So this was a fun chapter to write. If only because it allowed me to be funny as well action packed. And I mean legit funny, not my usual using references or smarmy dialogue to elicit chuckles. Actually funny situations involving Zek and Taq and how they try to escape a relentless killer group of rival pirates.
The most enjoyable part was, in my mind, Zek and Taq's arguments. I felt they conveyed so much history. The idea was to sell that these two people know each other very well and all their foibles are even more apparent to the other. Zek in particular gets on Taq's nerves constantly because he's a bit of dick, as I'm sure we've all come to accept at this point. He's a smart guy, but he's also impulsive. Taq is a little more thoughtful in her approach to situations. She prefers to reserve her resources, think more on things before doing something crazy. Zek has no time for that.
It was also fun just letting Samara cut loose. The Hollow is the perfect place to drop her into. It's basically free game in that place. There are no innocents in that hollowed out moon, meaning she doesn't have to hold back. Sadly, this kinda makes every poor Jackal in her way pretty much mincemeat. They really should've just run to be honest. Seriously, that scene was basically Judge Dredd versus the Raiders from any given Mad Max movie. They were fucked the second they fired back.
Also we got to see Retz in action, which is pretty rare. He's, in my mind, a lot more hands off. When he does get dirty though, he is ruthlessly efficient in his job. As he is with everything. Zek couldn't ask for a more perfect partner in regards to his operation.
You may have noticed some bits of development. Zek was always quick to take the piss out of Grunts he came across. For once he didn't do that here. He actually let him off without even a slap on the wrist. Zek is an ass, but he's never struck me as cruel. He is not incapable of self-reflection.. he just doesn't like doing it all that much.
I really liked having the Spartans in a Dog Fight here, it goes to show that there is more to them than just ground soldiers. Chief can handle any situation given the opportunity. He is Humanity's best soldier after all. Plus I got to do more dog fighting, so win-win.
Zhoc's actions in this chapter pretty much round out who he is as a person. Namely, a smiling happy friend one second and an absolute loathsome criminal mastermind the next. He hates failure, he hates poor planning, he hates hiccups in his carefully ordered operation. He can plan for a lot, but not for the mistakes of others. He forgives Lurz for not being able to catch Zek and Taq because it's part of his plan. At least in that he has a plan B. He can't tolerate those who screw things up because they didn't consider possible threats to said plan's success. However, he doesn't want to dirty his own hands with dolling out punishments. So he gets others to do it for him. It's all there to maintain his regular facade, as a perfectly controlled, intelligent and refined Pirate of class. I suppose you could call him Faux Affably Evil, but in honesty I think he's just bi-polar more than anything. Just really good at keeping the anger down until something seems to ruin everything.
The finale scenes here were basically the end of the first bit of confrontation. The factions all agree that they need to work with one another. However different their goals and clashing agendas are, they are stuck with one another and it's pointless to keep squabbling when they have bigger problems on the horizon. So they lay down some ground rules, at long last. From now on, everyone has to be honest with their intention, individual commanders have authority over their units, but ultimately must answer to the other leaders. No one is an island unto their self and must acknowledge that actions taken by ione will effect others down the line.
This doesn't end the arguing and antagonism, far from it. All it does is solidify where everyone stands. It makes things more stable, for now at least. Think of it as a proper affirmation of what this Flotilla of strange bedfellows is. Don't expect that to mean everyone now plays nice.
Most importantly though, this chapter gives us direction at long last. Now the Fleet has a stated shared goal they all agree with. Getting to this wreck and getting that artifact. Everyone agrees they need to get it. And Zek of course is delighted, figuring this now means they're all pirates. What's more piratey than a treasure hunt after all? So we got a Forerunner Artifact to collect and an ancient ship to explore. Sounds like we have ourselves a story there. Is there more to it? Well, I think by now you know me well enough to know there is always more to anything I write. This is basically the start of a much bigger Arc that will see us travelling around the Galaxy, specifically to one familiar place I know you're all waiting for. Don't worry, we're going back there soon. I promise. But when you adapt something like I'm doing, you need to expand some things. This is one of them.
That's all for now, expect new chapters soon. I've built up a few by now.