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Chapter 179 - What Could Go Wrong[]

Onverwacht (Former Outworlds System)
25th October, 3044

Colonel Alfred Dortman looked at the remains of the only known cache on Onverwacht. It had been blown open and looted many, many years ago. He informed everyone to load up. "Let's go, someone got here long before us so no sense in wasting any more time here."

Many miles away, Major General David Mitchell had the prisoners formed into a large formation. It made some of the prisoners a little nervous, which was a good thing in his eyes. "I have had you formed up to hear your options. I am going to let each of you decide your own fate. Neither I nor my people like pirates and we like slavers even worse. But it has come to my attention that all of you are guilty of only being a part of a pirate band. That deserves some consideration. I will be frank, there are those in my command that would rather shoot the lot of you just for being part of a pirate band that held captives. Listen carefully to your options."

"Option One, you can stay here with the locals that have chosen to remain here. You will take the same risk as those you once held captive. Some other pirate band might come across you here."

"Option Two, you can vow to protect those that stay here, and we will give you the means to do so. Those same pirates might still come, but at least you have a chance to defend yourself."

"Option Three, you elect to come with us. I caution you; this has a price. You agree to a five year contract. The first year, is going to be some very hard work, general labor, whatever we need bodies for. You will have to earn your place with us. Keep your nose clean, have a clean record and maybe you will earn a place among us. Those that have earned their place will be offered a chance to join us full time. If at the end of five years, even keeping your record with us clean, you are not selected to join us, you will be allowed to live the rest of your days on our home world as free men or women."

"Option Four, for those that do not select the other three options, will be turned over to the Federated Commonwealth for them to deal with you as they see fit. Piracy carries a mandatory 20 year prison sentence with no parole if there are no other charges added. This you are all guilty of, just being part of a pirate band gets you a 20 year sentence."

"I expect an answer tomorrow on your personal selection. This might be the last chance you get to atone for any misdeeds you might have done and have a clean record." He turned and walked away, Staff Sergeant Adolfo and the others were with the new recruits discussing the fifth option. He would not force them to accept the former pirates among them, that was their decision to make.

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