Log #214 – Search for the Forgotten15

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In my search for the Forgotten15 drug cartel, I followed shady people, mysteries and menacing clues.

The wind moved the plants of the small plantation back and forth and gently stroked my face. With my eyes closed, I looked into the sun. The warm rays conjured up goose bumps on my body.

“Zero, let the past and the world outside rest. Only the here and now counts.”

I turned my head and looked the settler in the eye. Nodding, I lifted my beer bottle. It clinked softly as his clinked against it. The sound of the glass reminded me how fragile the relationship was that I had built up over the last few days in the scrap metal settlement. I decided not to ask any more questions.

With nothing but scrap metal and whatever resources could be found locally, the settlers had built a small farm. In the middle of this beautiful green valley. They had everything they needed to live. Food, drink, freedom and peace. That was all they wanted. They just wanted to leave behind what they had fled from. They didn’t want to tell me anything about their past, not even when I asked them about the diary I had found here.

Even the medical and agricultural products I had brought with me didn’t make them any more talkative. So I had no choice but to enjoy the peace and quiet of this beautiful place. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay any longer. The search for the Forgotten15 urged me to leave. I already had an idea of where I would continue my search. But I wanted to spend one more night here in the Moreland Hills.


My memory had not deceived me. The last time I was in Harpers Point, I had seen drugs in one of the makeshift huts. It was far more than the inhabitants of the settlement needed for their own consumption. As peaceful as this place was, there had to be more behind the façade. Maybe even so much more that I could get information about the Forgotten15 drug cartel here.

“Hey Zero. Bringing relief supplies again?”

“Not this time. But if you need anything, let me know. I can always deliver whatever you need. But today I need something. Information about the Forgotten15.”

At the word Forgotten15, the settler seemed to freeze. He looked at me urgently. Time seemed to stand still, as if we were in a freeze frame. Even the crackling of the campfire and the rustling of the trees fell silent. Finally, the settler broke out of his stupor. He seemed to choose his words carefully.

“The Forgotten15? Yes, well. Weren’t they smashed when Thane McMarshall killed the leader?”

“Thane McMarshall?” I asked, puzzled.

“Yes, that’s what I heard.”

Thoughtfully, I returned to my spaceship. The information surprised me. Kjeld Stormanson had told me that the Forgotten15 were hiding in the mountains of Microtech. He hadn’t mentioned anything about Thane killing the leader. Had the settler even told me the truth? I had the feeling that he was hiding something from me. I needed more information.

In New Babbage, I received confirmation. Thane had indeed shot the leader of the Forgotten15 drug cartel, Xin Roderic Miles, during a raid. I also learned that Xin Miles was married to Elaine Vanil. I learned nothing about the fate of the Forgotten15 or Elaine Vanil. At least I had a name I could ask about.


I had been going to various settlements for days to ask about Elaine Vanil. I got no information, except that I should be careful. Some people would come looking for me because they don’t like it when you ask too many questions. I seemed to be on the right track. It was a dangerous trail.

I finally made some headway in Dunboro. I met a shady guy who was willing to talk in exchange for a few favors. And talk he did. He told me that Elaine Vanil was also called the “Widow” and that the Forgotten15 in Microtech was still supplying drugs to high society. The Widow had also infiltrated BlacJac Security on the planet ArcCorp. But he didn’t know where I could find Elaine Vanil.

Were these all just rumors? Or was the guy telling the truth? I had to get to ArcCorp. If there was any truth to it, Tecia “Twitch” Pacheco would know. She was a former employee of BlacJac Security, then switched sides and was now dealing drugs. I had worked for Twitch before and knew that my question alone would cost me something. Not money, but a favor that she would one day redeem. A price I would have to pay if I wanted to find the widow.


The rugged green-brown mountains of Microtech passed beneath me. Once again I was approaching Moreland Hills. But this time I wasn’t heading for the farm in the valley, but the Razor’s Edge fortress at the top of the mountain. I wondered why I hadn’t flown straight up the mountain after leaving the farm. Why hadn’t I started my search for the Forgotten15 there? It could have saved me a lot of work, trouble, threats and unpleasant favors I had to do for shady characters.

I had learned from Twitch that BlacJac Security and the ArcCorp Bureau of Drugs, Firearms and Explosives were waging a brutal war against the drug underground in ArcCorp. She didn’t seem to know anything about Elaine Vanil, but she told me that there was a pipeline of weapons and Tigerclaws between Grim Hex and ArcCorp. I didn’t get any information about Elaine in Grim Hex either. They referred me to an illegal arms dealer in Razor’s Edge. So the circle was complete and I was back where I had started my search for the Forgotten15. Well, almost there.

As I landed, I saw the Moreland Hills farm below me on my left. In front of me was the fortress of Razor’s Edge. High up on a mountain, fenced in by rusty steel plates. Barbed wire, piles of rubble, campfires and a central watchtower dominated the scene. When I was here with the Free Riders of Stanton, we hadn’t met anyone. That’s why it hadn’t occurred to me to fly up here after my stay in Moreland Hills down in the valley.

But this time the inhabitants were here. They wore armor and carried weapons. Some of them wore armor similar to some of the inhabitants of the other scrap settlements. One of them had particularly striking armor. It was thickly armored. Knives stood out from his collar like rays of sunlight. A gold-colored mask covered his face. This had to be the leader, probably even the arms dealer I was looking for. It had to be Richard, the guy mentioned in the diary I’d found down at the farm.

“Are you Richard?”

“And you’re the guy looking for the widow? The guy who asks questions everywhere? The one who asks too many questions!”

“And you’re the arms dealer connected to Grim Hex? The guy who broke away from the peaceful people down at the farm?”

A strong gust of wind swept through the fortress. Metal creaked, Richard’s cloak waving like a flag. Although his face was hidden by the mask, I noticed that he was looking at me closely.

“I haven’t split up. I’m just taking a different path. But I’m still keeping a watchful eye on my friends down in the valley. And I’m grateful to you for helping my friends. If you continue to provide them with necessary things, I want to help you too.”

“That sounds good. I think we have more in common than you think. Not just an interest in the welfare of the people down in the valley. I also have good connections to Grim Hex. Specifically to TYR.”

“TYR? That’s the mercenary company that supplies weapons to ArcCorp. If that’s the case, I know what we’re doing. One hand washes the other. You deliver weapons to Bloodshot Ridge for me. Then your search for the widow will come to an end there.”

I looked at Richard, confused and worried. What did he mean by “come to an end”? Bloodshot Ridge didn’t exactly sound peaceful and confidence-inspiring. But what choice did I have? I had to go along with the deal. And why the hell was TYR supplying weapons to ArcCorp? I had to ask Kjeld about it at the next opportunity.


Bloodshot Ridge was a fortress, just like Razor’s Edge, only much bigger. It was also located on a mountain and was fenced in by metal plates. Several towers towered over the scrap metal buildings and a missile battery secured the airspace. A little below was a landing pad for small spaceships. The landing pad and the path up to the fortress were in the field of fire of several sentries. Bloodshot Ridge was a completely different level; it was better not to come here with hostile intent.

I had no idea what to expect and was glad that Hermieoth was accompanying me. What would the end of my search for the widow look like? Was she here, or would someone come down hard to end my search? After landing, we walked up the path to the entrance of the fortress. I looked anxiously up at the guards. Fortifications made of metal and wood towered above us. The guards had cover, we didn’t. We were easy prey.

But no one was shooting at us. We reached the entrance without any problems. Two armed guards in armor stood there. It was the same kind of armor that the people in Razor’s Edge wore.

“I’m bringing a shipment of weapons from Richard.”

“Over there in the hut. You’ll find your instructions in the laptop,” the guard mumbled a little indistinctly.

I looked at Hermieoth, who just shrugged his shoulders.

It was very messy in the hut. It looked as if there had been long nights of poker at the table. There was a laptop in an alcove. There was a message for me on the screen. After reading through it, I said to Hermieoth:

“These aren’t just any settlers. They belong to the Dusters. They want us to put the weapons crate at the landing site with the other crates. And they warn me not to keep looking for Elaine Vanil. They say there’s a modified Mobiglas somewhere around here. The drug cartel would ping me about it.”

I searched the hut and found the mobi glass on the poker table. Thoughtfully, I picked it up. Was this the end of my search for the widow? Now I could only wait for her to make contact.

After we had unloaded the weapons, we looked around the fortress a little. On one of the raised platforms, I had a good view of Bloodshot Ridge and the surrounding valley. The view was fantastic. Again, I was fascinated by the simple and free life of these people. I longed to lead such a simple, carefree life.

Suddenly a Mobiglas beeped. It was mine. A message from Richard had arrived.

Good work Zero. Don’t forget to deliver more goods to Moreland Hills. If you want to know more about our past, follow the name Jeff Goldstein. I will call in a favor for this information.

Translated with DeepL.com (free version)