Loading Ron Howard’s voice … done.
Now, where do we begin with the tale of STARGAZER TRANSIT, INC.? We could start at the beginning, but whose? Nah. Let’s start with the present.
They find themselves in the domed city of Crux on the arid northern continent of the planet Finally. Finally is one of three inhabited planets in the star system named for it. It’s a barely habitable world in an insignificant cluster on the rimward edge of the Sagit Arm of the galaxy. They’d love to leave Finally, but can’t. Why, you ask? See, they have no ship, and the planet’s off-world transit schedule is notoriously unreliable. For such a backwater, Crux has one thing going for it, an out-of-the-way watering hole known as The Dead End. It’s a dump for sure but the dolmyranth bartender and owner, Koarthis, makes the finest cocktails this side of Coregate. Something he says has to do with his personal code of honor. It’s a quiet evening at the bar, just us and the bartender. He sits behind the bar flipping through hyperweb news between pouring them drinks, and it’s as good a place as any to wait until they can get off this rock.
Did I mention their awesome ship? The one they no longer have? Well, her name was Sleipnir 7 (or just S7) and she was an old retrofitted space ambulance that was held together with space tape, luck, some odd organic material, and sheer force of will. She was a great ship that is, until they lost her.
“What? Lost? How do you lose a spaceship?” I hear you say.
Looks, it’s not like they cloaked her and forgot where they parked her, they lost her. In a bet. And be “they”, I mean their captain, Silas.
Here’s the thing about Silas. He’s a gambler. He’s pretty good too, but sometimes has trouble saying no to a wager or game. And sometimes, that game is rigged. Silas was playing cards with their rivals, Conveyance, Recovery, and Astro-Repair Professionals, Inc. (they really are CRAP, to be honest), and he came across a hand that seemed to be a sure thing. Too good to be true, even. Well, he went all-in with S7, and as it turns out, it was too good to be true. They know that CRAP cheated, but they don’t know how. Anyways, they’ve been pretty much stuck there, and every time they see their rivals at the bar, they can hear them loudly bragging about the improvements and repairs they’ve made to their ship. It’s okay, one day she’ll be theirs again, but with a bunch of free upgrades.
And actually, it was a dusty rock of a planet not unlike this that the company had formed. Well, not so much formed as two groups joined forces. Silas at first had teamed up with a hacker named Tor Valds.
See, things went south on a job with his old crew, and Tor found himself in a penal colony sharing a cell with Silas. After Tor let slip that he’d escaped once from a similar situation, he and Silas teamed up to get out. Silas was able to get Tor some hardware (it really is amazing what you can get while in prison), and using a trick he’d seen used by his friend Bobby Tables, Tor was able to secure an early release from an insecure system. Always sanitize your data input, children.
The two were able to do enough small jobs to pool enough space cash to get transport with other desperate individuals to the nearest uncivilized planet that wasn’t so well-regulated. One of the passengers though, iZac, saw opportunities where Silas saw fun. In this case, fun equals trouble.
iZac is a well-intentioned priest of the Machine God, su. While one of their few codes covers protecting other living species, there are exceptions for those who seek to maliciously do harm to others. Violence can be justified. iZac sees Silas and Tor exhibiting similar values, and sees an opportunity to help others and spread the manpage of su. Silas and Tor see a potentially powerful new ally in this dangerous galaxy, and let’s be honest: Silas could use a bit of a “governor switch”.
Let’s fast forward a bit and skip past a certain job that is not to be spoken of. Silas, iZac, and Tor had found themselves with a patched up ship but no longer a full crew. Landing at a hole-in-the-wall known for discretion, they began cleaning their wounds and scrubbing their memories with space whiskey. After a good day and night of “therapy”, Silas runs into an old friend of his, Kit-Kaat, who was looking for transport
to Alderaan with a companion, special cargo, and no questions.
Kit’s what you’d call a “heavy” – big on brawn, handy in a fight. In it for the money though – so he’s faithful, if the pay’s good. Kit and Silas had served in the military together long ago, and when you serve with someone – trust them with your life – you tend to overlook things. Others may have not trusted Kit (he does have a bit of a reputation), but Silas does so Tor does too. Kit was assigned by his boss to be the bodyguard for Kavita while she was delivering goods for him.
It turns out that this secretive cargo was a sizable amount of harvested organs. The three took the job, but didn’t ask where the parts came from and if they were taken forcefully. After the goods were delivered, they made the other two proposition: Kavita and Kit would stay on, and between everyone they’d keep the ship afloat and run jobs, as equal partners. BUT, no stealing of organs – there’s space in the ship to build a bio lab for Kavita, and provide non-stolen organs for sale on the black market.
They may run illegal shipments, but they don’t condone profit at the cost of those less fortunate, unless it’s the crew from CRAP. They can get bent.
So there we go, that’s most of the mostly true tale of: