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The Log Book of the Ketty Jay: 4
Transcriber’s note: This is the fourth entry from the Logbook Of The Ketty Jay, diligently saved from it’s beer stained state by your loyal transcriber. The affairs this ruffian became embroiled in have been luridly recounted by various pulp biographers, but I direct your attention to the only official and unbiased account of the tale, written by this humble scribe, which bears a title as honest and straightforward as the words within: Retribution Falls, available now in bookshops all over Vardia.
Dyersday Firstweek, Howl’s Batten, 147/32
Things have calmed down a bit lately, and I for one am happy for some peace. Seems like everyone’s forgotten about the freighter debacle, anyway. I should steer clear of piracy for the time being, I reckon. Sometimes a man has to accept there are things he’s not good at.
What I am good at is ripping off low-level criminals and getting away with it. See, it works like a cycle. You get a small port, middle of nowhere, sooner or later the bad men move in. They swagger about a bit, running the place down, and sooner or later they get shot by even badder men or the Coalition Navy go in there and sort ’em out. Either way, they’ve got short lifespans, then they’re replaced and it all begins again.
Way I figure it, as long as I don’t revisit any town where I’ve stolen from the local crime-boss for a few years, chances are he’ll be gone by the time I go back. Clean sheet for me. Then I rip off the next feller. The trick is to spot the ones that have got too big for their boots, the ones who are gonna get ’emselves killed soon. Once or twice I met fellers who were just dangerous enough to make it into the big leagues. Those, I left well alone.
You might call it a bit risky, making enemies like that, but it’s only because my memory is so bloody patchy that I keep on stumbling across folks that want to settle a score. I should keep a list, or something.
This one was a straight theft. I persuaded this feller to let me haul a load of rare glassware for him. Top quality stuff, which he’d no doubt robbed off someone else. We were all smiles as we loaded it on, and then we buggered off out of there, never to be seen again. Made a tidy profit selling it on the other side of Vardia. Would’ve made a tidier one if I hadn’t smashed half of it with a slightly clumsy landing. I didn’t think we came down that hard, though I suppose it did make Malvery fall down the stairs into the cargo hold. I blame my mysteriously damaged hand.
The passenger’s settled in well enough. He’s a bit plummy but otherwise a good sort. No idea what his deal is, and more than once I’ve caught him glancing over his shoulder in public places, like he thinks he’s being followed. Still no sign of whoever it is, though. Malvery seems to like him. Keddle likes him as much as he ever likes anyone, the moaning little bastard. The only one Crake can’t get on with is Pinn. Not that that’s a bad thing. Anyone who doesn’t think Pinn is an idiot is an idiot themselves. I’ve met smarter furniture.
Bess gave us all a shock last night. Someone tried to get into the ship. Most of us were out, and I suppose Silo and Harkins were asleep. Harkins says he got woken by this roaring noise in the hold that scared him silly. Silo went down – Harkins wouldn’t, obviously – and found Bess trying to put some poor bloke’s limbs and head back on, like he was a doll she was playing with. At least Silo was considerate enough to clean it all up before I got back (I wasn’t back till this afternoon, by the way – entertaining a lady, if you know what I mean).
Better make sure Crake has that thing on a lead, in case she thinks about doing the same thing to us. Crake assures me she won’t, but nobody’s convinced.
Note to self again: Silo is still after a bunch of spares for the engines. I swear I bought some in the last port but they aren’t there now. I don’t know if the cat’s eating them or something, but we only ever seem to have just enough to keep the Ketty Jay halfway running. Can’t think where they’re going but it’s getting on my nerves.