All across the surface of Caerus 5 people rejoiced. Citizens of all nations worldwide were celebrating the downfall of Caerus Systems and the sudden rise to power of the Freedom Party. No longer bound to Federal law, people felt liberated, free, and the future seemed so very much brighter. News channels systemwide were praising Nandez on his victory, who had not made himself available to any media companies. Lt. General Ramirez however, was seen giving an interview on one of the more prominent talk shows broadcast in the sector. Caerus Comms Partners had issued a press release saying that they will no longer be supporting Caerus Systems or any more Federal incursions into the system. Many pundits had speculated that the still considerably wealthy party were simply jumping ship to ensure their own survival. The Democrats of Caerus, owners of the orbital platform over Caerus 6, Knight Station, refused to comment on the recent events, which was typical of their ‘mind your own business’ stance.
On Heinlein Terminal, home to the new HQ of the Freedom Party, the celebrations were in full swing. In the Star & Garter, members of the mercenary group the 8th Dragon Squadron were living up to their reputation. Drinks were flowing freely, funded by credits awarded for services rendered to the Freedom Party. Every merc was fully aware that without their help, Nandez’ crew would have never made such an impact in Caerus in such a short space of time. The Squadron had become a force to be reckoned with, effective in their duty and would not stop until their contract was completed. The payout this time was substantial, and there was a real feeling of elation in the bar.
The Dragon mercs had a tendency to pick the best seats in the house and just overtake them, much like they do with property in space for their clients. At the back of the bar, over twenty of them sat laughing, joking and telling stories of their exploits during the many wars and sub contracts that they had been involved in throughout Caerus and nearby systems. There were a few new faces, Commanders Collins, McCaffrey and Marfe were all heavily engaged in the conflicts and many others such as Unfazed and Zas’Haemis vas Wodir who had been old hands since back during the formation in Eta Draconis were present. Some of the regulars were missing. Walford had decided to spend his ‘peace time’ exploring the galaxy along with Star and a few others. CMDR DRY411S had decided to gather some intel down on the surface of Caerus 5. Starwarker, Drazik, Mantobani and Mohizz however, were deep in conversation.
“No sign of him anywhere?” asked Drazik, leaning in towards the other three so they could hear him over the music, some new genre that the kids were into these days.
Starwarker shook his head. “Nothing. Some of the guys had claimed to have seen him flying a Vulture a few days ago before the war ended, the vessel was registered to him but his flight techniques were different.”
“You mean he was actually flying well?” laughed Mantobani. The others grinned.
“Joking aside, it is strange that he isn’t here.” said Mohizz, quaffing his drink. “Not like Furieux to miss a party, especially during a victory celebration. Adamantium even brought some weird new drinks in from across the galaxy. Some of that stuff is amazing.”
“Yeah! I tried some of that Bast Snake pisswater earlier, you could power an Anaconda with that booze. But what do you mean joking aside? Furieux flies like a maniac! He does more damage to our ships by crashing into them than my targets do!” Drazik said.
A new voice interrupted their conversation.
“Good evening gentlemen. Do you mind if I sit with you?”
She stood at the edge of the booth, and looked at each of them in turn. Her pristine white flight suit was a stark contrast to her pixie-like flaming red hair. She was of average height, slim, and held herself in a straight backed, business-like posture. Pretty, but not intimidatingly so.
“Private table, miss. Find somewhere else to sit.” grunted Drazik, before taking a long slug on his beer.
Mohizz looked up in her direction and his eyes widened in surprise. “Guys, this is…”
Starwarker cut in. “This area of the bar is reserved for Dragon Squadron members only.”
“Well that’s fortunate, as it is the Dragon Squadron I am looking for. Are you always this friendly to outsiders? A little manners go a long way, you know. ” She sat down next to Mohizz who gave her some room. The other two commanders tossed him the evil eye. “You see, Mohizz here and I already know each other. Pilot of the Gungnir’s Might, correct? I’ll have a glass of water please. ” Mohizz nodded. Starwarker and Drazik looked at each other in puzzlement.
“Listen lady, I don’t know who you are and I don’t particularly like the way you just swan in here like you own the place. Mohizz, who is this woman?” asked Drazik, suspicious as usual.
“This is…” Mohizz was cut off again.
“I will speak for myself thank you very much. My name is Anais Furieux. I hail from Darwyn, Zeta Tucanae. Now. Which one of you pissed up louts is going to tell me where my motherforsaken brother is?”