Mox and Gurney walked together on the crowded streets of Bora Dalis spaceport.
Mox paused and raised an eyebrow. "So you think my codes might get us into some abandoned Kel-Morian installation on Char?" he asked.
"You got it, Elroy," Gurney grinned. "See, I know for a fact that they bugged out of there when the Zerg took over, so nobody's there guarding all that equipment they left. It's ours for the taking."
"Eh, just one slight problem there, pally."
"What's that?" Gurney asked.
"The Kel-Morians might not be guardin' it, but the Zerg sure will be. That whole planet is crawlin' with 'em."
"Hey, relax. That's why I got Mad Dog and his pirates outfitting us with mercs and weapons. See, sometimes they do work for the Kels and they've got access to that stuff. We'll dig into that area on the map I showed you, send you and a few guys in to unlock the place and then we'll start haulin' the goodies on outta there. Piece a cake, man. Shouldn't take more than a few hours at most."
"I don't know..." Mox said with hesitation.
"Tell ya what, flapjack," Gurney said. "I'll put a ten thousand credit down-payment on services rendered in your account when we're in transit, and you can lead the troops. I mean, that should be a natural for you with all the experience and stuff you got workin' for the Kels."
"Right. Ten thousand, eh?" He thought about it for a moment and then smiled. "You got a deal, Gurney."
"All right, man! Now let's get some brews. We can stay at a place I have outside the city. It ain't much, more of a shack really, but I got it on loan from Mad Dog, and free is free. Tomorrow, I'll take my Goliath for a spin and run a systems check on her, and then we'll hook up with some of his errand boys here in town and get this show on the road."
Ro'taann took a puff on his juphori pipe and watched the cloud of smoke drift away as he blew it out in rings. He was listening to the UNN reports of the Dominion's reconstruction projects when he heard Mr. Holofone yell out "You've got HoloMail!" He removed the metal headset he wore most of the time and placed it on his desk while running a hand through his all-natural mutant-green low-cut mohawk.
"Hah harghh! Avast ye and shiver me timbers!" Mad Dog greeted him.
I hate it when he does that, Ro'taann thought.
"This is just to let ya know I ran into the quarry. He killed one o' my men. Shot him right in the head without so much as a word. He escaped us this time but we'll get him. Mad Dog out."
The imbecile really expects me to believe him, Ro'taann sighed. If he only knew I was completely aware of his pirate operation and behind-the-back deals with Broker. He leaned back in his chair and grinned, letting out just a hint of his serrated metallic teeth as he closed his liquid-silver eyes.
They all think they can best me at my own game — that I've become soft since I became Magistrate of this hellhole. They'll find out just how wrong they are soon enough, though. The last thing they'll see is my grinning face when they get what is coming to them. No one messes with my world or my people.
He sat up then, still grinning as he clicked one of his speed-dial buttons.
"Yes?" came the expected voice. Ro'taann could hear the respirator in the background.
"This Mox person is an interesting new entanglement. I'd like to know what is so important about him that Broker wants him dead, while the very mercenaries he's hired to kill him are now working with him."
"That information is classified, Ro'taann. We will continue to observe all aspects of the Broker situation as per our agreement. That is all you need to know," said the voice.
Ro'taann rolled his eyes. "Fine, fine. How are things going with the Highlanders?"
"We will not interfere should there be violence at this time. Supplies are all they get for now."
"Understood. Ro'taann out."
"The next morning, Subject Gurney piloted his Goliath out in the wastes and gunned down a pack of free-roaming Rhynadons for target practice. Afterward, he and Subject Mox entered the city and assisted the pirates in loading up the shuttle with equipment. We were not the only ones watching their movements, however."
"A rogue Ghost named Trent Aster was in the area. He is a parasite making his living off of the misery that pervades that city. He did not intervene at that time and we were unaware that he had taken notice of them until the next day, when Subjects Mox and Gurney returned to the city again and set up the delivery of a warhead and guidance system that we believe paid for the pirate's assistance and the Kel-Morian gear that was loaded onto the shuttles. Subject Aster followed one of the pirates to Subject Quatto's establishment while we followed Subjects Mox and Gurney."
"Then what happened?"
"Subjects Mox and Gurney were pinned down planetside by Zerg swarms until a fleet of Protoss happened upon them and aided them in breaking into the laboratory."
"Interesting. And you believe this was merely a coincidence?"
"We monitored their communications. We are certain that the aliens were duped into aiding Subjects Mox and Gurney."
"Where are they now?"
"Subjects Mox and Gurney apparently decided to return the favor and followed the Protoss to their homeworld, where they aided the Protoss in defeating a platoon of Subject Broker's men. We believe they aim to use their newfound allies in some manner, but are uncertain as to how or for what purpose. They are currently building a space platform in orbit over the Protoss homeworld."
"Continue surveillance, but do not intervene until told otherwise. Have Unit Two find out why Broker's men were there."
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