(c)Copyright 2007 by chuck_starchaser (monkhouse). Condensed from discussions between self, spiritplumber, captain_cocksniff, and other wcu buddies at the WCU forum. Reproduction allowed in any form, as long as authorship is acknowledged. Edits allowed, as long as the original is made available together with the edited version; unless the editing is purely cosmetic (formatting, etc). And a url link must also be put prominently in any copy or reproduction, pointing to this page.
Note: The following analysis assumes the reader to have played Privateer/Righteous Fire like 7 times (minimum). If you're not familiar with the story, please play Privateer Remake before reading any further. You'll be glad you did.
- We're told by bartenders he's been hiring privateers left and right…
- Later, Tayla says she 'used to do business with him'… (Hmmm, sounds like some rich guy, after all, Tayla is a pirate boss of sorts, not a drug-runner herself.
- Tayla also says that the militias have postered your mug all over town, in connection to his murder… (Sandoval must have been someone really important…).
- Later in the story, Professor Monkhouse mentions Sandoval, chatting at the bar of the Basra refinery, saying that '[Sandoval] seemed to hold that artifact dearer than his life', paraphrasing… (How does Monkhouse know anything about Sandoval? High school buddies? Or did Sandoval reside in Palan?).
- Someone wealthy… important to police with regards to resolving his murder; who may have resided in Palan… What business do we know of, based in Palan? Why?, Rondell, of course.
- Tayla mentions he 'got it by killing its previous owner'… (Did she know its previous owner?, or heard this story from someone who did?)
- …and that “Before that, a spice merchant named Deiter obtained it from his own father.”… (but how long before that? Meaning, was Deiter, the spice merchant, killed by Sandoval?, or was there an owner in between that Tayla forgot to mention?)
- …and “Death follows this thing…”… She seems to know a lot…
- Assume Tayla knew any of the previous owners, whom do you know she knows?
Not Sandoval… Perhaps one of the artifact's previous owners?
- When, later, you're doing missions for Lynch, he suggests he needs to 'borrow' the artifact to look at it… Burrows refuses, of course… “Will a holo do?”; to which Lynch says it will not; but consider this: If Lynch really wanted the artifact, he wouldn't wait a few more missions to have Miggs try to retreive it. So, he doesn't so much care to have the artifact, as to make sure it doesn't end in the wrong hands. Which means that he has a holo already. He accepts Burrows' holo to keep the pretension, but he's just trying to get Burrows killed, and let the artifact be destroyed, together with him and his ship. It's when that fails to happen, repeatedly, that he finally sends Miggs. This hypothesis may seem a bit contrived, but hopefully it will make more sense later, when we look at some other evidence and hints.
- Lynch also has you help his cousin Regis escape prosecution for murder.
- Supposedly the militias originally were looking for you (Burrows) in connection to Sandoval's murder, but they no longer seem to be looking for you by the time you land on New Detroit again. Did they just forget? Or did they find you weren't their prime suspect?
- Bartenders say that Regis was caught with a gun in his hand and a dead body at his feet. Was the dead body at his feet the body of Sandoval?
A3: Lynch was probably the artifact's previous owner, and he had his cousin Regis "interrogate" Sandoval.
Regis did his job a bit too well… killing Sandoval, then getting caught by local militias, smoking gun in his hand.
In the missing missions, Lynch says that the New Detroit militias are a mere “entry in his expense accounts”, paraphrasing; meaning that he controls them. The local militias may have caught Regis with a smoking gun, while investigating a call from a neighbor reporting screams, perhaps, but…
Note however that Sandoval being an executive of a multi-world corporation, his murder probably gets the attention of Confed militias, who then take over the investigation.
Or just a crook? He does say he'll be ”…selling it soon for a very large sum”.
- Read Q7/A7 below…
or else it wouldn't be easy to explain what makes Bronte launch a siege of Palan right after his theft of the artifact, and his death.
NOTE: This Sandoval character will remain a bit of a mystery; in the sense that his saying he'll be selling the artifact for a large sum, and Tayla's saying she used to do business with him, and that he killed the artifact's previous owner, all would seem to point out to his being a crook. But his incompetence as crook would seem to indicate that he wasn't; –and so does Monkhouse's later account that Sandoval held that artifact dearer than his own life. Perhaps Sandoval showed different faces to different people? When he deals with Tayla, he presents himself as a fellow crook who “killed its previous owner”. When he speaks to a professor, he reveals interest in the artifacts' value that goes beyond money, or even life and death. When he talks to a privateer, he presents himself as being interested primarily on the thing's monetary value… Conclusion: Whoever and whatever Sandoval is, he's a chameleon; possibly some kind of spy. We won't take anything he said at face value.
Q5: Why doesn't Lynch, then, appear to be too concerned to get his artifact back, like, IMMEDIATELY?
His only concern is that it doesn't end in the wrong hands… (Rondell, see Q7/A7 below)
So, Tayla gives you dangerous missions, probably as instructed by Lynch, to try and help Death happen to meet you, without implicating her or Lynch, but the plan doesn't seem to work. Lynch figures he can do a better job than Tayla, so she sends you over to him. He fails to have you get killed also, and finally has his own personal bodyguard try and get the artifact away from you in a more direct way… Doh! And I'm sure he deeply regrets having mentioned Oxford… The Mother of all Freudian slips…
And notice also the way Miggs goes about getting the artifact speaks volumes for how high a priority he was given to retreive the artifact in one piece. Won't even count to ten… . It is quite obvious that Lynch doesn't care for the artifact itself. All he wants to do is prevent its ending up at Rondell. More on this later.
Q6: Masterson pays you 10,000 credits to protect Hunter Toth: Is that out of Oxford University funds?
- He says the University is cash strapped, and wouldn't the university expect Hunter Toth to pay for his own protection? I mean, protecting book shipments, getting rid of data-stealing pirates, that's okay… but paying to protect a speaking visitor? Hmmm…
- Paying for the services of hundreds of mercenaries hardly seems justified by the dismal profits in the food business…
- Not only that, if Bronte is in the food biz, it probably doesn't have that kind of money in the first place!
- Someone has the money to do that, AND a better reason than 'food exports' to lay siege to Palan and Rondell…
- And this someone doesn't want to get him/herself implicated, and so uses Bronte to lay siege on a food exports excuse, but pays for the cost of hiring the merceneries…
- Who would be so rich, so powerful, and so angry at Rondell? Why? And besides anger, what do Rondell have that could be so valuable?
- Sandoval was possibly the owner, or a major shareholder or executive of Rondell, and he stole the artifact from Lynch. That might give Lynch a reason to be angry, perhaps…
- But Monkhause had published the fact that his piece of Steltek glyphs represented part of a map (said so in the library record), and the fact that Sandoval stole this piece from Lynch proves to Lynch that Sandoval, therefore Rondell, ought to have the other piece, or a holo of it… (othewise why so much keenness in getting Lynch's half, right?).
- So Lynch, who apparently controls Bronte, paid for that siege of Palan out of his deep pockets in order to get the other piece of the map, or its holo, from Rondell; but had Bronte act as a front for the operation. (And doesn't 'Bronte' sound like 'Fronte'?)
(we'll get to her..)
- Note: We could wonder what evidence is there of Lynch's control of Bronte. Circumstantial but…
- Notice Mission 1 of the extra missions for Lynch, and Q18/A18. Seems obvious from it that Lynch has big food business interests. Yet, at the mission computers only four companies appear with Lynch's name: Lynch Mining, Lynch Shipping, Lynch Security and Lynch Enterprises. And there are only 3 food businesses we know of, in the Privateer universe: Rondell and Bronte, of course; and Beto's Foodcorp Unlimited, from the mission computers, presumably owned by some guy named “Beto”…
- Lynch's territory of control extends over New Detroit. This is stated by himself at the beginning of the extra missions; and Bronte seems to be headquartered in New Detroit; –see the Tit for Tat observation after Answer 19.
- Would anyone kidnap a scientist to excavate? No, something more than just 'discovery' must be at stake.
- And Monkhouse says he was being “interrogated” at a compound, NOT forced to dig for relics.
- The fact that Monkhouse doesn't want to name the corporation means he perceives some risk doing so. But why? Didn't his captors get killed during the bombings? What's he afraid of?
- Palan is controlled by Rondell, so it's obvious which corporation he most likely feels threatened by.
- According to the records at the library, Rondell is financially sponsoring Monkhouse's excavations in Palan.
- But Monkhouse doesn't mention working on any excavations in Palan, and in fact says he wants nothing more to do with alien artifacts, and wants to get away from Palan.
- He was working on no excavation at all in Palan, and so the library record was false, and probably reflected a misleading statement submitted to the library by Rondell officials, to cover the kidnapping.
- Neither a Talon, nor a Demon, can 'bomb a planet from space'; you need some heavy firepower for that…
- What kind of ship has heavy guns? Something like a cruiser or dreadnought?
- Who has big capships? The Confeds and the Kilrathi.
- Which of the two seem to have an interest in Monkhouse? The Kilrathi, certainly; who intercept you to try and get Monkhouse alive when you transport him from Palan to Basra.
They seem to want to grab Monkhouse alive, so they brought a fleet, including a large capship, probably a cruiser, to bomb the compound from space and free him from his captors (but the captors, Rondell people, managed to take a holo of his piece of the map, anyhow).
- If she knew about Monkhouse and the Steltek, she'd have grabbed him before you. In fact, she says, 'did you find your friend?'. She has no clue who Monkhouse is, or why Bronte are attacking Rondell.
- She says she's hiring people to break the blockade but you end up doing all the work… (Hunters won't work for her?)
- She dresses in some kind of military uniform or fatigue…
- In the final mission, she gives you two useless militia escorts…
- But much later, in RF, she says that Menesch is a “thorn on her side”… (NOT on her front; on her side. This is a key statement, as we shall see…)
- If Menesch was her enemy or target, he wouldn't be a “thorn on her side”, but on her front
- Rather, he indirectly creates problems for her and her mission. What's her mission?
- He says he's going to charter a luxury cruiser back to civilization… But where's that?
- The library record said he studied in Sol, and later at Oxford. Probably Sol. Long trip…
- Will he make it? Highly unlikely… Will he die? Eventually, but the kats want him alive…
- She doesn't mention Confeds or Militias or politicians being interested in exploring Delta Prime, does she? Just “HQ”…
- Who the hell IS 'HQ', anyways? The confeds were not getting involved in Palan, Terrel is clue-less, and if the Militias were involved, Murphy would have known her mission well; instead she said 'have you found your friend yet?'. She knows zip nothing. So neither Militias nor Confeds know the first thing what's going on, so someone who responds to neither is somehow “HQ”, even though the ES is supposed to be a branch of the Confed civilian government?! Hmm… I'm smelling the rat, you should too…
- Doesn't the Retro informant in RF mention that the reason Eden is hidden is that the Retros had an infiltrator in the Exploratory Services who kept the jump point off the official maps? That's quite a stunt to pull off for a lowly infiltrator without top clearance…
- And we know from Winston Turner, in Action Stations, that the civilian Confed Intelligens is “compromised”…
- And we know from RF that the Kilrathi and the Retros are allied, and the kats know what's going on…
A13: 'HQ' //is// the Retro infiltrator in the ES, probably top level, commanding exploration of Delta Prime but for the Retros' benefit
- Well, would the Retros and the kats really trust each other that much? This is probably an alliance of convenience, and if the retros find something valuable in Delta Prime, it might give them an edge in negotiations with the kats.
- Presumably jump point analysis equipment is restricted sales. Remember that Harga says to Baron Jukaga at Fawcett's World, “The Confederation does not even fully know just where all its people are.” (Action Stations, page 103). So if the Confederation are having trouble keeping up with the rate of exploration and colonization, it would make sense they'd try to restrict the availability of jump point detection equipment.
- Presumably rogue factions would be interested in finding unexplored systems to base their bases in.
- Presumably the above two factors would put jump point analysis equipment in high demand.
- Presumably pirates would care to take such equipment from ES ships to sell at high prices in the black market.
- Presumably the ES learned it's better to keep the analysis equipment at a secure base…
A15.5: You have to return each time because the ES doesn't trust just anybody with such coveted equipment.
Thus, presumably your ship was furnished temporarily with “antigraviton drift detectors”, used to take multiple measurments required for jump point detection; but the supercomputer required for the heavy number crunching, –the regression analysis of those measurments that yields jump point locations–, is kept at Rygannon.
- That's a tough question, and if the previous ramblings were speculative, after what follows they will seem like facts by comparison…
- We could wonder about Masterson: When you get your artifact analyzed at Oxford, he might have saved a copy of the holo.
- According to the library records, Monkhouse studied at Oxford (as well as Earth), so he probably knew Masterson. Would Masterson have a holo of Monkhouse's piece, and together with yours be able to figure out the map? Obviously; but then, why would Masterson give this info to the Retros or the Kilrathi, let alone both of them? Masterson doesn't look like a crooked type. Somebody made good money selling the information twice! But it probably wasn't Masterson…
- Maybe that's what those info pirates with the Black Rhombus where actually looking for?
- The next time you meet Tayla, in RF, she is relocating from Pantonville to Sherwood. Is she escaping from Lynch?
- But then, where did the kats and retros get the other piece of the map?
- Perhaps Menesch controlled Rondell, just like Lynch controlled Bronte? That would give Lynch one more good reason to throw all his eggs at the siege of Palan: Menesch is his sworn enemy…
- That might explain how the Retros might know, but not the kats…
- Well, the kats have Mandarin informants, who might also have someone in the ES…
- Tayla used to 'do business with' Sandoval, who represented Rondell, (associated with Menesch?)
- Was Tayla herself originally associated with Menesch, then defected to Lynch?
- Or did she come to New Detroit to try and get the artifact off Lynch for Menesch, should Sandoval fail?
- Did she eventually succeed at getting his hologram? She does send you on a mission carrying “personal stuff” to Tuck, doesn't she?
- Wouldn't Menesch be the type to sell the holo to both Retros and kats? (Oh yes he would…)
- However, Menesch's controlling Rondell wouldn't square up with the kats bombing Monkhouse's captors… Back to the drawing board…
- But there's also the possibility that Damien Lang has a part in Rondell, another competitor of Lynch's, supposedly also in the food business, from the missing missions; and that he and Sandoval may have had some deal with Menesch. After all, Sandoval did say he was going to sell the aritifact for a very large sum, not that we'd trust what he says…
- However, as we'll see later, it seems that the retros and the kats are trying to get Tayla, in Righteous Fire, when they occupy all the systems surrounding Sherwood.
- So, FORGET ALL THE ABOVE. Tayla was working for Lang; and her coming to Lynch was probably a plan by Lang. She was doing business with Sandoval, that is, with Rondell. Lang probably controlled Rondell, and was Lynch's main competitor before Menesch showed up in the scene. Lang felt more threatened by Menesch than by Lynch and sent Tayla to negotiate peace and cooperation with Lynch. We'll discuss this again, later; but suffice it to say this latter model helps understand the Kats' bombing of Palan. They wouldn't want such a direct confrontation if Rondell was controlled by Menesch and the retros; but they were probably informed by the Retros of Monkhouse's presence in Palan… captive to Rondell… controlled by Lang.
- This makes a lot more sense also in the sense that we never hear of Menesch being involved with agriculture; but Lang is supposedly a competitor of Lynch's in the food business. Perhaps Lynch stole his Steltek artifact from Lang in the first place. Perhaps Damien Lang had taken the artifact (and maybe Rondell) from a spice merchant named “Dieter”? Food for thought… (no pun intended).
What are you trying to kill me with the questions? Okay, let's see:
- The Retro infiltrator in the ES probably has a pretty good idea what area to explore.
- How many systems do you know that only have two jump points? In and out?
- What are the chances of finding such a long row of them? (Xytani, Rygannon, Delta, Beta, Gamma, DeltaPrime)
- Not too likely, huh? Well, they don't need to be. Perhaps each of those systems has 3, 4 or 5 jump points; the ES just tell you about the one jump point you need to know about. The kats only know, possibly the general area, from the Mandarin informant in the ES. But they have to search all jump points exhaustively.
- And remember that Burrows reports to Taryn that the cats were sweeping the system in search formation.
Here there come some missing missions for Lynch in New Detroit. Captin Cocksniff found a transcript of the dialogues that contains these missions, but he never noticed them in the game (nor did I, chuck_starchaser), but, to summarize them, if you land in New Detroit, someone is supposedly installing the Steltek gun in your ship, but says he can't finish the work, and that you must go see Lynch at the bar. Lynch says he wants you to fly missions for him, in exchange for his returning your gun. You tell him he can't do that and he says he can, that all the militias in New Det are a mere entry in his expense account. Here are excerpts of the dialogue and some observations:
- Mission 1
LYNCH: I want you to attack a number of Merchant's Guild ships. Damien Lang, an old business rival, needs those shipments to arrive, if he's to save face. These MG vessels are taking a load of foodstuffs in the Varnus system. Intercept and destroy them all at Rodin.
Foodstuffs? Old business rival? So Lynch doesn't just control Bronte, he OWNS it! Damien Lang, whether he is or isn't a mobster, he's definitely in some food business, and might very well be connected to Rondell…
Let's see: Traditionally, in 90% of business shipments, the seller is the one who ships the stuff, and the one who loses face if the stuff doesn't arrive; not the buyer. Besides, if he were the buyer he wouldn't “lose face” unless he's a re-seller; but even as a re-seller he'd be exonerated if the original sender failed to deliver. So Damien Lang is the sender. He is in Rodin, and is possibly the food producing company's owner or CEO –just like Sandoval was of Rondell–…
If this is so, Lang and Sandoval, the food producing company in Rodin and Rondell, have one thing in common: Both are rivals of Lynch/Bronte. But it's possible that Rondell might be a multi-planetary food corporation… Bronte seems to be headquartered in New Detroit, but New Det is not an agricultural planet, so Bronte is multiplanetary, probably; and probably so is Rondell. So Sandoval and Lang could be planetary subsidary CEO's for 'Rondell-Palan and Rondell-Rodin, respectively.
But notice that the last mission you do for Murphy in RF is to deliver food to New Det. Seems like Bronte can't deliver food to their own headquarters! And then Lynch moves to an ugly mine (Basque) far to the West… So, Lynch ordered a siege of Palan using mercenaries, and later Menesch orders a siege of NewDet using retros. Tit for tat. Notice also that Murphy is defending Palan first, and later defending New Detroit. So, she's definitely not taking sides in the Menesch vs. Lynch war. Her only aim seems to be to break blockades anywhere, by anyone, and keeping the shipping lanes clear…
- Mission 2
Destroying a pleasure cruiser, the Midas, as it leaves Magdalene in Padre, where Lynch once vacationed and didn't like the service. Nothing interesting.
- Mission 3
LYNCH: One of my business rivals has concluded a deal with the Confederation… …establishing a particularly lucrative trade route which threatens my interests. I need you to break this trade route by hitting his ships en route. They're running out of the mining base on Hyades. You will fly to Blockade Point Charlie, run the Kilrathi blockade… …and jump to the Hyades colony, killing any of my rival's vessels you encounter. …………………………… My rival's Hyades operation threatens several of my own. Hyades ore is of an exceptionally high grade. I cannot allow it on the market.
Seems like the mobs are in the mining business… Well, we knew that from seeing Lynch Mining through the mission computers… Interesting that he says that his competitor nailed a deal with the Confed; but later says he cannot allow that ore “in the market”. Is this a contradiction? Not at all! Even if that ore is to be shipped to the Confed exclusively, the Confed ARE part of “the market”. They probably are a good chunk of Lynch's market. The Confed apparently manufacture their own ships. At least the shipyards in Sol are Confed owned and operated.
- Mission 4
His last mission is to elliminate his cousin Regis before he gets transported to a court where he'd testify. 1)
Now you have your gun back and functional and are followed by the green egg. You have to land in a mining base other than Rygannon to be met by Goodin at the bar. What's with Origin and mining? You start the game in a mining base. Pirate bases are mining bases. The ES is working off a mining base. You meet Monte and the Retro informant at mining bases, and Monte goes into hiding at a mining base. At the end of RF Lynch goes to hide in a mining base. Goodin now meets you anywhere you are, as long as you are at a mining base. Hmmm… Except for Lynn Murphy: She NEVER meets you at a mining base. (Well nor do Terrel or Masterson but with them it's obvious why.)
The rest of Privateer is rather epic; but our analysis need not be over yet. Let's take a look at the money flow picture: Government takes money from taxes to pay for the military. If the military would somehow get extra money from somewhere, they'd appear to be spending more money than they get, and that would raise some eyebrows. We know from RF that Menesch used to do biz with 'Confeds', buying Talons and reselling them to Retros and pirates. The confeds couldn't just spend the money they get for those siphoned Talons as part of their official budget. The money goes to get spent into something secret…
Winston Turner mentions something to Hans Kruger in Action Stations about Confed Intelligence being “compromised”; but he seems to trust Naval Intelligence. But “compromised” in what way? He was speaking in 2634, before the start of the war. You don't imagine the cats have already managed to penetrate Confed Intelligence back then? Well, actually, they did reportedly have a Varni informant; but most of their information about the Terran Confederation had come from monitoring of open channel communications and stealing computers from captured ships; and Turner damn well knows that. If Confed Intelligence was compromised before the war had even started, it ought to mean that it was compromised from within… And you might ask, where the Hell did the Mandarins come from? Traitors aren't usually proud fellows joining each other and forming clubs. The Mandarins are some kind of organization, but who created it?; who's behind it? We know that the Belisarius Group were trying to re-ignite the war in 2670, but were they trying to (pre-) ignite it before 2634? Did they believe the Kilrathi were a weak foe possibly needing to be fed some intelligence to achieve parity? In any case, Confed Intelligence are probably compromised by Mandarins, rather than by visible furballs, in 2634. The civilian Confed government would have little trouble taking administrative control of Decommissionings, in the ironic pretext of making Decomissionings more accountable. Then they sell Talons (supposedly being recycled) to Pirates through the likes of Lynch and Menesch (Lang?, Kroiz?), and that money ends up going…
But mobs deal with pirates, not with retros. Menesch, as corrupted as he is, he's a politician, not a seasoned mobster. He's no idea what he's getting himself into. Even corrupt Confeds cut him off when he began dealing with the retros. And what does he do? Make a deal with the kats…
“Ever hear of a guy called Menesch? He used to sell surplus Confed ships to criminal groups. I’ve heard that he’s dealing with the Kilrathi now. They’ve got plenty of spacecraft, and need the money more than the ships. I still don’t know who’s buying them, though.”
Maybe he thought it clever, but thing is, he's rocking the boat too much: Mobs didn't refuse to deal with retros because they were retros, but because if they dealt with retros, the Confeds would presumably cancel their deals on them. Besides, there's nothing wrong with pirates knowing there's always some group out there trying to buy talons with a moneflow from religious donations, and feeling secure about getting a good resale price, eventually; is there? And, presumably, the mobs can also buy ships directly from manufacturers (under the table, of course). If it's true that mining is mainly controlled by the mobs, they got ship manufacturers in a vice: Demand-side they are the ones who resell them to the pirates; supply side they control the ores. And they can pit the Confeds illegally selling decomissioned craft against the manufacturers' new ships, to get good prices off both. So here comes this guy, and BOOM!… cheap Kilrathi-made ships flooding the market from the retro side… Talon's resale prices plummet, lowering demand; and so their sales price plummets as well. No wonder Lynch hates Menesch, and there's so many bounties to collect on his fat ass… Even the Belisarius Group, Y12, etceteras, are affected by Menesch. Menesch was truly an idiot to think he'd live long…
- Belisarius Group and Y12 are so secretive they don't even know themselves.
- You probably wouldn't stick your nose unless it itches sooo badly…
There are two kinds of militias: Confed-funded and controlled, and local militias. Confed-funded militias are the ones flying the more expensive ships and scanning YOU for contraband. The ones actually fighting pirates are local militias, funded by planetary governments.
The Confeds are officially enemies of the pirates, but they wouldn't try to kill their customers, would they? Nor would they have their minion militias do so. But somebody has to fight the pirates, or else they wouldn't need ships! Okay, well, let the local funded militias do so. Right? Who's paying for the local militias? Well, the confed funded militias probably have some nominal aid program by which they match any money donated privately with an equal amount on their part (of course, only the official portion of private funding); I'm just speculating. Private biz have good reasons to donate to militias… But so do the mobs, to prevent un-planned instances of law enforcement happening. That's why, probably, there are 'hunters': When something really needs to be done, forget underpaid militias with too many conflicting interests to juggle; just hire someone who will do the job single-mindedly. But who are the main employers of hunters?
You'd think the Merchants' Guild, but no: The Merchants' Guild hire their own memebers for bounty missions. Why? Because the Merchants' Guild is too big to be dealing with one case of piracy at a time. They need a blanket solution, and so what they do is pay a monthly fee to the mobs and/or pirates in exchange for blanket safety to their ships. That, plus the fact that they do shipping for the mobs as well. Except Lynch, that is, who owns his own shipping company: Lynch Shipping. Not that the Merchants' Guild don't get attacked by independent pirates, but that they can manage to control with the help of their own bounty-relishing members.
So who? Corporations, mostly. Sometimes mobs. Sometimes militias. Most Hunters you see are just hanging around jump points, in fact they often do the job militias were supposed to be doing. There's one thing about hunters, though: They have a Guild. The Guild won't allow, for instance, some member hunters to hunt other member hunters “for a fee”; that'd be a fiasco. So the Guild has policies: They have good paying customers with repeat business, like Azuma Weapons, and those repeat customers get first priority. And no one would get a job ad against the interests of Azuma Weapons posted on their network no matter how much they'd be willing to pay, probably. If they have no preference on a browl, first come first served, last come no served. That's one reason why Murphy can't get hunters to run the Palan blockade –only by the last mission she gets two useless local militias who are there only to show their smiling faces for the media–: she can't get hunters to defend Rondell because Bronte went to the Mercenaries' Guild first, and the Guild won't allow member Hunters to hunt member Hunters.
The Mercenaries' Guild is big business, and big business leaves a lot of niches to be filled. So…
A11: Murphy is probably 'ex-militia', working now for the Merchants Guild, in charge of trading lanes' safety
…wherever and whenever the blanket coverage obtained by bribes paid to mobs and pirates doesn't suffice. And she probably never gets hunters to work for her simply because the Mercenaries' Guild serves everybody BUT the Merchants' Guild, because the Merchants' Guild usually hire their own members. This used to suffice, pretty much, and her job used to be easy and relaxed, behind a big mohogany desk; but since Menesch is in the picture, on top of swarms of Retros, the underground market is flooded with cheap Talons, independent pirates are growing like mushrooms, and she really has to work her ass off. Unable to count on Guild hunters, she's left with only Privateers and local militias to hire for the work needing to be done. Nightmare scenario… So Menesch may not be her enemy or her official target, but he's really a 'thorn on her side', as she puts it when she offers you a bounty on Menesch's head.
Besides finding out there are Robocops roaming around pleasure bases' parking lots, we find out that a year has passed, and it's therefore 2670, months after the Treaty of Torgo, marking the end of the Human/Kilrathi War. Yet, the news doesn't seem to have reached the rumor mill at the bars, and we find the 6th Kilrathi Fleet under Kahl invading us, and kat ships as far West as Capella. This oversight is indicative of the amount of care Origin put into writing this sequel to Privateer. See also The "Year Later" error. Having said that, it's still a pretty good game, if nowhere nearly as deep as Privateer Part 1. But let's get to it!
- Would you risk the anger of Robocop by stealing a gun?
- Would weapon mounts be as easy to unlock as pulling out a few screws? (Car-wheels I understand…)
- Wouldn't “Base Command” phone you at your room immediately upon a theft, rather than instruct Robocop to intercept you?
- Would potential thieves need to take chances? Why not just bribe “Base Command”?
- And why was Robocop hiding in the dark waiting for you if something wasn't rotten in Denmark?…
Allright, let's consider the missions for Masterson, first:
- Mission 1: “deliver part of our rare books collection to a safer place, Base Edom in New Constantinople”
- Mission 2: “Simply Patrol all nav points of Oxford system”
- Mission 3: “deliver part of our rare books collection to Burton in Junction”
- Mission 4: “We have a freighter making the jump to Saxtogue from Nav 1, Oxford system. We’re making a series of transports of library support machinery. We believe they could be in some danger from Retro attacks. Escort the freighter and make sure it jumps out safely”
“Of all the… what are you doing here? Our freighters are being attacked even now! Unless you hurry up, we won’t get sufficient equipment for the reconstruction.”
- Mission 5: “deliver our Twentieth Century Artwork collection to Perry Naval Base”
- Saxtogue connects Oxford and New Detroit.
- If the library will be reconstructed elsewhere, Perry seems like a strange place to do it.
- And why wouldn't everything be going to Perry?
- If he were talking about reconstruction of the Oxford Library, how come the machinery and the books aren't going to the same place?
- Something suspicious about this whole business of the Oxford Library being taken apart and spread around… What's in those crates, really?… Steltek stuff? Like why should the Retros attack you with salthi's on your way to Perry? Is it supposed to be some Technophilic Art Collection? However, and for lack of a better theory, I'll take Masterson's version of the story at face value when he says… “Well, with your help Oxford base has transferred most of its valuables off-world, and until the Retro threat abates, we will remain an empty shell.” So…
Now, to get to meet Monte we need more references. Good references are
- Tayla on Oakham pirate base, in the Pentonville system.
- Lynn Murphy on Edom agricultural base, in the New Constantinople system.
- Sandra Goodin on Perry Naval Base
That's a pretty good assortment of references if you ask me…
- Tayla 1: “I could use you to deliver some personal cargo for me. I need it to go to Tuck in Sherwood. No contraband, and I’ll make sure the pirates stay off your back. The job pays 10000. I’ll meet you at Tuck.”
- Tayla 2: “load of Brilliance for you to smuggle … A mining base in Prasepe called Saratov… 20000”
- Tayla 3: “another Brilliance run…Fly to Junction and deliver the stuff to Speke. 30000”
- Tayla 4: “Excellent work. That last run made a lot of important people happy. … Brilliance… Basque base in the Pyrenees system. Pyrenees is quite a trip from here, and you’ll be compensated accordingly: 40000 … Please do it right. I could get into real trouble here.” (Yeah, with Lynch; he's ran out of brilliance and waiting for his fix at Basque.)
- Tayla success: “Great job. You’ve made my friends on Basque very happy. Well, that’s all the work I have for you. Be advised, though, I’ve got several contacts who are interested in your exploits. I’ll make sure to put in a good word for you.”
- Lynn 1: ””
(To be continued)
Alternative deep plot (and musings for a sequel): More or less, as suggested by CC, during Priv, Lynch and Lang are rivals. Lang is based in Sherwood but owns Rondell and Corcoran. Lynn Murphy works for Lang as much as for the Merchants Guild (Lang being THE mob boss friendly to the MG). Thus, she gets the job of defending Palan, and later of defending the Liverpool refinery, in NewCastle. Tayla originally worked for Lang, or for both, or for none, but in some way she comes to NewDet to make peace with Lynch on behalf of Lang, who is worried about Menesch. Lynch refuses the peace offer, at the time, and tries to recruit Tayla to work for him instead. Eventually Tayla moves (back?) to Sherwood, perhaps with additional Steltek stuff she manages to steal off Lynch. This would explain her delivery of “personal stuff” (a crio crate with a frozen Monkhouse in it? ), and why the Kilrathi are present around Sherwood later in the game. But Tayla really works for Confeds, as undercover, which explains why Goodin sends you to clear the systems around Sherwood from Kilrathis.
Monte's trip to NewDet might be a second attempt to make allies out of Lang and Lynch; this time Monte acting independently.
Certainly; they attacked the Scarab in Callisto, Avalon; didn't they? But there's an RF bar rumor about the retros finally getting Hunter Toth, saying they somehow disabled his ship's power and shields. Sounds like a leech gun. But at this time, besides Confeds, only Border Worlds have leech gun technology. Here's a post by Raptor about BW and leech: “Just something else to throw into the debate: technology. The Border Worlds probably have a technological edge (apart from their fighter craft) which would go someway towards neutralising the Landreich's bigger military. Things like leech gun technology…”
He assumed it was from the lawyer, but never really checked it, did he?