Musta been hard for Liu Bei. He was too proud to admit defeat, so he disguised it as a business deal. We each go our own way, with a promise to do future business. Aunt Jing always said, 如果你低头可言，低头低. So I bowed and apologized for our previous misunderstandings. Liu Bei was able to save face. Just in case Liu was fixin’ to kill more of his own men, now he has a good reason not to. And the truth is, if I had to do it all over again, I’da sold him those diamonds.
Hanzo shuttled me home. Leonid and Gideon met us in the cargo bay, and presented Hanzo with what was left of Liu’s men plus Blake’s finger. Once Rocket got word that I was safe, he sprung off the yacht and headed home. Or so he thought. That ninja blade musta smarted, cuz he launched a bit too far starboard. I fired up Yin and parked in front of his trajectory. Rocket grabbed on, and we got him inside before he ran outta air.
Leonid looked at Rocket’s leg and patched it up. Brad was still in the med bay, and he seemed to be healin’ up right fine. In fact, Brad was all charming and chatty with Natasha. Leo didn’t seem to care for it much. I couldn’t tell if he was jealous or just protective.
Gideon went to tell the passengers that the danger was over. There was a gunshot and I heard Gideon yellin’. Everything seemed fine, so I didn’t bring up talk of the shot or the yellin’.
This whole time, Alicera was working to get Nightingale flying again. She called me with bad news. “There’s a broke part. Can’t be fixed.” I asked Alice to rig somethin’ up. She made a part and got us moving, but she didn’t seem comfy with it. As soon as we were moving, she started working on a replacement.
The engine didn’t sound right, and a short while later, Alice shut the engine down. The passengers noticed the stop. Gideon told them it was periodic maintenance, and that seemed to quiet them down.
The replacement was a little better, but Alice said it wouldn’t last. We sent a call out into the black, inquirin’ about engine parts. And since you can’t throw a rock without hittin’ a Tremblay, Rocket sent out a message that his folk would recognize. Sure enough, some guy named Jacque hails us. Same accent as Rocket, including the pickled slur. Jacque was a member of the crew on a scavenger ship named Warlock. The captain, Mikkel, said he had all sorts of parts. They agreed to meet us.
When Warlock approached, it looked like a flying junkyard held together by chewing gum and old pantyhose. Not having many options, we went on their ship to do business. Imagine a home populated for a hundred years by teenage boys who spent all day smokin’ weed. Well, that would be the Taj Mahal compared to this ship. It was like a hoarder’s house after it was hit by a tornado. Rocket went off with his cousin to share stories and a 5th of whiskey. While hunting for the part, we spotted a mangy dog hiding from the smelly crew of Warlock.
It took us forever to find a part that Alice could fashion into what we needed. It wasn’t quite right, but Alice has a knack for getting’ things to work. We traded Yin. Mikkel gave us the part, plus ₡175 and the feral dog, if we could nab it. Rocket called Wilson and told him to bring us some meat. With a piece of steak, Leo managed to coax the mutt to come closer and he grabbed it.
When we were about to leave, Gideon told me about the boy on board. Mikkel told us the kid was an orphan. We offered to take the boy to a place where he’d be well cared for. To Mikkel’s credit, he didn’t try to sell the boy. Gideon was able to get the boy to speak. The kid was frightened, but he was willing to come with Gideon to Nightingale. I was glad to get off Warlock. What was that stink!
Now I got a ship full of rescues. I image Gideon is all pleased with himself, but this ain’t good for business.