Log #215 – Good and evil on Hurston

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Announced attacks and aid deliveries. Good and evil was a question of perspective.

The large cargo hold extended over two decks. On the upper deck, it was surrounded by a gallery. Large crates of beer bottles were scattered around. In one corner, an area was partitioned off by cargo containers as a changing room. And in the middle of it all was Hermieoth’s yellow Dragonfly. Brubacker wanted the Free Riders of Stanton to ride into the party in style. We had been expressly invited to the party on the Starfarer by Mr. Hide.

The large tanker was an unusual place for a party. But somehow suitable for the invited company. The dark industrial cargo hold suited the guests much more than the gleaming splendor of an 890 Jump luxury yacht. These were people who were not necessarily well-disposed towards the UEE and large corporations. And that’s exactly why Mr. Hide had invited the Free Riders of Stanton. Because we rebelled against the injustices in the UEE, because we had pissed on Hurston Dynamics’ leg more than once. It was a conspiratorial meeting in a secret location somewhere in space. We had only been given the coordinates shortly beforehand.

However, I didn’t feel like celebrating. My thoughts were too preoccupied with the unsolved mysteries we were on the trail of. Both the search for the Forgotten15 and the search for the origins of the refugees from Moreland Hills were at a dead end. I was condemned to wait. Waiting until I got more information. I hated sitting in front of an unsolved problem and getting nowhere.

While the others celebrated, I retreated to the gallery. With a bottle of beer in my hand, I watched the hustle and bustle in the cargo hold from above. People were talking and drinking. Beer was flowing in large quantities and the first people were starting to sway. I much preferred the seclusion of the dark gallery to the hustle and bustle in the cargo hold.

“I think the Free Riders of Stanton and we have a lot in common.”

Mr. Hide’s voice snapped me out of my thoughts. Almost unnoticed, he had stood next to me in the darkness.

“Do we?”

“I’ve heard that you’ve smuggled a few things to Lorville for the workers. We also want to take action against the big corporations and really kick them in the shins. Maybe we can start joint campaigns.”

“Our aim is to help the oppressed. We are not looking for open conflict.”

“We really want to kick up a fuss. We are planning attacks.”

“Attacks are not our thing. Personally, I prefer to work in secret. Besides, you can carry out attacks without weapons.”

Mr. Hide looked at me with a big question mark on his face.

“Digitally, with a hacker attack,” I began to explain my thought. “Stealing information about corporate injustices and publishing it.”

“So you’re a hacker? That could help us too. Do you have a problem if we carry out an attack after a hack of yours?”

“As long as I’m not directly involved, you can do what you want. As long as I don’t have to shoot anyone and it doesn’t hit the wrong people.”

“That’s okay. Let’s exchange contact details. I’ll get in touch with you”

After we’d exchanged details, Mr. Hide went back downstairs to join the others. I stayed up in the gallery and wondered if I had just made a deal with the devil. On the other hand, Hurston Dynamics had it coming. The megacorporation was so abysmally evil, so destructive, that I had no sympathy for it. Or were we the bad guys? It was a question of perspective, whether you were good or evil.

I took a big swig from the beer bottle and looked back down at the goings-on in the cargo hold. Brubacker was trying to test his strength in a boxing match with one of the guards. His blows seemed to come to nothing, but he himself took a lot of punishment.

Cäcilia Abendroth joined me.

“And how many times has Brubacker gone down?”, she asked.

“I’ve stopped counting. But you have to give the writer credit for one thing. He’s a stand-up guy.”


I woke up the next day without any after-effects from the party. I didn’t want to imagine what a headache Brubacker must have had. However, the message I had received from X gave me a headache.

Dear Zero Sense,
I am contacting you in the hope that you can help us and the disadvantaged. Unfortunately, there has been a serious industrial accident at Hurston. The situation at Lorville Hospital is dramatic. Since the authorities are covering up the incident, there is no support for the hospital. To my regret, Crusader Industries cannot officially help. That would lead to economic and political upheaval. However, they would be able to bring medical supplies to Lorville without involving us. You can contact Becky at Maria Pure Of Heart Hospital with confidence. I am counting on your willingness to help.

That was the first unofficial order from Crusader Industries. The manager of the research, development and logistics department had announced that I would receive secret orders. But did it have to be a delivery to Lorville of all places? I had deleted my files at Hurston Security, but there was still some uncertainty. Was there still information about me somewhere and would Hurston Security lock me up in the Klescher prison again?

After loading my Star Runner with medical supplies, I flew to the planet Hurston and landed at the Teasa Spaceport in Lorville. I took the elevator from the hangar to the terminal. The door rumbled open and I stepped out of the cabin, directly into the field of vision of a surveillance camera. Four yellow cameras hung from a pillar, one looking directly at me. I looked back and felt like I was looking into the eye of hell. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up.

After a few seconds, I managed to free myself from my stupor. I walked quickly towards the terminals, past the yellow-covered chairs. In the main hall, I was supposed to turn left after the M50 Interceptor on display to get to the metro. But I went straight towards the panoramic window. An inner resistance prevented me from going into the city center. I stood at the window for minutes, looking out at skyscrapers, containers, cranes and billboards while spaceships took off and landed.

At some point, I managed to overcome my inner resistance. Slowly, I turned away from the panoramic window. First I went down a wide staircase. I followed the corridor, walked under large fans until I turned a corner. Suddenly my legs gave out, they refused to go any further. In front of me was a security gate with “Customs Area” written above it. A Hurston Security guard in black and yellow armor stood in front of the gate with a gun in his hand. I stood there rooted to the spot.

After a few seconds, the guard looked at me and waved me over.

“Go on, keep moving!”, she barked in a stern tone of command.

I walked on with a lump in my throat. The guard no longer paid any attention to me. Eventually I reached the metro station, where there was garbage everywhere on the floor. Outside the business district, Lorville was still the same shithole I remembered. It was only on the ride to the Metro Center that my heart rate dropped.

Even at the Metro Center, there was trash everywhere. But when I entered the hospital, I was suddenly in a different world. It was clean. The architecture and materials were reminiscent of the business district. Loudspeaker announcements echoed through the large entrance hall. Otherwise, it was quiet. There was no hustle and bustle, nothing to suggest a major industrial accident.

A young woman with an upbeat hairstyle stood behind the reception desk. She was wearing a yellow hospital gown and white gloves. Something told me I was in the right place. I walked straight up to her and leaned casually against the counter.

“I’m looking for Becky.”

“You found her.”

“Oh. Okay. Um, so I have a delivery and I’m supposed to contact you.”

“From a mutual friend? A friend with an X?”

“Yes, exactly. My spaceship is full of medical supplies.”

Becky looked around furtively and asked:

“Which hangar?”

After I gave her the number, she typed something into a terminal.

“All right. We’ll take care of everything. You go and have something to eat. You can go back to your ship in an hour. And thank you.”

Without another word, I turned around and walked towards the main entrance. As I passed the large statue in front of the exit, I stopped. It was a statue of Maria Hurston. She had fought for better medical care for all Hurston Dynamics employees. The hospital was named after her. I remembered the dossier I had read about her in Orison. The manager in Orison had told me that there were still influential people in Lorville who were committed to doing good.

Something good in the middle of evil. That was fascinating. Good and evil wasn’t just a question of point of view. Sometimes you had to look closely to recognize the good. Good was hidden in this world of evil. But it was there, hidden. Even on the planet Hurston, there was good alongside evil.

Whatever Mr. Hide and his people were up to. I had to make sure that he looked closely and didn’t hit the wrong people.

Translated with DeepL.com (free version)