General Danel Qurno lightly slapped the dull grey hull. “She’s a bit space-worn, but she’ll hold together.” The freighter loomed in the newly-erected hangar of Resolute Base. Nova Couriers weren’t that old, but this one had clearly seen her share of the war. Still, a ship’s a ship.
Qurno offered a rare smile. “Besides, I’m sure you can keep anything with burners aloft. It’s a shame to lose you. But we all do our own part.”
He called attention to the personnel assembled in the hangar and cleared this throat. "The YKL-37R Nova Courier Longshot is hereby decommissioned from Alliance service. As payment for services rendered, she is bequeathed to independent operator Let Rindo and his crew. "
Qurno then offered his hand to shake Rindo’s, “She’s all yours—Captain.” The assembled troopers offer an extended moment of applause before the general dismisses them to their duties. He then hands a datapad to the new captain of the Longshot.
It lights up to read:
Be it known that Let Rindo, owner of the private vessel Longshot, is now recognized by the Alliance to Restore the Republic as license to conduct raids upon the Imperial government, subsidiaries, and supporters, to capture such cargo, properties and vessels as they may own, and to deliver them unto the Alliance. Further, to capture officers of the Imperial military, government, and supporters. He is also authorized and expected to pursue the war against the Empire as he is able, while in no case endangering the innocent civilian public and without causing undue damage to property.
The owner shall surrender all proceeds of such activities to the review of the Alliance, and in return shall be awarded 50 percent of their value. The Alliance shall also award fixed bounties for the confirmed destruction of Imperial properties.
In return, the Alliance shall render such aid as it can, subject to availability and discretion, including shelter, intelligence, repair, stocking, and fueling. Those members of the crew, formerly criminals, are hereby granted amnesty, so long as they serve our cause, or until the Empire is destroyed, and do not commit further crimes. Should they do so, they shall be subject to all charges, and summarily imprisoned.
All slaves found in the course of duty shall be free, all illicit substances destroyed. The Alliance may choose to buy an entire cargo, as needed.
This letter shall hold in effect for one year from its date, when it shall be reviewed. If either party is dissatisfied, the contract may be dissolved. The Alliance reserves the right to assign observers to the ship, for the purpose of this review.
Supreme Allied Commander
Ordnance and Supply
Qurno signals the controllers to prepare for the Longshot’s takeoff, giving the crew some final advice on the ramp. “Keep your nose clean, or at least where we can’t see it.”
Weeks into their new career as privateers, the Longshot receives a message from Alliance Intelligence, their previous acquaintance Airen Cracken. “We have a lead on some possible materiel. We’ll need someone of your…disposition. The technology firm IsoTech is looking for freelancers. He’s keeping it hushed, but our sources suggest it’s a hell of a catch. Make your way to The Wheel and get a meeting with Reom, president of IsoTech. Cracken out.”