Space Cowboy

Tijuana to Titan Part 4

Penetrating Swiftman's Box

With the passengers secured, the Crew returned to the hanger to pick up Joe’s ship and Swiftman’s box. Joe could no longer hide his mono-ship under a drop cloth if he was going to fly it into the cargo hold of One Eyed Jack.

With the dust cover off, the Swami recognized the ship as a version of a fighter that was outlawed by the SSC for its lethal part in the Titan War. Only this one was an upgrade, meaning someone had been working on improving an illegal warship. Given how Joe was transporting it, Swami assumed Joe had stolen it which tickled him enough to accept him as part of the Crew. The others didn’t care, even when the ship powered itself up to “growl” at Andromeda.

When they entered One Eyed Jack’s sensor masking field, the Barricado fleet surrounding TJ broke orbit into a search pattern. They obviously had intended to follow the two small ships back to their main transport which they believed was hiding somewhere just out of sensor range. But for what reason? If as an escort, why not rescue her themselves? If to stop her rescue, why hire the Crew in the first place?

Aboard Jack, Andromeda turned her full force upon the locking system on Swiftman’s box: a five pin spooling gravity whirlie-gig with a variant polynomial whatsit on a rotating thingamajig blah blah bladdie-blah… it was a hell of lock and it took her a couple of hours to make it her bitch. In the box were 3 things: 1) a 3-meter tall war-bot, folded for easy storage; 2) a flight pack meant to be mounted on said war-bot (some assembly required); and 3) a hard drive, presumably an instruction manual.

Andromeda made short work of the hard drive security but it took her and Frenchie to map out an algorhythm to decrypt the files and they had to let it run for several hours. Fine. Andromeda had other things she wanted to do in the meantime, like finding out if their passengers – specifically Grace – held any surprises for them.


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