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Chapter 3[]

Dead Man's Hand: Second Star to the Right[]

Merchant Quarter
Bolson, Nox
Clan Wolf Occupational Zone
9th September, 3054

Joker double checked the address and then stepped into the bar. It was barely past dawn, but the low ceiling room was full of people who'd just gotten off the night shift, as well as a few very obvious warriors sitting at a table in the back, talking loudly, ignoring the very equally obvious empty area around them. Doing her best to keep out of their line of sight, she made her way to the bar and ordered a glass of Lakka.

"I'm looking for Hannah Jokinen." she told the barman in a hushed tone.

"You and half the people on the planet." he scoffed, glaring at her like she was something he'd just scraped off of his shoe, "What's the bounty up to now?"

"Bounty?" Joker blinked, wishing she'd had time to do any proper recon. But the JumpShip that had brought them in had made it clear that, if they missed the pick-up window, then they were shit out of luck, and had better get used to speaking without contractions.

"The price the Wolves put on her head. Must be...what..twenty, thirty thousand Kerenskies by now?" the barman continued to clean the glass in his hand, gripping it like he was imagining strangling the life out of her, "Or did they offer you a place in the new order? A chance to lord it over the rest of us?"

Joker was about to respond when she suddenly felt a hand on her rear.

A lifetime of watching her back and avoiding some of the worst dregs of humanity took over, and before she realized what she was doing, she had the offender face-down on the bar, the groping hand twisted up behind their back, a hair away from snapping the wrist like a dry twig. It was only then that she noticed the wolfs head insignia on their shoulder, or the golden square with two red star in the bottom on the collar.

Clan Wolf. MechWarrior. No, scratch that. A Star Captain. she thought.

"My apologies: in those cloths, I mistook you for a local." he smiled what his alcohol clouded mind probably thought was a wry grin, "Not that I am adverse to coupling with you, regardless."

"Not interested." Joker let him go, checking her peripheral vision to see if his companions had taken notice.

"Allow me to at least introduce myself. I am Gregor Fetladral." he straightened himself up, "I do not believe we have me. You arrived with the Khan, Quiaff?"

"N... Neg." Joker caught herself in time, trying to play it off as embarrassment, "Did you say that the Khan is on planet"

"Aff. The great Black Widow herself, Natasha Kerensky." the Star Captain smiled, "Great news, Quiaff?"

"Indeed." Joker smiled in a way that didn't quite reach her eyes, "Absolutely brilliant news."

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