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Tristan's Big Adventure - The Taste of Whiskey

Posted on Sun Aug 9th, 2020 @ 9:21pm by Tristan
Edited on on Sun Aug 9th, 2020 @ 9:23pm

Mission: The Milk Run
Location: The Hub - A bar along the dockse
Timeline: Day 11 - About an hour after leaving the Ship

He'd ducked down an alley only to overhear two words he hadn't expected to hear in a conversation he shouldn't have been privy to.

"..... Fortune's Echo..."

The man speaking them looked like a hundred other cowboys from any of the rougher border planets, but the woman listening had a certain air about her. Not class or wealth, but a definite authority of confidence. Just the haughty way she held her head, the look in those pale jade eyes as she turned her head away from Tristan's hiding place. Something dangerous.

They walked in the opposite direction from his entry point and ducked into a tavern's side entrance, a wooden door that led from the cut-through passage itself. The scent of cigar smoke drifted outwards as the door slowly swung back towards closing.

Tristan followed them, slowly. He pulled his hood up, not wanting his stark blond hair to get him noticed. He pulled the door open with some effort and slipped into the lounge.

They stood at the end of the bar, Jade Eyes had her back to him, and they had a couple extra friends lurking close to, four of them now all in a closely gathered group. A gang? Crew? Hard to tell, but by the way they interacted, the body language and terse but well-taken sarcasm, they definitely all knew each other.

No one paid much attention to just another youth wandering into the bar area, two looked in his direction and instantly dismissed him as a threat.

"Okay," said Jade Eyes. "So this is where they'll have to land. It's really the only place you can set down and still have eyes on the valley." She pointed to a piece of paper resting on the bar. "We set up a position here."

Tristan moved closer, moving towards the bar, but not getting too close. He leaned over, trying to get the bartender’s attention.

Tall, thin and sporting a scruffy few days of dark beard, the olive-skinned man served up the last drink in the round he’d been gathering together and then scanned the length of the bar for his next customer. A second glance at the young man hiding within a hoodie in plain sight sent him in Tristan’s direction with a mild frown on his face.

“Looking for someone, kid?” He asked.

“I would like a drink, please,” Tristan said, pulling a couple credits out of his pocket. This was exactly why he didn’t tell Alden about his little secret stash of cash. You never know when you might need it.

The man raised an eyebrow. "ID?" He asked.

Tristan pulled out a few more credits and slid them towards the man.

A half smile and the barman nodded, making the credit notes vanish swiftly. "What'll it be?" he asked, sweeping a hand in the direction of first the pumps to his left and then the bottles lined up behind him on a long shelf.

“Whiskey, please,” Tristan replied. While he had no idea what whiskey was or how it tasted, he knew it was a drink a lot of people enjoyed.

As the drink was set in front of him, he looked at it. It smelled spicy, though Tristan wasn’t sure if that was the best way to describe it. He picked up the drink, swirled it around for a few moments, letting the ice clink against the glass, and tossed it back.

As he swallowed, Tristan immediately knew he’d made a mistake. Though he was pretty sure this is how people drank this stuff, it was certainly not what he expected. He gagged, silently, gasping for air as he tried to not vomit. He glanced around, glad that no one noticed his little scene, except for perhaps the bartender who was still standing in front of him.

The man slid a small glass of tap water across to within reach of the young man, and smiled a small smile. He'd paid enough money to allow a little bit of help, but the amusement was still there.

"First time, huh?" He chuckled dryly. "Maybe a beer is more your thing?"

Over to the side, the little group Tristan had followed were still talking low, the map between them not clear from his position, but their words occasionally audible.

“... until they find it, then we make our move…” said Jade Eyes.

Beside her, Cowboy grumbled something under his breath, and the man beside him, a mix of Chinese and Western descent chuckled.

“Hit ‘em where it hurts, bury them where they fall,” he said.

Tristan’s eyes went wide as he realized what he was hearing. Alden was right, he was being set up. And these people were going to kill them all. He couldn’t let that happen. This crew was kind to him, and he couldn’t allow harm to come to them if he could help it.

He grabbed the cup of water, taking a big drink as he waved the bartender off, not wanting to try any more of his vile liquids. Pulling the glass close, Tristan slid over, little by little, trying to get closer to hear more.

Jade Eyes cast her gaze briefly to the door as someone else wandered in from the street, then returned her attention to her little group.

"Zan," she told the man who had last spoken. "Go and check on Saul and the Seeker, we'll be with you in about half an hour."

"Yes, Captain," acknowledged the man with a nod. He checked his handgun to his side and left without further discussion.

That left three of them by the bar, Jade Eyes, and two hired gun types - the Cowboy and a smarter, more pensive looking mocha skinned man who nursed a tankard of ale. They spoke in lower tones now, a close-knit little group, clearly not wishing to be overheard and Tristan could only catch an occasional word. It sounded as if they were planning some sort of hideout, but as to the specifics, he couldn't get close enough to overhear the details without being obviously eavesdropping.

Drinking his water, Tristan did his best to keep his hand from shaking. His nerves suddenly overcame him as he realized what he needed to do. There was a ship out there, something called The Seeker. And he had to be aboard it before it launched.

He took a deep breath, closing his eyes for a moment. He couldn’t allow his nerves to overcome him. He couldn’t fail. He flipped another credit to the bartender, “Thank you,” he said as confidently as he could muster and walked out of the bar, not looking back at all.


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