A Game of Chess


7/9/20233 min read

"Picture this," I began, looking across the worn chessboard at Ravager. "A comet - no ordinary comet. Comet 'Ilium', glittering with untapped treasures, a paradise for miners."

Ravager's eyes gleamed, and I continued, "I'm talking about diamonds, Ravager. A fortune worth millions, floating untamed in the abyss. But, it's a tricky beast - a narrow passage leading to the core, a two-man job." I gauged his reaction, my heart hammering in my chest. This was a dangerous game I was playing.

"You're suggesting a joint venture?" Ravager asked, skepticism in his eyes. "Why should I trust you?"

"Trust me?" I countered, meeting his gaze head-on. "Why should you? But think about this, Ravager. This is a job that could make a man richer than a Midas world tycoon. Would you trust any of your men not to take me out and grab the bounty for themselves? It's not trust we need, it's a mutual interest in that comet's treasure."

Ravager was silent for a moment, his eyes narrowing as he mulled over my proposition. "I don't trust them, and I don't trust you," he finally said, his voice a low growl. "But you're right. I want those diamonds, and I don't trust anyone else not to bolt with them. We're in this together then, boy."

And so, it began. We made our way to the comet 'Ilium', a shining jewel in the endless expanse of space. Ravager watched as I maneuvered into position, his predatory eyes never leaving me.

"Here's the plan," I started, pointing towards the small crevice leading to the comet's core. "I'll guide you through the drilling process. But remember, it's a delicate operation. One wrong move could trigger a catastrophic reaction."

Ravager grunted in response, stepping into the drilling suit. The plan was simple; the same high-speed drilling that had caused the accident with Gramps. The trick was to make him think he was doing it right.

As Ravager began the drilling, I could see his focus wavering, his confidence in the operation slipping. I held my breath as the drill bit deeper into the comet's surface, the humming a deafening sound in the silence of the void.

Then, with a sudden explosion, the comet shook violently. Ravager was thrown back, the impact knocking him unconscious. A sense of grim satisfaction filled me. The trick had worked.

I radioed the 'Nomad', explaining that Ravager was stuck in a collapse as we'd struck diamond. The pirate crew sounded dubious but agreed to help. While they were en route, I secured Ravager and scanned his suit with my mom's old engineering tools. Sure enough, I found a tracking device tucked away in his back pocket.

"Got you," I murmured, removing the tracker and attaching it to the haul of diamonds deep in the crevasse of the comet...attached to 20 pounds of explosives.

Once we were back on the 'Nomad', I made my move. With Ravager hostage, I negotiated Gramps's safe return by telling them that Ravager was safe and stuck in the crevasse that housed the diamond mine. The pirate crew was furious, but without their Captain, they were leaderless, disoriented. Because I was so young and Gramps old, we must not have felt like a threat. They had Gramps returned without a fight.

As the pirates moved to assist Ravager, I triggered the explosives we'd rigged. The resulting blast sent the pirates sprawling, sowing chaos and confusion. In the ensuing madness, Gramps and I slipped away, Ravager tied up and locked in our storage compartment.

As the 'Nomad' left the disastrous scene behind, Gramps and I shared a weary smile. We were a team, survivors against all odds. But our journey was far from over. With Ravager unconscious in our hold, we plotted our next move - turning him in for the bounty. After all, the Voidrunner was just beginning to make his name known.