At 1700 local time, the Star & Garter on Lewitt Port was quiet. Bernie, the bartender, was busy restocking the coolers in preparation for the later arrival of pilots belonging to the 8th Dragon Squadron who appeared to have quite an insatiable thirst for all things alcoholic. Bernie’s supplies of Centauri Mega Gin had also become quite low, a favourite among a few select members of said group with a penchant for something a little stronger than the more commonly ordered Gerasian Geuze Beer.

The bartender had served only a few people today and the majority of seats within the establishment were empty. A couple of local traders sat chatting quietly among themselves at the bar nursing their drinks, while in the corner, the best seats in the house, sat five of the 8th Dragon Squadron pilots.

“So. Things are not going well for us right now, are they? said CMDR Walford, shuffling a deck of cards absent mindedly in his hands. “Have you seen today’s public approval ratings, guys?”

“Yes.” said CMDR Starwarker. “Emperor’s Grace are losing ground quickly. After such a magnificent start, this doesnt paint a pretty picture for the 8th in Imperial eyes. What do you think is happening?”

Emperor’s Grace, the Imperial faction that owned Lewitt Port had managed to raise their profile to hold over 70% of the local distribution of power in Gliese 900.1, only to have watched it plummet by over 15% in just 3 days.

“A number of factors, gents. I am of the firm belief that the false propaganda regarding this invisible war between us and the Liberals over Barr Station is having a negative effect on Grace’s public image. No one likes war. People are scared.” said CMDR Furieux, clearly nursing a hangover.

CMDR DRY411S, the Dragon Intelligence Officer nodded in agreement. “You might have a point, Furieux. Intel also suggests that due to the high profile and high financial rewards for supplying Syromyanikov with metals, we are seeing an increase in trading vessels coming into Gliese and buying it at stations that we had embargoed. I dont suppose there is much we can do about that bar shooting them down.” he said, “Not a good idea really. We dont want a reputation for being outlaws. It might harm our future contracts. I also suspect Lecretius’ motives for bringing us here. The situation here is not as it first seemed, as my initial investigations and subsequent house arrest, when I got closer to the truth prove.”

“I agree,” said CMDR Drazik. “We cant start shooting down civilians to forward our goals. We just need to increase our own trading to offset the amount of new business arriving. That said, I was made aware that a number of our crew are bounty hunting in the rings out at A10 and beyond. Doesnt this mean we are essentially doing the Liberal Security Force a favour?”

“Correct,” Furieux replied. We need to ensure that no more wanted pilots are subdued within these borders. We need to create chaos, and these pirates are helping us do that. If any ships need to be shot down, its the Liberals. Something I am sure you will all take much pleasure in.” he grinned, taking a long chug on his beer.

“Hell yeah! Just show me who to shoot!” cried Walford, the wide smile emphasizing his glee at the prospect.

“We also cant forget that Emperor’s Grace’s contracts are being completed. Sure, most of them dont pay well, but Lucretius was pretty adamant that these are our first priority.” reminded Starwarker.

The Dragons nodded their agreement and prepared to set off to put these plans into action. Not, however, before finishing their drinks.

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