I boarded the Archon on 08.05.4016. Our trip from Agora Station to Danube 5 took three weeks in total, delayed by several engine malfunctions. I discovered that the crew was somewhat unorthodox for a UW escort vessel. The captain was the least authoritative leader I’d ever met, content to busy herself with the practices of helming the ship and socializing with the crew. The X.O. Drottr was the more obvious authority figure, more interested in tactics and procedure. The rest of the crew presented many intriguing mysteries. The Kaldreth navigator, Frithrik, seemed oddly outside of the chain of command. Sledge, the Corsa chief of security, wore a terrifying exterior but was really quite thoughtful. Allen was of a familiar demeanor for a Galatean but curious design.
We arrived on Danube 5 without much incident.
We met the leaders of the local refugee community. Clippers and his brother Barge Wargeenoodle, the village elders. Lassie Stinklater, head of security. And three Corsa of the Wayward clan, Damage, Stud and Target. These three Corsa defended the camp from pirate raids.
The camp was in disarray, but the Jaxeans were happy to show us what they had. Amusement centers, community theater, arts and leisure. Clippers provided a sense of normalcy to a terrified community under constant threat of pirate attack. While Damage, Stud, and Target provided some much needed security.
The crew set out to investigate the town and talk to the elders, learning about the community.
Soon after our arrival a group of pirates attacked. At this point, defenses were assembled, and Captain Sunspear came up with a bizarre and inadvisable plan. She and Frithrik would dress as pirates and attempt to integrate with their ranks. Drottr advised against such a reckless tactic but Sunspear was incorrigible.
The attack was easily rebuffed and somehow, Sunspear managed to integrate with their ranks.
At Drottr’s insistence, the crew captured a pirate. Jack was his name. He was integrated and gave up that he was paid to harass the refugees and that he lived in an abandoned terraforming tower. Jack asked that no matter what happened to him, could someone check on his wife Cynthia, who lives on Trafalgar station.
Drottr was respectful and did not harm the prisoner. Afterwards, Jack was left in the custody of the Jaxeans.
The crew helped repair the town after pirate shelling, spending time with Damage and Lassie, bonding with the community.
I finished my review of the Jaxean camps and made my way to the Ardin city of Sea Spire, the capitol of the Ardin settlement. The crew, Clippers, and Damage accompanied us. There we met an archbishop of Palor, Feren Sinblind, the mayor of Sea Spire, Harper Blue, and chief peacekeeper, Goshen Quickeye. While Drottr, Allen, and Sledge went to The Great Spire, a local attraction, I investigated Harper, whose finances were anomalous. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that he turned himself over to Drottr to testify against Sinblind. It seems Sinblind had been paying the pirates to attack the settlement, in an attempt to sway my judgment.
Ardin Security attempted to waylay the mayor, but Sledge made exceptionally quick work of Goshen Quickeye, and the rest of the peacekeeper force was no match.
We met up with Sunspear, who had stolen a shuttle from the pirates and escaped. She told of a rousing adventure, meeting the pirate chief, Hunter, being forced to walk the plank (an upside-down balcony in the frigid snowy air) and scaling an upsidedown terraforming tower.
Having concluded my investigation, we went into orbit. While in orbit, eating dinner with the crew, Sunspear made a slip of the tongue and accidentally referred to Damage as Blackfin. And, as it turns out, Blackfin was the Corsa’s real name. Blackfin, the notorious war criminal of the Machran war.
After some tense discussion, it was agreed that Blackfin would return to the UW to stand trial for his crimes. Clippers was quite upset with this decision, having only known Blackfin as a friend and defender of the Jaxeans. It seems Blackfin was attempting to repent, in his own way.
In the end, the crew of the Archon showed strength, guile, ingenuity, and immense nobility. All in all, it was a frightfully entertaining excursion, though I cannot recommend this particular crew as escort for those wishing a smooth ride.