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Wing Commander Privateer: Masterson


Oxford Landing Pad
Oxford University

No Access

Masterson
Masterson: Excuse me, where do you think you’re going?
Burrows: I have some personal research I need to conduct.
Masterson: I’m sorry, sir, but access to the Oxford library files is restricted to students.
Burrows: Look, couldn’t I just buy a library card…?
Masterson: I’m afraid not. Good day to you, sir.

Bartender

Oxford University Bar

Didn’t I see you here, ’bout six months ago? You know, back when the Rondell Corporation was hiring mercs. No? Too bad. You could’ve cleaned up. They were looking for people with blockade experience… Oh well. Can’t win ’em all, I s’pose.

Have you heard the bad news? No one has been able to establish contact with Palan. It’s like the whole planet has just… disappeared. I got family there… I… had family there… Man… nobody in this bar needs a drink worse than me.

Get this. Kilrathi patrols are sweeping the outskirts of Rygannon. Nothing there but refineries, but they’re flying sweep patterns… almost like they’re looking for something. Weird, huh? I’m glad I’m running a bar and not flying any more. It’s getting crazy out there!

Beastly affair. Seems the InterSys Patrols are looking for a murderer. He eliminated a diplomatic party on Matahari. Ten dead. Horrid. I hear this was done to stall negotiations with Oresville, prolonging the labour disputes. What do you think?

Masterson

Masterson 1

Masterson: I’m sorry, but library use is restricted to students and teachers only.
Burrows: Yeah? What makes you think I’m not enrolled at Oxford?
Masterson: Students don’t generally conduct research while armed.
Burrows: Okay, you got me there. I’m a privateer.
Masterson: Sorry, access exceptions are only made for endowment sponsors.
Burrows: Then how would I go about doing that? Making an endowment?
Masterson: If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.
Burrows: Okay, maybe we could work a trade. I could fly for the University… say, four runs at a reduced rate in exchange for access to your files, Mr…?
Masterson: …Masterson. Yes, your offer might substitute for an endowment… You could start with an escort mission which pays 10000 credits.
Accept:
Masterson: Good, now listen. We need you to escort someone to Oxford. You will find him in the Oxford system, in the vicinity of Nav 3. The man you are to escort here is named Hunter Toth.
Burrows: Hunter Toth? He wrote that book, what was it…?
Masterson: Prometheus Unplugged. The Church of Man has marked him for death because of it. He’s scheduled to give a commencement speech here… and he’s already cashed the chit. Unfortunately, the Church of Man has vowed he will never reach Oxford.
Burrows: That’s one vow those freaks will have to break. I’ll bring him. Count on it.
Reject:
Burrows: Forget it. What do I look like, a charity?
Masterson: You’re the one who brought this matter up. If you’re not interested in working for Oxford, then don’t waste my time.
Masterson: Back again, eh? You must need library access rather badly.
Burrows: Let’s just say I’m reconsidering. What are the mission details?
Masterson: Oxford will pay you 10000 credits to escort Hunter Toth here. Toth has agreed to deliver the commencement speech this year. You’ll link up with him at Oxford system, Nav 3… and protect him from Church of Man fanatics who want to kill him. Return here for your payment and next mission. Have we got a deal?
Accept:
Masterson: Good. Time is of the essence. Toth is in grave danger.
Burrows: This Hunter Toth, he wrote that book… what was it…?
Masterson: Prometheus Unplugged. The Church of Man has marked him for death because of it. Unfortunately, the Church of Man has vowed he will never reach Oxford.
Burrows: That’s one vow those freaks will have to break. I’ll bring him. Count on it.
Reject:
Burrows: No thanks, I’m still not a charity worker.
Masterson: The University cannot afford to pay more. If you’re not interested in working for Oxford, then quit wasting my time.
Masterson: Where’s Hunter Toth?
Burrows: Still hanging around Nav 3 of the Oxford system, I suppose. I haven’t flown the mission yet.
Masterson: Maybe I didn’t make myself clear. Time is of the essence! Toth is scheduled to deliver the Oxford commencement speech in just a few days! You’ll meet him at Nav 3 in the Oxford system… and escort him here, protecting him from Church of Man fanatics who want him dead.
Burrows: All right, all right. I’ll bring him in alive… or die trying.
Masterson: Oh, that’s a big comfort.
Fly Masterson 1
Speech
Burrows:
  1. You must be the guy I’m looking for.
  2. If this is Nav 3, you’re my man.
  3. Is Hunter Toth aboard?
Toth: Oh dear, are you one of those dreadful Retros?
Burrows: Hey, I’m no Retro.
Toth: Please, tell me you’re not here to kill me!
Burrows:
  1. Sir, I’m here to escort you to Oxford.
  2. I hate cowards. You’re a dead man.
Toth:
  1. Thank you, young man. I just hope we don’t encounter any Retros…
  2. Oh gracious me!
Burrows:
  1. Don’t worry. You’re in good hands.
  2. If we do, we’re dead meat.
Toth:
  1. Of that I’m sure.
  2. Oh gracious me!
Speech Speech
Retro: Hunter Toth! You are hereby sentenced to death for your heresy! The execution shall commence… now!
Burrows:
  1. I’ll slow roast your guts!
  2. Retros tick me off!
  3. You’re making me very, very angry.
  4. Eat this, freak!
Retro: Toth, forget Oxford, your next stop is hell!

Masterson 2

Masterson: I and the Oxford Graduating Class thank you for delivering Mr Toth unharmed.
Burrows: Think of it as a tribute to free speech. What’s your second mission?
Masterson: Some low-level data pirates have been troubling us. We would like you to intercept them, and end their activities. This mission pays 10000 credits upon completion. Can you do it?
Accept:
Burrows: Sounds easy enough. Where can I find these hackers?
Masterson: They operate a ship that hides somewhere in the Oxford system. From their vessel they somehow tap into our database remotely. No one knows how. Information is copied from the Library and then our memory is deleted. Afterwards, they try to sell our own information back to us! More often than not, we lose it anyway. It goes to the highest bidder. We simply cannot afford to outbid the private sector.
Burrows: Yeah, I can tell how strapped Oxford is for capital, ever since you started letting smugglers like me make endowments. Any other leads? That’s not much to go on.
Masterson: Only one. The name of the ship is The Black Rhombus. Return here for your payment and third assignment. Good luck, privateer.
Reject:
Burrows: Forget it. I’m already tired of this deal, Mr Masterson.
Masterson: I see. A pity you’ll never discover whatever you came here to learn… Ah well. Higher education isn’t for everyone.
Masterson: Back so soon? Data pirates are tapping into the Oxford database, stealing information and then deleting it from our files! They operate out of a vessel called The Black Rhombus currently located somewhere in the Oxford system. Return here for your fee of 10000 credits after you’ve ended their piracy. Do we have a deal?
Accept:
Masterson: Excellent. I will have your third assignment ready for you when you return.
Reject:
Burrows: Sorry. I’ve had enough higher education.
Masterson: Were you able to locate the database pirates?
Burrows: I haven’t got around to looking for them just yet…
Masterson: What are you waiting for? They’re stealing information from our library and then deleting it from our banks! If you want access to our files – those that are intact – you’d better get moving!
Burrows: Okay, don’t blow your stack…
Masterson: The pirates are doing a good job of that already! Now, they’re on a ship called The Black Rhombus. Don’t come back for your 10000 credits until they’re taken care of!
Fly Masterson 2
Speech Speech
Pirate: Oxford has no right to hoard data! Access is ours!
Knowledge belongs to the galaxy, you fascist!

Masterson 3

Burrows: Okay, Masterson. Those pirates won’t be hassling you again.
Masterson: That will be a welcome change. How did you manage…?
Burrows: Right now I’m more interested in getting into your stacks… nothing personal.
Masterson: Perhaps if you told me what you’re looking for I could find it for you. The fee for research is much lower than that required for private access.
Burrows: I don’t think so. This is private business.
Masterson: Might there be a large sum of money involved?
Burrows: Might you be looking for disability payments?
Masterson: Really, you needn’t be threatened that I’ve discovered your intent. People are always coming here to research one treasure or another. But enough of this. We have a shipment of rare and valuable books en route here. The ship bringing them in needs an escort. We’ll pay you the usual 10000 credits upon your return…
Accept:
Burrows: Okay, where can I intercept the courier?
Masterson: Vulcan’s Forge is awaiting her escort at Nav 3 in the Oxford system.
Burrows: Any particular reason it needs an escort?
Masterson: Several unscrupulous collectors have offered a… finder’s fee for the books.
Burrows: Don’t worry. I’ll bring them in… safe and sound.
Reject:
Burrows: Sorry, pal. Books aren’t exactly my speed.
Masterson: No doubt. Still, this is the largest repository of information in the sector. You’ll be back, sooner or later…
Masterson: I hope you’ve changed your mind. I’m against the wall, so to speak. I need someone to escort Vulcan’s Forge to Oxford. She’s carrying a load of rare books here, books many collectors would kill to have. Vulcan’s Forge is awaiting her escort at Nav 3, Oxford system. Rendezvous with her and bring her back here. After your successful return, meet me here for your usual payment of 10000 credits. This mission will count as your third instalment towards your endowment to Oxford, which will get you access to our files… sooner or later.
Burrows: Better make that sooner, Masterson.
Masterson: That depends on you. Are you in?
Accept:
Burrows: Don’t worry. I’ll bring them in… safe and sound.
Reject:
Burrows: No, I’m out. Books aren’t for me. I’ll see you later, Masterson.
Masterson: I’m sure you will.
Masterson: So… where are my books?
Burrows: Sorry Masterson, I haven’t been in the neighbourhood of Nav 3, Oxford lately.
Masterson: Unbelievable! Vulcan’s Forge has a cargo-hold full of priceless books… she’s a sitting duck waiting for you to escort her here, and you’re wasting time! If you want library access, you’d better do your job and return here with good news… unless you’re no longer interested in that 10000.
Burrows: Point taken. I’ll get to Nav 3 ASAP… and I promise you, none of those book collectors will get to her.
Masterson: They’d better not! Any one of those books is worth more than you make in a year!
Burrows: Give me the library clearance I need, and we’ll see about that
Fly Masterson 3
Speech Speech
Hunter: Those books go in my hold or up in flames!

Masterson 4

Masterson: I don’t have time to swap pleasantries. Here’s your payment of 10000 credits for the last mission. We have an incoming freighter laden with materials about to be attacked by several fighters. Valuables as well as vital supplies are aboard. You’ll probably find it somewhere near Nav 1, Oxford system. Rendezvous with the freighter and bring it back safely… and return here for library access, along with a final payment of 10000 credits.
Burrows: How long before they strike?
Masterson: They could arrive at any moment. Please, will you help?
Accept:
Burrows: Okay, I’ll save your freighter. But I’d better get full access to the library… heck, you better name an entire wing after me!
Masterson: Stop stalling and save that freighter!
Burrows: Touchy, touchy…
Reject:
Burrows: Shove it, pal. Consider this payback for all the flak you’ve given me.
Masterson: Unless you take this mission, consider our agreement terminated. Whatever your angle is, you might as well forget about it paying off.
Masterson: Look, our freighter is about to be attacked, and I don’t have time to waste with you. That freighter is carrying vital supplies, and we can’t afford to lose it. It’s at Nav 1, Oxford. I told you, if you want 10000 credits and access to our files, you need to defend it! Your endowment will be complete as soon as you return here successfully. Will you help us, or not?
Accept:
Burrows: Okay, I’ll save your freighter. But I’d better get full access to the library… heck, you better name an entire wing after me!
Masterson: Stop stalling and save that freighter!
Burrows: Touchy, touchy…
Reject:
Burrows: Forget it, Masterson. This mission looks like a suicide run. I need the information, but it’s only useful to me if I’m around to enjoy it.
Masterson: Of all the… what are you doing here? Our freighter is being attacked even now! Unless you hurry up, vital supplies will be lost!
Burrows: Well, I…
Masterson: What are you standing there for? Get to Nav 1 and protect our freighter… or kiss your precious access good-bye. NOW MOVE!
Fly Masterson 4

Complete

Masterson: The freighter is safe, thanks to you.
Burrows: Skip the hearts and flowers. My library access…?
Masterson: Everything has been arranged. And here’s your final payment of 10000 credits. Good luck with that personal business. I hope you find what you’re looking for.
Oxford Library
Analysing artefact…
Entry 1009872: Monkhouse, Lemuel A.
See Dr Lemuel Monkhouse on Palan agricultural planet, in the Palan system.

Failure

Burrows: So what’s next? Evicting bookworms? Repossessing delinquent library cards?
Masterson: How about retirement?
Burrows: What do you mean?
Masterson: Our deal is null and void. You failed a task I gave you. That’s not the way to earn access to the Oxford Library, sir.
Burrows: Look, I need that access. Just give me another chance.
Masterson: Impossible, I’m afraid. Now kindly leave… or I’ll have security assist you out.

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