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Tristan's Big Adventure - Secret Mission Assignment

Posted on Sun Aug 9th, 2020 @ 9:19pm by Tristan
Edited on on Sun Aug 9th, 2020 @ 9:45pm

Mission: The Milk Run
Location: Alden's Cabin - Fortune's Echo
Timeline: Day 11 - afternoon (Just before landfall on Hera)

They were close now, near enough to Hera for the wave to hit the ship and pass on the information that Alden had been awaiting. Coordinates. He and Alison knew where they were being asked to go to retrieve whatever the hell it was, and it really didn’t bode well.

Serenity Valley. Off the beaten tourist track, but still well within the realm of his worst thoughts - the biggest graveyard in the Verse.

So when Alden had summoned Tristan for a chat, it had been with a heavy heart and a definite need to have some form of even minor advantage in this imminent encounter. The kid was an unknown factor, a stowaway who hadn’t (at least he hoped not) been a part of this plot. If he was, well this would be a really helpful move for the bad guys.

“How would you feel?” Alden asked the younger man outright whilst locking his gaze with Tristan’s own. “About a secret mission when we get to Hera?”

“Me?” Tristan asked, very confused. “I don’t think that’s a good idea. I’m not really good at...well...anything.”

“Maybe,” suggested Alden. “It’s time to learn?” He looked cautiously optimistic, but it was clear the kid needed more incentive than simple kudos. “You might be able to earn a place on the crew,” Alden added. “Just maybe.”

“What do you want me to do?” the young man asked.

"I want you to leave the ship," Alden said, coolly. "All official like, when we reach Hera. We say goodbye, you walk away and everyone thinks that's it, you're on your way in the world." He watched the boy's face to see how this was settling into his brain. "And then," Alden smiled. "I want you to keep your ears and eyes open around town - Hera's Hub - and see what you can find out." He sighed, not at Tristan, but at his own jaded view of the Verse.

"Now maybe I'm paranoid for no reason, but I doubt it," Alden noted. "I suspect someone out there will be waiting to collect from us when we get back. If they are, I'll be real glad to know who said folk are, if you catch my drift."

Either way, he considered, he'd far rather than Tristan wasn't in the mix if/when the shit hit the fan out in the Valley.

“You want me to spy on them?” Tristan asked, smiling slightly at the possibility of him doing something important and meaningful for the crew. “What do I do if I hear something?”

"Find them, and spy on them, yes," Alden said, already feeling a little guilty. "But.. do not engage. We both know you're not going to beat anyone else in a straight up fight." He rested a firm hand on Tristan's shoulder. "So, you watch, you listen, and you keep out of their way. Understood?"

And if he heard something?

"You let me know," said Alden with a soft sigh. "I'll give you some money to use a public cortex." He didn't have enough money to hand over a personal one.

“Oh perfect,” Tristan said. “Do you have any information on who I might be looking for?”

"None," admitted Alden a little unhappily. "Hell, I might even be wrong and no one's out there."

Tristan picked at the hem of his shirt, nervously. “I don’t know if I’m the right person for this job,” he said, looking up at Alden. “What if I make a mistake? Or screw it up?”

"Hell, Di Di," Alden said with a supportive smile. "You escaped home, travelled to Newhall and ended up hiding out on a Firefly headed out into the Verse all on your lonesome. This is just sneaking about listening to folk talk. You got this."

With a smile, Tristan nodded. “Ok, I’ll do it. But why does this have to be a secret? Why can’t we just tell them where I’m going?”

"Thanks," noted Alden, and he rested a firm hand on the boy's shoulder. "You'll be fine." He really hoped that was true, but he needed the help right now and Tristan represented the only real chance of secrecy.

"Let's just say I'm not sure who's out there or what they want or who they might be working for," Alden confided. There might, for all he knew, be someone on the Echo who was helping them, though he truly hoped that was simply paranoia on his part. "No one out there knows you're even on board, so you shouldn't be associated with us at all. Try the first few taverns near the docks. But don't draw attention to yourself." He paused for a moment, then added. "You have a gun, right?” Another short stop for breath. “Know how to use it?”

Tristan nodded. “Yes, I have one. I’ve been keeping it hidden in my room.”

"Thought so," Alden said with a wry smile. The kid had mentioned having one only a few days into their voyage to Hera, but it had never materialised into plain sight. The older man shrugged and regarded Tristan with a searching gaze as he continued. "And that's the reason you got to keep it."

“Fair enough,” Tristan said with a giggle. “Anything else I need to know?”

"If you don't hear anything," Alden said, serious now. "Hang out at the music store in town. Old fella there, name of Mr Murray, knows me real well, so if you want a lift off Hera, let him know. He'll be able to set you up with a trustworthy ride." There was a brightness to the man's eyes as he spoke those last words, but Alden didn't promise Tristan that the ride would be on the Echo.


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