set of angel wings, begins to fly…and then his wings leave him behind, leaving him to pass out on the desert floor.
The rest of the team shrugs, and they head off.
The “town” is a small, only a few blocks around. The houses are made of various alien material, but nothing that shines or gleams. It has a rundown look, even though there are flying aircrafts and holograms advertising what is inside the various shops. As the teams arrive, they see a pair of golden angel wings standing outside a large that’s made up of black wood like material named The Romantic Tigress. An alien gets tossed out the holodoor, landing face first in the mud.
“Charming.” Jesuit says. Cutlass snickers and walks inside, followed by the team. The whole tavern goes, “CUTLASS!” as she enters. She screams out some obscenities and then heads for the back of the bar. Syd & Zok-ten put out their hands and drinks fall from the ceiling directly into their palms…paws. They go in seperate directions, as does Quarry, who does not drink.
The team enters and everyone faces them for a moment, sizing the mup. The tavern is dark, dank and crowded. Various alien vines crawl up the walls, the furniture seems to be made of the same black wood, and all types of alien beings are scattered about. There is a “bar” with a multi-limbed humanoid behind it. When they appear to be no threat, everyone goes back to what they were doing.
The team makes nice with the locals. War engages in a friendly drinking contest. Bouncer is “asked” to participate in an arm wrestling contest with a grey alien. Aurum finally teleports in and continues to drink. Jesuit joins Cutlass in a private booth and they speak long into the night.
Wildheart takes one look around, decides the place isn’t for him, and leaves. He explores the town, sees that it is indeed hopping with life, but nothing too exciting. He tries to sense any other Paranormals, but he doesn’t. He finally flies back to The Plucky Puck.
Cutlass and Jesuit talk. Jesuit learns that Cutlass’ backstory, basically abducted by aliens at a young age, sold into slavery, escaped with “these fools,” pointing to the Star Raiders, and has been living it up. Cutlass says she hasn’t seen her parents in years, doesn’t even know if they’re alive or what. Jesuit gets the distinct impression that as much as Cutlass tries to hide it, she considers the Raiders her family now.
Jesuit tells her how much Earth has changed, about The Breaking, about Paranormals, and how they’re a government sponsored team. He tells her a few adventures, drinking more and more. Finally Cutlass says, “Alright, one more drink, and then you and I are going upstairs.” Jesuit nods in agreement, smiling.
War drinks several shots of alien liquor. He feels it for a few moments, then his healing factor kicks in. But even it can only take so much. One by one, the aliens around him go down. The final one falls out of his chair and he stands up whooping. As he does so, a bag of credits lands in front of him, his winnings. An attractive female cat like humanoid alien curls up behind him, her tail stroking his still partially melted face. She takes him by the hand…paw…and leads him upstairs.
Bouncer loses the first match with the alien. He is taken aback by how strong the skinny alien with twig like arms is. He gets the sense that his “strength” is telekinesis. He wins the second round. The final round is up, and several aliens have gathered to watch. The final round takes several minutes, neither contestant giving in. Finally, after many moments of straining, Bouncer overtakes the grey and wins, slamming his arm through the table. Everyone cheers as Bouncer gets patted on the back…and watches in horror as a brute of an alien takes the grey aliens head in his hands and smooshes it, green blood spraying everywhere. Another alien with a mop and bucket comes over to clean up the blood, while a robot servant takes out the body.
Everyone goes back to drinking.
Bouncer, unsure of just what happened, sees a very muscular, very orc looking alien (without the tusks) dressed up very professionally. He fixes his bowtie and comes over to chat with Bouncer. After a few more rounds, they go upstairs.
Aurum has been talking it up with Zok-Ten, Quarry & Ceph, who is being carried by Quarry. Aurum listens to tales of their adventures, sees all his friends go upstairs, and telepathically calls to Firework. He asks if it’s okay if he “gets some” as well. Firework tells him to have fun, use protection, and gets back to fixing the ships. Aurum gets one more drink, slams it back, and takes Zok-Ten by the hand. “Shall we.” Zok-Ten gulps and nods. Aurum conjures up a duplicate and the dupe goes to Quarry. “Care to join?” Quarry goes, “I am always interested in trying out new things.” He puts down Ceph and the four go upstairs.
The next morning the team wake up, some with hangovers, others just tuckered out. They all meet up at The Mule and gather inside. No mention of the previous night’s activities are discussed. They head back to their ships.
Firework has finished the repairs, and has a better understanding of how The Plucky Puck works.
Cutlass stands in front of her team. She goes, “Alright, well, tell Earth I say howdy. Zok-Ten…a deals a deal. Give it over and let’s take off.” She heads back to the ship. Syd follows her, looking back and saying, “Glad I didn’t have to blow y’all up. Mostly.”
Quarry says, “The Captain is a woman of few words. What she means is that it was a pleasure fighting alongside you. If you ever need our help, just give us a hail. Alternatively, we hope we can call upon you in the future. Perhaps Cutlass would be more amiable to return to her homeworld. For some reason, she has never returned. Oh well. Farewell, Golden Guardians.”
Ceph telepathically calls out, “Lots of fun. Great adventure. See you next time.” and is carried out by Quarry.
Zok-Ten hits a few buttons on his arm. A small device pops out of his cranium. He pulls it out and hands it over to Bouncer. “This is what I got from The Blackguard computers. It’s quite a bit, encrypted, but hopefully it’ll be useful to you all. Stay out of trouble.” He walks back to the ship.
The Marauder starts up and takes off into the sky. The team get onto the Plucky Puck and Bouncer gives the order to take off.