On a Wing and a Prayer

Reclaiming Chargras Canyon

Dirk, Arlana, the Captain join Salthar Eneshi and some of his lieutenants to discuss a plan for getting rid of Drakkaar from Chagras Canyon. Salthar Eneshi tells them that his Duneraiders have been keeping a discreet eye on the off worlders activates and says that they are in the habit of coming together once per month. There is some sort of conference between the three Captains, but it mainly appears an excuse for a spot of downtime. They usually laager the crawlers, and in the enclosed space have a big bonfire, roast a Serik, sing, dance, and generally eat, drink, and make merry. The Salthar goes on to say that whilst they do post a couple of guards, many of them leave their posts to join the party for a while, or sit in place nursing a bottle of liquor.

A plan of attack was agreed, and the allies sat back to await the next Draakaar party. During this time Ms Etye seemed to be enjoying herself, rather than fretting about getting back to civilisation, and so Dirk was freed somewhat from his concern for her. She was enjoying the attention and, Dirk was sure, storing up anecdotes upon which she could dine out for quite a while. This enforced delay also allowed Dirk, Arlana, and the Captain, with one of Salthar Eneshi’s lieutenants as a guide, to recce the usual campsite used by the Draakaar crawlers. The site was in a small bowl, at the edge of the main canyon where, originally, a small side valley joined the main canyon. Whilst this suited the partygoers by shielding the campfire from distant travellers, it would provide good vantage points for the Duneraiders, and enable them to bottle them up in the bowl through firepower. Dirk and the others returned to their own camp to brief the team.

Before long, Salthar Eneshi informed them that the Crawlers were making their way back to their accustomed spot. Smoothly, everyone swung into action. Three Duneraider warriors set off into the desert to order the three warbands, each commanded by one of Salthar Eneshi’s senior lieutenants, into position, while the Salthar accompanied Dirk, Arlana, the Captain and their own guards and a handful of Duneraider warriors to the site, in the air rafts. The next night saw Dirk, Arlana, and the Captain hidden in the small side valley, while two of the three Duneraider warbands lined the lip of the bowl, overlooking the campsite and it’s revellers. The third Duneraider warband had was quietly approaching from the wide canyon floor, acting as the cork to the bowl campsite’s bottle.

The night wore on, and gradually the raucous sounds of celebration emanating from the Draakaar Minerals party, faded. Dirk caught the eye of both Arlana and the Captain, and nodded. Off they went, creeping up as quietly as possible to the laagered crawlers. The position of the sentries had been noted earlier, and whilst they had mostly fallen asleep or were insensible through drink, Dirk and the others were careful to skirt round them. Without event, they each made it to their respective crawlers and gained entry, locking the hatches behind them. Arlana and the Captain were quickly able to ascertain that no one else was on board and locked all points of entry before ascending to the laser turrets in their crawlers. Dirk on the other hand was delayed slightly by a coming across a crew member retrieving a case of beer from a store room. Fortunately, he was engrossed in his task and with his back to Dirk. Therefore Dirk was able to push him into the store room and lock the hatch after him, making an impromptu prison cell. Slightly behind schedule, Dirk was able to check the rest of the ship, lock all external hatches and man his laser turret, giving a wave to Arlana and the Captain whom he could see in the turrets of the other crawlers.

Now that everyone was in place, Arlana gave the signal and three of them powered up the turrets and trained them on the Draakaar crews. Amid the drunken confusion, Arlana’s voice boomed over the external speakers.

“Jericorp Mining has now taken control of these crawlers and you are surrounded and under arrest. Slowly put your weapons on the floor and move to the fire and lay face down. If you comply, no one will get hurt”.

There was a great deal of confusion, some of the Draakaar men strove to comply, others drew their weapons and dived for perceived cover, whilst most stared around in confusion, standing up or remaining slumped according to their state of inebriation.

“Not a good move” boomed Arlana’s voice over the external speakers. “Look up”.

As she said this, the Duneraider warriors on the lip of the bowl raised their firearms above their head, making them visible from below.

“Now look out into the canyon” came Arlana’s voice again.

The Duneraider warriors out on the canyon floor fired their weapons into the air, producing an impressive display of noise and smoke.

Arlana’s voice came again “I say again, lay down your arms, and lie on the floor next to the fire and you won’t be harmed. Surrender to my men, and I’ll take you back to Nomaya and give you a fair trial. Resist in any way, shape, or form, and I’ll leave you with the Duneraiders”.

Slowly, but with increasing haste, the Draakaar crews complied with Arlana’s instructions. Once Arlana deemed that it was safe enough, she signalled her guards to come down in the airrafts and take charge of the Draakaar men. Soon they were all locked in various compartments in the crawlers, having been thoroughly searched. Salthar Eneshi, brought his warriors in, and they celebrated their victory.

The next day, the airrafts collected the Jericorp crew who checked over the three crawlers. Ms Etye also arrived, and she and Dirk took their leave of the Captain and Salthar Eneshi. Arlana supervised the loading of the prisoners onto the airrafts from all the crawlers, and took them along with Dirk and Ms Etye back to Nomaya.

Back in Nomaya, Dirk and Ms Etye said a brief goodbye to Arlana, who had her hands full organising the local security guards and the transfer of prisoners into their custody. Soon Dirk and Ms Etye were back on board the Lodestar Phoenix, having cleaned themselves up, changed into clean clothes, and sat down to a welcome meal, while they told the rest of the crew about their adventures.

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