Friday, July 13, 2007

Fast Times at Zemex Port

Greetings soft fleshy Dirters! It is I, !gzzbzzzt^zzt!, known to you as "Bug". Oh, what travails I must endure with this crew of insane Dirters. Dakkel Shurnel proved his worth by finding the cube face that went to Zemex port. It was the face opposite the ice ball of the world we had landed on. The small female Dirter proved to be a good pilot and flew the Ardanna Nuu off this hellish world into blessed space.

The larger male Dirter left the bridge and decanted three more humans: One that used to be a law enforcement officer, one that was a researcher, and another, smelly, ill kept, Dirter like the male that woke him. By that time, the Ardanna Nuu gained sufficient altitude to engage her hyper FTL drive and we were off to Zemex port. The trip took 100 standard hours, though the researcher Dirter said it took 95 of their hours.

During the trip, the newly decanted were cleaned up, their skin tones returned and their fur head cover restored. The smelly one promptly began turning his head fur into these sausage looking things, something he called "draad-lohcks". I'm not familiar with Galactic fur stylings to further comment on this.

They all rooted through the ship's cargo retrieving their old clothing and gear. The researcher recovered a formidable looking weapon he called a "Baa-zookuh". I'm learning to differentiate between them, but I really haven't learned their names.

The first smelly Dirter male is named "Quinn", the other smelly Dirter is "David". The female is "Claire", the researcher is "Riff", the law enforcer I think was called "The Man" by Quinn and David. The Dirter who was very good with the med lab is named "Steve" and the two former warriors were named "Yuori" and "Sergei". I think.

When we arrived, the Zemex port authority immediately ordered the Ardanna Nuu into a secure parking orbit, their massive Anshani warship, the Barana Nuuk, holding guard over us. After some confusion, a boarding party, a ship's inspection, and a large bribe, we were able to prove that the ship no longer contained pirates, but the survivors of the mutiny, though those that mutinied, I and the Greevals, never bloodied our manipulative digits.

The Dirters were able to register the ship as theirs with Zemex port authorities, and it was now theirs, legally. And as such, they were racking up orbital fees and after we landed, port fees. However Shurnel had thought ahead and had the Greevals dismantle one of the nuclear warheads in the Blue Field room. They were able to extract a ball of fissionable plutonium about the size of a grut'pha fruit, from within the warhead. It was worth trillions of Anshani credits, but we only needed a little bit of it. The Greevals set to work on it and cut out a small cube of the material and placed it into a shielded container.

I took the box and with an honor guard of most of the Dirters, Youri and Sergei stayed behind to guard the ship. Shurnel packed up his bag and bid us farewell as he went looking for another ship to serve on. A small tent city was forming in front of the ship, merchants hawking wares and goods as we passed. Psssht! Amateurs!

The Dirters are not very curious about the different shops along the way. I, on the other digit, spy out potential customers for the goods we have on board. Along the way a Gwerma, by the name of Grenniachick, intercepted us and asked us if we wanted to buy "companionship". The Dirters weren't interested, but a Grenniachick was persistent, and they changed their minds when he said "Slaves", Dirter slaves. I knew that he wasn't selling slaves, but no one asked me. Zemetites do not allow slavery, so it must have been some form of legal slavery, such as indentured servitude.

The Man took a business card from Grenniachick. He planned to turn the Gwerma in to the authorities. Good luck. We went to the local bank and converted our plutonium into nine million Anshani credits. That's when The Man approached a law enforcement officer and tried to convince him that Grenniachick was a slaver. His card proudly stated that he ran an escort service. After some wrangling between the two, the officer bent the card, activating it's homing properties. We followed the card to Grenniachick's Escort and Servant Salon. It was in the seedier portions of Zemex port.

Inside was a bar that served various types of refreshment and snacks, I snagged a bowl of rancid Huttu eggs and slurped them down. The Dirters, meanwhile, gawked at the various displays of flesh and genitalia. I spied a young Greezebe female and went to talk to her. Her name was Zzztzztzzt!Bzzt!, though the Dirters later called her "Bugette". She had been sold into servitude when she was young and traded between different owners who used her as a servant and nursemaid. She end up here at Grenniachick's after her contract was lost in a gambling game of Fizzbin. I was very tempted to buy her contract and free her, no sentient should be subject to such treatment, especially one of my own kind!

The officer and Grenniachick had a conversation, and that scum of a Gwerma slipped him a bribe. The officer left and the Dirters came up with another plan.

The Dirters talked to the three Dirter servants, and then the two smelly ones, Quinn and David, approached Grenniachick and began what turned out to be an ill advised attempt to force Grenniachick to give up the indentured Dirters. As soon as Quinn threatened him, Grenniachick waved his hand and called out for his "protection", a slab of living muscle known as a Manaki. Normally, this brutish race is not dangerous, but this one, he looked like he liked hurting people.

To his credit, Quinn didn't flinch and stared down Grenniachick, who bade the Manaki to wait. Then David stepped up and with some skill, began to dicker with Grenniachick. What none of us realized that while the two bargained over the price of the Dirters, Riff was making something.

During the bargaining, Grenniachick had the indentured Dirters perform on stage. Normally, I view sex acts of alien races akin to watching animals mating, but this trio was very good. Claire's skin color shifted from pink to a nice shade of red while she watched the performance. The male Dirters watched appreciatively.

Just when David was about to get Grenniachick to name a decent price, Riff stepped forward with a device and said "You are now my slave!" and poor Grenniachick was under his mind control! I did not now that Dirters were so smart and at the same time, dumb as a load of masonry blocks. Even if Grenniachick was scum, you did not violate his civil rights and you did not impede or cheat a merchant of a fair price for his goods!

Riff forced him to sell the Dirters for only twenty thousand credits total! Their individual contracts were at least worth twenty five to thirty thousand apiece! Taking a chance, I had him sell Zzztzztzzt!Bzzt! for twenty thousand, a fair price. With their contracts in hand, we left. As soon as Riff's device was out of sight of Grenniachick, the spell was broken and he sent his Manaki after us. We ran down the streets, with the newly purchased Dirters tying tablecloths around themselves, though Dave put his jacket around the nearly naked female Dirter.

We turned the corner and there was a frozen dessert truck parked by restaurant. Pulling the driver from the front seat, Claire hopped in and tried to start the drive. The rest of us piled into the back, tossing frozen desserts out the back of the truck. She figured out the drive and the truck bounced up on its antigrav and we pulled away, just as the Manaki piled into a gaggle of children that had magically appeared behind us, tearing into the boxes full of sweet treats.

As soon as we cleared the alleyway, a law enforcement vehicle spotted us and took up the chase. Claire proved to be a very good driver and eventually she found an alley way with a trash collection truck parked, with its rear open wide enough for the delivery truck to drive right in.

We all piled out and closed the back, just before the law vehicles went zooming on by looking for us. With frozen treats in hand, we stepped out onto the Street of Weapons. One of the indentured Dirters recognized it and was able to lead us back to the starport.

As we approached, we found our way blocked by a parade. It was the local Zumcal union, the Benevolent Brotherhood of Zumcal Architects and Foremen, Local 726544. They were celebrating 700 days of no accidents occurring on their construction project near the port.

For a reason that made sense only to the Dirters, we snuck into the parade and got inside a float. It was a typical Zumcall design, crepe paper Zumcals lifting a girder in place, while a crepe paper Muzz leaned on a shovel, beverage in hand, watching them work. Inside, we found that the float was built on top of a finely made framework that held a power plant and two lift balls. Working our way through the struts, we saw that a Muzz was driving the float, chomping on a cigar. He identified himself as Munuzzel, of Teamster Local 106696221. David likewise identified himself as a member of another union. The Muzz nodded and drove on, heading towards the port.

Quinn almost flicked a butt end of his herbal cigarette onto the float, but he didn't. However, Riff, in some sort of rage, fired his Baa-zookuh at the float in front of ours. It belched a gout of flame that stet fire to the other float as well as to ours!

The Muzz saw the flames and pulled a pin that dropped him to the ground as the float careened out of control. We all followed suit and bailed out of the towering inferno. The lead float crashed into the work site and then exploded, toppling a set of scaffolding into the crowd. Our float followed suit, setting fire to the construction site. With people running about and screaming, we made our way into the port.

Youri and Sergei were busy trading Dirter handheld communication devices to the food hawkers, and had piled up a big pile of various kinds of roast meats and vegetables. A Port Official blocked out way, demanding payment for use of their facilities. We paid them a one hundred thousand credits and made it to the ship just as a car floated up and Grenniachick with his Manaki, piling out, yelling for our blood.

We sealed up, and got immediate clearance to lift off from the Port Authority. Claire deftly flew us up into space, where we... but that's another story.

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