Journal of a Starfinder: Entry 4
William Fike Log Entry....
The day was somewhat problematic. We arrive at the coordinates given to us by Colonial Command a few kilometers away from Arim Station. It was important for us to keep our distance from the station so as not to attract unwanted attention to our famous ship and this side mission. It was decided that we would send one of the two transports sitting in our ships small hanger bay to pick up the negotiator. Sgt Issac Howard and three of his marines would go. At the last minute I was asked to go along, being one of the few people on board the Stellar Hope who could speak Arimin, the language that had developed among the colonies in the Arim star system. I agreed nervously.
We boarded the small transport, after using black paint to cover any identifying marks, at around ten in the morning and departed the Stellar Hope for Arim Station, which did not take long to reach. The docking bay we landed in was mostly cleared out and as planned, a member of station security was standing by to escort us. Station Command had been informed of our visit, though they were not given details on where we were taking the negotiator, and had coordinated with Captain Hall to ensure that our rendezvous went mostly unseen.
We were led down an empty corridor and into a small room where our target was waiting. I greeted him in his native tongue and explained that we were his ride, though he revealed that he could somewhat speak our language. I would later find that he shared my hobby in linguistics, a skill I would expect a negotiator to have. We helped him with his bags and quickly headed back out into the corridor being guided by two members of station security this time.
When we got back to the docking bay things took a turn for the worst, as soon as the bay doors opened a large crowd rushed to meet us. There were excited civilians and media with cameras rushing at us hoping to ask us questions and meet us. "What the hell is this?!" I heard Sgt Howard say as he took his service cap and gave it to our target to use as a cover for his face. The marines, and station security quickly took up formation around the negotiator and pushed through the crowd towards the ship.
I stayed as calm as I could trying to help push back the excited crowd from behind the formation with Sgt Howard when I saw a cloaked figure approaching us from the side with something metallic and sharp looking in his hands by his side in an attempt to keep it out of site. Sgt Howard saw it too and he yelled out to Pvt Riles. Before I could say anything the cloaked figure had made his way to Riles side and took a stab at the negotiator. In an impressive show of reflex and strength, Riles caught the mans hand and I assume he broke it making the blade fall from the attackers hand, then used his other hand to shove the man to the ground at which time station security came and subdued him. I barely had time to turn my head back to see what happened next as we were rushed onto the ship and took off immediately.
I spent the ride back to Stellar Hope trying to calm my nerves and I could see that our target was just as shaken as I was, though the marines all seemed calm, even Pvt Riles who had saved the negotiators life. I could tell however that Sgt Howard was angry. Something had gone very wrong, somewhere someone spilled the beans and gave hostile forces an opportunity to attempt to end negotiations early.
When we got back to the ship, I was greeted by Thomas Francis and a glass of wine to take the nerve off. Captain Hall soon greeted the returning marines and the negotiator who was soon sent to an extra quarters to rest off the nervousness. I too was ordered to take the rest of the day to calm nerves and even managed to receive a nod from Sgt Howard which was his way of saying he approved of my levelheadedness in a tight situation.
Later that night at dinner in the captains quarters, something that was quickly becoming tradition, it was revealed that someone on staff at Arim Station had allowed the news to get out to the media for a price that the Stellar Hope would be in the area, and even told them when and where to be to see us. After long interrogation it was decided that he was not working for a hostile group, and that he was only looking to increase his personal wealth. But Captain Hall was furious. By now it would be all over the systems news networks that Stellar Hope was at Arim station, seen escorting someone to their ship. This makes our job much harder and much more dangerous. It will be another sleepless night....