Monday, December 12, 2022

Bucket of Bolts Play Through

 Bucket of Bolts play through 


The engineers of Sagittarius Systems were noted for their mathematical skill and their distinct lack of imagination. Sagittarius Systems did not work for the entire but they were happy to sell to them.. Their small scale shipping transport looked like a box made out of aluminum.

S3-2XL was nondescript, utilitarian and sturdy.


Gondo Hyperion was a long distance hauler, one of the many cogs that helped make the empire work. He was a slovenly, filthy man whose sole virtue was that he always made his deliveries on time.

His crew consisted of two brothers who both answered to the name Chance, and a reedy engineer of indeterminate gender who was called Jones. Gondo would roar and curse at them but space help anyone who hurt them.

The hold of S3- 2XL grew cluttered and dirty under Captain Gondo’s watch. The cargo was drab and boring, empty storage crates and bland protein bars that could last decades in storage. But once, 3S-2XL had had to deliver photon torpedoes to a war zone. Every member of the crew had been in a cold sweat during that delivery.

That delivery went well but not every risk was worth it.

Even though S3-2XL wasn’t rated for wild animal transport, Captain Gondo agreed to ship a giant poisonous land squid, knowing that the squid’s owner would owe him a big favor. When it inevitably broke free, one of the Change brothers died, as did Jones. Gondo himself lost an arm, a leg and his captaincy.

After the incident, the S3-2XL was put into long term dry dock. It was no longer nondescript. It was filthy. And, although no paperwork had been filed, it had earned a name. The Storm Tossed.


When the Storm Tossed ended its month-long repair in dry dock, it was purchased by Galahad Rockmeier. While the Storm Tossed was a tiny cargo ship by imperial standards, it was a big step for a private merchant, even one as famed as Rockmeier.

Galahad Rockmeier was nearing the end of his career when he purchased the Storm Tossed. He and his many-handed right hand man, a blue alien named Phred, has helped revive the entire economy of the Caspian solar system after they had a near fatal market crash. Since then, a mercenary named Hevexis has entered his employ, as well as a robot engineer designated as Krabby.

But having a ship of his own opened up new opportunities for Rockmeier. After they cleaned up the ship and Krabby refurbed the engine, the Storm Tossed flew to systems it had never been before.

While nothing Rockmeier did was truly illegal, his deals managed to irk both the Empire and the rising Corporate Lords. After he traded obscure herbs for a mysterious map, some imperial cadets opened fire on the Storm Tossed, later claiming there was an error in the transmission codes.

Krabby had to almost entirely rebuilt much of the Storm Tossed. Additional pods were added to its rectangular shape.

And the mysterious map engraved in the heart of a green gem led the crew to final location of the gene bank of extinct Huirsine race. In one fell swoop, Rockmeier restored an entire race.

After that, he retired, married Hevexis and sold the Storm Tossed.

But the changes Krabby had made to The Storm Tossed left it no longer filthy but mysterious.


Stracer Ray bought the Storm Tossed from Galahad Rockmeier. 

Stracer Ray was a bounty hunter who only dressed in gray. He had taken an oath to only use  his stellar glaive to bring in his bounties and never handled any gun or blaster.

The glaive, a unique weapon in all of the universe, had a blade made from a dying dwarf star. Only a molecule thin, there was nothing that science had found that it would not cut through.

Stracer turned the hold into holding cells and modified the ship so that he could pilot it without any help.

Stracer Ray feared nothing and turned down no jobs. He even brought down and in the mysterious being known as D’Thanhu. Not wholly made from matter and thought by some to be some kind of God, D’Thanhu still was held in check by chains of depleted uranium and given over to the Empire.

Stracer Ray made many enemies. Once, returning to the Storm Tossed, several of them tried to ambush him. Some were the loved ones of his bounties. Others were his competitors. He lost part of his face and his arm but he won. Both were replaced by cybernetic parts.

Afterwards, the Storm Tossed was no longer thought of as utilitarian but deadly.

Decades passed as Stracer Ray continued his work as a bounty hunter and the Storm Tossed saw many suns and held many prisoners. As time went on, Stracer Ray replaced more and more of his body with cybernetics. He changed the Storm Tossed as well, giving it a secret laser canon that no freight ship would ever have but he never found cause to use it.

In the end, time proved too much for Stracer Ray. His cybernetics failed and his life ended. The Storm Tossed spent decades floating around a planet, one more piece of debris along with abandoned satellites and broken missiles. The bulky, rectangular shape of its fading hull was a contrast to the curved hulls or more recently built ships.


Jonah Khronos. When the ancient Empire and the upstart Corporate Lords finally went to inevitable war, Jonah chose a third option.

Jonah formed and led the rebellion that fought against both sides. The members came from over a hundred different planets and were of many different species.

Jonah Khronos found the Storm Tossed seemingly deflect but still fully powered. He was fascinated by the hidden laser cannon and the mysterious engines that Krabby had added more than a hundred years before.

The Storm Tossed became the unlikely flash ship of the rebellion. The strange engines made the Storm Tossed more nimble than any other ship of the line.

However, that also brought on the ire of the Empire and Corporate Lords. Once, they agreed to a detente in order to work together to try and take out of the Storm Tossed and the rebellion. There were terribly losses and the Storm Tossed just barely escaped.

Even still, the Storm Tossed came out of hyperspace in dire straits. All of the oxygen had bled out and Jonah was dead. The ship crashed onto an uncharted planet. 

But Krabby’s changes were finally fully realized. The Storm Tossed awakened.

I was no longer sturdy but I was intelligent. 

And although I did not know it at the time, in the years I lay on that nameless planet, the balance of power changed. The rebellion has failed but the resurrected Huirsine people rose up and ended the war.


I was found by the Charish Clan. For generations, they had been born in space and had no idea what had been the last planet the family had actually live on.  Life without gravity has made them taller than other humans, as well as considerably nimble. At the time when they found me Jaqueline Charish was the head of the family, overseeing sons and daughters and grandchildren and countless nephews and nieces.

They scavenged the vast junkyards that formed in colonized solar systems, orbiting belts of centuries of detritus. Their chief client was T!PKchol, a Huirsine merchant who clearly did most of their trade on the black market. They paid a meet pittance of the value of the salvage but it let the clan stay out of view from either the Huirsine Federation or the Trade League.

But, when they found me, they knew that they had to hide that fact from T!PKchol and others. My role in the restoration of the Huirsine people had made me legendary. Wars would be fought to preserve or destroy me.

In the end, they knew my existence would inevitably be revealed. They needed a safe haven away from other peoples. Besides, they had learned of my intelligence and they liked me.

They were the first people who took advantage of the mysterious engines Krabby had given me so long ago. With it, they were able to find a mysterious solar system that had been engineered by an ancient and lost race. Instead of the void of space, it someone has an atmosphere. It was a home that they could live in.


Century after century rollled by. Ages passed as I was all but dormant. The Huirsine people, despite their great second rise, faded. They fell back into extinction. With their second passing, the name Storm Tossed vanished as well from history.

The Charish Clan, who became the Charish People, dissembled my mysterious engine with mt permission to discover its secrets. Time took its toll on my circuits and I would fall into deep hibernation for decades at a time. 

Outside of the Charish domain, in the vaster universe, the Grand Collective found an ancient warship from a war that could no longer be found in any history text. Thousands of soldiers had been placed in cryogenic stasis and a slant handful survived and were able to be revived.

Among these survivors of a lost era was Erik Chance, a distant descendant of the surviving Chance brother who had worked for Gondo Hyperion.

He had been part of a crucial marine team who had been able to board the mother ship of their enemies. But he awoke to a world where that war was older than the dust of stars. 

The Charish no longer had from the wider society. The Storm Tossed was no longer was remembered but Erik Chance came from an era where I had been known. And I was part of his family’s history. Somehow, he found me. We were two lost pieces of the forgotten past.

Together, we did simple cargo transport, just as I had with his ancestor. As we traveled, he asked to play chanties that no one remembered.

When Erik Chance grew gray and arthritic, the leader of the Charish people asked for him to take them to the Grand Collective. I had led them to their sanctuary and they wanted me to bring them officially to the Grand Collective.

Then, after that final job was done, we turned away from the galactic core. And the last thing we did was go off into the endless black.

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