I was in the process of cleaning out the 7-year-old PC at my mum's, which I've just upgraded to a Mac mini :), when I rediscovered this file of mission descriptions that I had started back in 2003, when I was running EVO through Basilisk II on that PC. It never got much further than that, and as I couldn't work out how to get files out of the emulator in a way that they could be understood, I decided it wasn't worth working on it in that environment, but had no capable Mac one available at the time. Now I think it's not worth the effort because the Mac mini can't run ResEdit, I'm not familiar with the OS X plugin creation options, and I'm not so keen on the EVO Nova port.
So ... the descriptions are below. I always thought that storyline had potential, so, you know, if anyone's feeling more enthusiastic at this point ... :). Just see what you think.
"<PN>," comes a call from a far corner of the bar. You see some of the other Captains sitting around a table and walk towards them. "We thought that a proper debriefing was in order - drinks all around," says Jo, indicating yours, and you sit down. "Indeed," says Ian, "a lot has just changed in a very short time, and losing another base was not what any of us wanted. But we have, and I don't think that that we should just sit here and get used to it! <PN>, can we ask for your services again?"
"Good," he continues. "I have begun discussing this with the others, and we think that as we are no longer so threatened from the south, we should turn our focus towards our real enemies." At this point, Presley arrives at the table and continues the train of thought. "That's right - we know that we can safely devote more resources to that front now. And we can be fairly sure that the UE forces are concentrating on fighting the Voinians, and relying on the Independent worlds to keep us at bay." "Which brings us on to our plan," says Helen, making you wonder when they all had the time to discuss this without you. "We want to set up a new base, beyond the Independents but still not too close to UE space - if we can find such a place. We want you to explore this possibility for us, <PN>."
On landing, Sumer in the Meria system:
As you leave <PSN>, you see several people checking you out. "Hello," says one, "have you come to get us out of here?" You decide to be straight with them. "My name is <PN>, and I am one of the Captains of Freeport - you may have heard of us." The people take a few steps back, but their spokesman continues. "Yes, indeed, your group was well known even in the days when we were UE citizens. And if we still were, you would not be welcome here! But our view of the UE government has changed over the years that we have been left here." You realise that your purpose here has been guessed. "So you could be in support of a Renegade base in this system then?" The people discuss this for a moment, before the spokesman delivers their decision. "My name is Isden," he says, "and for the moment, let me say that my people would permit it." "Excellent," you say. "I will be back."
Return to Freeport:
You spend much of the return trip imagining what the Renegades might be able to achieve with a new base closer to the action. You land and step out to see all of the Captains assembled, and you prepare to break their suspense. "I come bearing good news," you begin, bringing smiles and words of thanks. "The <DSY> system could be just what we're looking for. It is well positioned, and there is even a colony on the planet there - that would support our presence," you say, lying slightly, but you got the feeling that they would - it would give them purpose, for a start, and a way off the planet. "That is welcome news," says Fred, "but it is only a start. We have devoted only a little time to considering our next move in your absence, not wanting to be overconfident of your success. Join us in the bar and we shall discuss it further. Oh, and here's a little cash to keep you motivated," he finishes, smiling.
You all enter the bar, and take your seats at the same table as before, where there are already drinks waiting. It seems that this was made the Captains' table after the treaty was signed. "Right," begins Jo, "obviously, in setting up a base, the next step would be to get people, and equipment, to the system. We think that this process should start with getting one of us there - could you help with that, <PN>?"
"We thank you, again," says Ian. "The only decision to make now is that of who should go. We didn't get that far while you were away. We could draw straws..." he goes on, but Fred interrupts. "I will go," he starts decisively. "I wouldn't have been so quick to speak, but for your mention of a colony on the planet, <PN>. Given that factor, it makes sense that I should go, in my role as peacekeeper." There are nods, and sighs of relief, from the other Captains - this was not a sought after role, you realise. "I will travel in an ordinary Turncoat, so that my presence is not so suspicious - all you have to do is get me there alive," continues Fred, looking in your direction. "Very well," you say, "<PSN> and I are ready when you are." And at that, you stand and head out to prepare your ship, as it isn't quite ready. Not a good day for the truth, you think, shaking your head.
On landing at Sumer:
Fred lands shortly after you and thanks you for the cover. "That was a reasonably uneventful trip," you say. "Yes, well I suppose it just shows that no one is onto us, yet." He hands you a credstick for your efforts.
At this point, you notice Isden approaching, and prepare for introductions. "Ahh, hello again," you begin, smiling. "Isden, this is Freeport Fred. I have brought him here to further our plans, and I am sure that he would like to speak with your people as well." The native seems pleased. "I am glad you returned as you said you would," he says, "although we never really doubted it. And before you ask, yes, we can provide temporary accommodation for your friend." Fred thanks him and then turns to you. "<PN>, if you want to wait in your ship, I'll have a look around here and then let you know what I need via the computer," he says. You nod and head for <PSN>.
Mission Computer on Sumer:
Note from Freeport Fred: I've had a brief look around the place and need your services again.
Fred appears on the screen in front of you. "Hi <PN>," he begins. "The stuff they've built here is quite amazing. Everything is connected and there are huge reinforced metal beams running every which way between floors for structural integrity against the earthquakes - it's a great example of the human ability to adapt to circumstances!" You smile at his enthusiasm, but feel the need to bring him back on topic. "That's great," you say, "I'll check it out when I get to spend some time here! What about the mission?" Fred nods and smiles. "I was coming to that. I think we're going to need to build a space station in the system. Go back to <DST> and tell the others - they'll know what it means."
On landing at Freeport:
You think a little about Fred's last line, "they'll know what it means," on the trip back. Of course they will, you think. You conclude that there was nothing deeper to it.
You are surprised to find that the other Captains are not there to meet you when you land, until you realise that you might not be the most important thing on their minds. Regardless, you head to the bar, thinking that that might be where they are.
At least you can rely on some things, you think, as you enter the bar to see only two spaces free at the Captains' table. You take yours, offer your greetings and, as the others fall silent, you begin. "Fred said to tell you that we are going to need to build a space station in the Sumer system," you say, and then hesitantly, "he said you would know what that means." At this, the others break into laughter, to your annoyance. Presley makes an effort to contain himself, seeing your reaction. "And I can see that this confused you a touch," he says. "Would you like me to explain?"
"Okay," he continues, "what Fred meant was that this is not the first time we've had to do this - just look at the station we're on. We represent an organization that stands against the main ruling body of our race, so we have to be nomadic - or at least we did before the Voinian War, as we were the only enemies of the UE. Anyway, we are pretty safe here, now, but Fred just reminded us of a whole lot of history in just a handful of words." When Presley finishes, silence overcomes the table again as everyone reminisces. You wait for a bit, and then to get attention, you clear your throat. Presley looks back at you and his expression changes as his thoughts return to the present. "Right, cargo. It's ready to go when you are, or rather when <PSN> is," he says, smiling. You walk off quietly, glad to have seen a different side to these Renegades.
On landing at Sumer:
When you land, you find that there is much more action planetside than there was before. It seems that Fred has really got the people organized, and in support of your cause. A group of dockworkers come to unload the cargo you were carrying, and you are about to head off to find Fred when another worker arrives. "Hi, I'm Gibson," he says. "Your man Fred has put me in charge of deliveries to and from this system - so I guess at the moment that means 'you.'" You are taken aback by his direct approach, before you realise that these people aren't used to dealing with outsiders. "I see," you say. "And what do you require of me now?" Gibson hands you a note and says, "take this back to Freeport - it's an inventory for the next shipment."
You are surprised to see that there is no one at the Captains' table when you enter the bar - in fact the whole place is pretty quiet. Regardless, you signal for a drink, take your seat and prepare to wait it out. After about a minute, one of the other few patrons, whom you don't recognise, comes over to you. "You could be waiting quite a while," he says. "Oh? What makes you say that?" you ask in response. "Well, a couple of days ago, most of the people around here with ships took off to check out the reported presence of Independent militia vessels outside their own systems - in fact, you must have just missed them!" This last remark really has you concerned. "What do you mean? What do you know?" you blurt. The man remains calm. "Come over to my table, and I'll show you," he says simply.
His table is quite nearby. "My name is Jindar, by the way. I'm something of a regular at this establishment," he starts after you both sit down. "As you can see, I am close enough to your table to know what is going on," he goes on, more seriously. "And it seems that the Independents have finally worked out that you're up to something. You might want to take your ship up in their direction!
Just then, another man rushes up to your table. "Actually, you might want to keep it here for a bit," he says, panting. "A few Strandless Renegade vessels have just entered the system, and we don't have much defence left here."