This is a great little plotline. While specific to the Firefly universe, there's no reason it couldn't be adapted to fit other sci-fi universes (e.g., Old Leatherbeat is an Old Republic general who went into hiding when the Empire came into power). But the lovely little details make me want to keep it a Firefly plot. Go to Comment
The now-bankrupt Wu Jyu Zheng Industries was famous for their unconventional designs and systems formats that were incompatible with most other hardware. Though it turned out to be the downfall of the corporation, an entire underground industry grew around providing third-party parts, software, and systems for WJZ ships. The most successful and popular of these is the J-419 combat vessel, known to most as the Barracuda.
The ship's nickname comes from its narrow, sleek design and distinctive hull pattern, which consists of overlapping metal scales. Designed as a fighter, it is well endowed with 2 twin laser cannons, twin torpedo tubes, chaff countermeasures, and a point-defense laser system that can target incoming warheads. The standard package targeting system software is surprisingly thorough, though many pilots prefer their own customized versions. Designed for a pilot and gunner, the ships are easily adaptable for smuggling and even light freight at the expense of weaponry.
The real downfall of the Barracuda is its lack of defense. The hull plating is sturdy, but lacks efficient heat dispersion. The scaled armor is designed to shed individual scales when they take enough damage, but that system often malfuctions, sometimes causing the scales to overheat and explode. The deflector shield is distressingly weak, often the butt of jokes by pilots. Heat sinking is also a problem, though a number of third-party engineers provide better dispersion systems. The Barracuda does have the advantage of being very swift and manueverable, but its flight control systems are less than intuitive; many pilots who refit their Barracudas change the flight systems first as a rule. Go to Comment
Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in praelio. Contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur. Tuque princeps militiae caelestis, Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo divina virtute in infernum detrude. Amen.
Saint Michael, Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust into Hell Satan and all other evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Prayer for the dead
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescant in pace. Amen.
Eternal rest grant onto them, O Lord, and perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. Go to Comment
The Harpy's Kettle
Aerex wandered into Ganse a few months after his unjust ejection from the Royal Constabulary. He was hoping to find some police work, but would take even bounties as his cash dwindled. As one such bounty was catching his interest, two xaren burst from the floor of the bar. While the rest of the patron scrambled to their weapons, Aerex dove behind the bar hoping to find some weak point. He managed to discover a secret crawl space beneath the bar, but it yielded only a vial of phosophorous and a large mallet. Aerex rushed down the crawlspace corridor only to find himself out on the street. He spied a young thief who had stolen Moruz's circlet, but the town guards thought Aerex was the criminal. He convinced them otherwise, but only after the thief escaped. Matare soon met up with other adventurers from the bar and they decided to pursue the bandits who attacked Talia's caravan. Aerex used his Imperial criminal codex to identify the gang as Jervoe's Tribe. Go to Comment