Tales from Fhloston. The blank



Sunset. Dawn. Life moves so fast, especially here in the realm of eternal rest. People light up with ideas, then immediately fade away and dive into a new adventure. However, that day turned out to be so hot that it would’ve been very foolish to leave the bar with a good air conditioning system.

You can hear a lot of crazy rumors in the bar, but you can also learn something really important, something that can shake the entire Galaxy. True or false? Or maybe both at once? — what awaits a person who walks into the bar and is ready to hear these stories?

The bartender noticed that the biggest flow of customers comes on days when the mercenaries tell their boastful and mocking stories. Today, a special guest, Raul O’hara, began his story.

—“Two months ago, I was doing an easy job in the Vanguard Outpost, shooting down a small service station installed there by the pirates. The idiots bought by Hermes tried to stop me. In a couple of seconds there were only fragments left from four pirate ships, not even any trophies - and what else these fools expected when they decided to attack me? Right, where was I… I started to disassemble the station in parts and it managed to send a signal. Weak signal, well encrypted, but I wouldn’t be Raul O’hara if I hadn’t hacked it in a minute.

It had coordinates. The contract is fulfilled, the money is transferred to my account. But what kind of mercenary will refuse to find some adventure? Naturally, I flew to these coordinates, good thing the destination was not far — a dozen astronomical units away.

I arrived there, turned off the engines, turned on the spatial scanner and it showed that there was something there. And then I noticed that the scanner was pointing at a disguised ship. And there was a wreckage of the civil ship a little further. “Pirate!” — I thought and quickly hit the cloaked ship with a missile. The precise hit broke the enemy’s invisibility generator and revealed the “Sawtooth” ship with the Enclave symbols.

And it shot me back with a ray disintegrator, so I pressed the trigger, activated the shield amplifier, and fired a rail gun charge at the target. It was a good opponent. He tried maneuvering for ten more seconds, trying to get away from the shells. But the shells were fast, he couldn’t fly away. This pirate had several containers with the cargo and also I took all sorts of small stuff from him. The beam disintegrator was left out in one piece, so I sold it for several dozen GS later.

I returned to the hangar, began to look through the trophies and decided to open the containers first. There were boxes of powder for food synthesizers in three of them, some canned food in the forth one, and a strange thing wrapped in ten layers of cellophane in the fifth container. It consisted of two metal discs with glowing veins, and there was a void between them. You lift one — you lift the other. This thing weighed about a centner at least, even a gold one would be lighter. Even a jack inserted between them could not tear them apart. After that I gave up trying to investigate this thing. So I simply contacted the Broker, he gave me a link, I exchanged this artifact for two tons of iridium fuel and that was it.”

— Eh, Raul, it’s a “blank”! You should’ve sold it for much more! Not only the people from the artifact market would buy it at a more favourable price, but any engineer would sell his soul for this thing!

— Come on, you’ve got to be lying. A “blank” is an old made-up thing, there were even two kinds of this artifact: an empty one (do you get it?) and a full one, with some blue liquid inside.

“So fill an empty one with pure iridium, and you’ll have a full one on your hands!” a man from Jericho exclaimed, “And, you know, if you find another one, come to Crystal, they will pay you nicely.”

“Hey! There’s someone else who can evaluate the artifacts! The New Empire.”— Said the man in the black hood from behind the next table, after which he raised a glass and said: “Here’s to Fortune and to Raul!”.

“For Fortune!!!”— the visitors of the bar supported the toast.

A man from Jericho and the mysterious visitor crossed their gaze and, as it seemed to everyone around, laughed in a friendly manner.

“Oh, those artifacts! Everyone wants them, but no one knows anything about them!” — said the man from Jericho.

That day many more stories were told, but Raul’s story remained the most favorite among the visitors of the bar. Few then noticed how his eyes flashed with excitement. “Artifacts — the way to money and glory! I wish I could find more of them…” — the sentence was repeating itself in his head over and over again.


I don’t get it. Is this a part for a new ship or something?

Iridium container? I’d appreciate not having iridium limited again.