During the flight, we have convinced Sirene to join our trading company, and to contribute the emeralds as her part for a share in the Legacy and all future profits we make. Serron is already on the net looking up the best selling price for emeralds in Europe.
We have decided that the profits from this trip are sufficient for us to fully pay off our starting loan of Earth$25,000, and leave us enough capital to continue our business. The loan will be paid off as soon as we receive payment for the emeralds.
We are heading out now for a day of sightseeing. I might check out what cargoes are available for purchase here later this afternoon.
Constable Jurgenssen: Police investigation. Please stay behind the barrier.
Serron: Looks like a nasty piece of work. Any suspects? Any motives?
Jurgenssen: The arson squad are inside investigating. There's nothing for you to see.
Serron: I could go in and check...
Jurgenssen: No.. please keep back...
[Loud explosion, somewhat muffled by distance.]
Sirene: What was that?!
Iki Piki: An explosion... there! Look!
Spanners: That's about where the Legacy is...
Spaceport PA Announcer: Attention! This is an evacuation alert! All people on concourse D, or on board ships in that area, are to evacuate to a safe area immediately. Departure clearance for all ships is suspended until further notice. Emergency personnel are instructed to assist the evacuation.
Ogier: The Legacy! Let's go!
The vet's practice was almost completely destroyed. It looked like an incendiary grenade or something similar had gone off inside the building, with molten glass and twisted metal everywhere, although I did manage to find a few good trinkets in not too bad condition, which I've saved for later examination. The animal holding room was likewise burnt, with the remains of cages and only a few charred bones remaining.
After looking in there, I bumped into one of the arson squad investigators. Before he realised what I was doing in there, I asked him a set of questions and managed to learn that the vet's body had been found dead, apparently from a blaster shot, and that none of his records had survived the inferno. As he was ejecting me from the building, I also learnt that they hadn't any thoughts on a motive yet. With these bits of information, I left to join the others.
Once on board, we reviewed the external security video for the period before the explosion, hoping to see anyone in the area acting suspiciously, but nothing obvious presented itself. Spanners hacked into the spaceport computer system to get some information on the ship that exploded. It turned out to be a small independent merchant vessel of similar tonnage to the Legacy, named Juan Fangio. It arrived on Earth from Lyrane about a week ago, with a cargo consisting of various bioplastics, explosives, and a shipment of fifty live rabbits, being used as living embryo containers for the transport of experimental animal clone samples. All the crew were on board and died in the explosion.
Spanners: We're in no trouble. The vet was the one who had some trouble.
Serron: But the situation is interesting...
Spanners: But you like interesting.
Spanners: So it's good you didn't space the rabbit.
Sirene: Uh, guys.. can we decide what we're going to do? It seems fairly obvious that whoever is reponsible for the killing of the vet and the explosion on the Juan Fangio is actually after whoever had that rabbit. It was the only ship registered as taking rabbits from Lyrane to Earth recently, and you told me that's where you picked yours up.
Iki Piki: Yes, but of course we didn't know we had a rabbit on board as we left Lyrane. Of course we declared it at Bollux, and now here on Earth as we entered the system.
Ogier: So someone could possibly trace that as well...
Spanners: If they get access to customs records from Bollux, which could take a week or so for a return trip.
Serron: If they got the records from the vet before they torched the place, they could track us down more quickly.
Ogier: I think we should leave the system as soon as we can. Before they do track us down!
Sirene: But we can't leave now... the departure clearance interdiction hasn't been lifted yet.
Serron: And more importantly, we have no cargo!
Iki Piki: So first thing tomorrow we find some cargo, and leave as soon as we can get departure clearance. Fair enough?
[Sounds of agreement.]
Serron: You have ID, of course?
Chung: Here you go...
[Sonic stunner fire. Thuds.]
[Laser fire. Stunner fire. Thuds. Yells and screams. Internal door opening and closing.]
Harrison: Argh.. my leg... where did he go? Follow him!
Ogier: Spaceport control? This is Legacy, docking bay D-13. We have hostile intruders on board, please send security.
Spaceport control: Legacy, we copy. Security has been dispatched. Please described your situation.
[Blaster fire. Several shots. Pause. More blaster fire.]
Ogier: Sorry about that... I'm being shot at! I'm locked in the forward starboard cabin. Four crew are unconscious in the bridge area. Two intruders aboard, armed with stunners and blasters. Now, I'm going to try something to stop him shooting through the hole in the door again.
[Very loud, piercing, high-pitched tone. Screams. Blaster fire.]
Spaceport security: Legacy, we are outside! Open the airlock doors!
[Airlock doors opening. Stunner fire, tangler fire, blaster fire. Yelling and screaming.]
Spaceport security: We've subdued them... it's safe to come out now.
[Internal door opening.]
Ogier: Phew! Thanks guys...
Given recent events, we have decided to take on a cargo and leave Earth as soon as possible. Serron has scanned the net for likely cargoes and destinations, and it seems we are going to take a load of hydroponically grown cloves to Arawne.
We also came across an interesting ad for cheap new spaceship fusion engines. We considered taking out another loan to cover the purchase price of one of these engines, but nobody wants to risk hanging around on Earth for the week or so which an engine refit would take.