fter the Damocles force destroyed the hostile Hsifian Khanate,
the spatial backwater known as Delta became a wasteland littered with disintegrated
spacecraft. The few pilots who entered Delta returned with tales of hulks bearing
artifacts of tremendous technological advancement.
Many disregarded the stories as jokes or legends, but one man believed. After a
particularly crippling Stock Market crash, Woodward, the chairman of a Terran
mega-corporation sought out the nearest bar where he could drown his sorrows. Three
Andromedan Wilt-wines later, he found himself being talked to by a bewhiskered bar-fly
whose tongue was obviously oiled with liquor. He was an
ex-member of the Damocles force, who was court-martialed and drummed out of the service
because of his drinking habits. Yes, he said, he had often been through the Delta and seen
the hulks and their treasures, but heavily-armed robot defence systems prevented anyone
from looting the ships.
Then the man grinned a drunken grin and drew out a metallic cylinder from inside his
oily raincoat. This, he told Woodward, was the only piece of Hsiffian technology anyone
had managed to bring out of Delta. Woodward had heard rumours of the treasures, and though
the wine had long-since taken effect, he was sober enough to know that this was the key to
his company's financial problems. He bought the man a drink: he had a plan that couldn't
Yeah, that's what he told you as well, but now it's your butt up
in Delta, flying your tiny fighter into the jaws of eight levels of Hsiffian defences, on
your own apart from the highly dubious-looking guy they picked to partner you. You have to
admit, these Hsiffies may have been treacherous sons-of-bitches, but they sure knew how to
build spaceships, and these structures are incredible... it's gonna be a shame to blast
them to pieces.
And there's bound to be plenty of that - blasting, that is. Woodward had your ships
kitted out with the latest in laser armaments and rechargeable super-weapons. But then he
would, wouldn't he? He won't make any money if you don't come back.
This is going to be easier than you thought... Or maybe not...
From - November 1988