Kilnday Middleweek, Fieldfire 147/32

The great outdoors. I'm on a hillside west of Aulenfay with Lake Elmen glittering in that yellowy-setty-sun kind of glow. There's all these bright isnects around and Malv is starting up a fire even though we don't need one cause it's really nice out. Bit cooked from being out in the sun and probably shouldn't have started drinking quite so early but hey. New destnation tomorrow. Where, you ask, little Captain's Log?

Wouldn't you like to know?

Right, well you can probably tell that I'm not dead since I'm wirting this. In fact it all went pretty swimmingly, truth to tell. Everybody still here, no need to go trawling for replacements. I hate taking on new crew, I worked bloody hard to get those ones. It's not easy finding men who'll work for what I pay 'em, hahaha.

So this is what happened. Yesterday we met Gotch and his thugs in the port like we agreed, and they brought a canister of aerium and even rolled it on board for us which was pretty nice. Then they all piled into some junker and we were supposed to follow them in the Ketty Jay, Pinn and Harkins flying cover in the Skylance and the Firecrow. Plan was that we set down someway from the bad lot's hideout - which was out of town a way - and then we plough in there guns blazing and hpefully catch em on the hop. So there's twenty of us, or therabouts, me and the crew included. Not Silo though, they got all funny about having a Murthian with em. Silo couldn't care less so he stayed in the engine room which is practically where he lives anyway.

We set down, we creep up to the hideout, so far so good. Then we get there and alarm bells start ringing, cause there's something like thirty buildings there, I mean it's a whole little town. I say why don't we just fly in and machine gun the shit out of it but Gotch doesn't like that, he says they might get away. But I saw it on his face that he knew he'd screwed up but he couldn't go back without looking like a coward. Bad information, tut tut. You'd think he'd learn.

Well, someone sees us then cause to be honest we werne't hiding very well. Someone's clanging a bell, people start coming out, and already I can see there's twenty of them and half of them are still probably inside. Doesn't stop Gotch. He's all flush with the element of surprise. He jumps to his feet. 'Get em boys!' I jump up and go 'Come on, men!' or something, then all his men go charging down the hill and all my crew run the other way cause we're not stupid. We could still hear em shooting in the distance by the time we made it back to the craft and got out of there. Dunno what happened to Gotch but I reckon he'll need more than a tin ear this time.

I have a keen sense of things sometimes. Instinct, if you like. I'm good at picking sides. And one look at that lot flooding out of those buildings told me I was on the wrong one. There's gonna be a changing of the guard in Craven's Nook, if it hasn't happened already. Gotch is out. Someone I dont know is in.

Still, I reckoned that coming away with single canister of aerium wasn't exactly fair. I mean, thanks to Gotch we could've all been killed. So we flew back to his little hideout, since just about all his men were off fighting or dead, and we robbed the rest of the arium and a bunch more besides. There were couple of guards, but we had more 'n a couple of shotguns. Anyway, they were nice enough about it once I said they could have what we didn't take.

After that I reckoned it wasn't smart to be around Craven's Nook for a while so we headed off and fetched up here. Breeze off the lake is nice. Might go to Aulenfay later, find a game of Rake. Oh, wait, I can't, I forgot. We made a plan, that's right. I'm tapping my nose with my free hand but I suppose you can't tell cause you're a book.

Okay, enough. Tonight we're having a celebration. Me, Malvery, Pinn, Harkins, Keddle. Maybe Silo will come out, not that he'll actually say anything. Even Slag might come and watch, but he won't come past the cargo ramp. Fourteen years he's never been off that ship, not since he was a teeny kitten. He can beat the crap out of rats the size of your arm but he's scared blind of the sky.

Fourteen years? Damn, shouldn't he be dead soon? That's one old cat.