On the planet Verdant life is more like the wild west with starships than the Interstellar Era, but that just means there’s plenty of work for sibling freelancers Miranda and Tanner Griff. The jobs involve everything from missing persons to recovering stolen property to anything else that might require the skills of a pair of well-armed individuals. These are the stories of all the trouble they get into in the pursuit of a better world and their next paycheck. Here are some notes on the highlights, in Miranda’s words.
Tanner and I head out on our first job together: finding an expensive (and experimental) AI drone that went missing while mapping a section of the Badlands in preparation for a road between a couple of the colony cities. It’s a simple job but it pays well, and it’s a good way to introduce me to Verdant. Or it would be if we didn’t end up having technical difficulties and getting stalked by the local wildlife. What kind of planet has carnivorous sheep anyways? (Read an earlier version of the story here!)
It’s been a few weeks, and I’m getting used to life on Verdant. The road to Oriole is coming along, and they need someone to help guard an important generator that’s getting delivered since they’ve had some recent trouble with bandits. We’re there mostly to provide backup for Oriole’s own Ava Loesan, but naturally, things don’t go as planned.
We’ve had a rough go of it, and as much as I’m loathe to admit it, we could use an easy job. One of Tanner’s rancher buddies has us go along with an old-fashioned cattle drive just to throw us a bone: it shouldn’t require much real work from us. Of course, literally everything goes horribly wrong. (Read an excerpt here!)
There’s a thief on Verdant! Or rather, there has been for a while, but the Rangers have only recently been able to close in on him, and now they’re asking for our help. He goes by the name of Blue, and he has an irritating knack at getting into places he shouldn’t be able to without being seen. Now that we’ve finally had a chance to actually rest and recover, our friend Tarj enlists our help in setting a trap and finally bringing Blue to justice.
After our work tracking down Blue, word gets around that we know how to think like thieves well enough to thwart them, and a private citizen hires us to steal back a particular item with implications for the colony as a whole. The job seems a little shady, but the pay is really, really good. We do it, but only after checking in with Tarj to make sure we get the full story.
After a few successful jobs, we hit a good rhythm, and it’s easier and easier to get work as our reputation grows. The problem with that, of course, is that we get clients like Ethan Lindsay. (Read the story here!)
Now that we’ve been on Verdant for the better part of a year and have gotten ourselves nicely established, Tanner wants us to offer our services— for free— to recover a shipment of supplies for one of the more remote towns that was stolen by bandits. The supplies have been replaced, but their loss represents a substantial setback. If they could get them back, it could make all the difference in the world. (Read an excerpt here!)
A veteran bounty hunter hires us to help her scour the Badlands for a pair of troublemakers who have managed to get themselves on the wrong side of both the law and a couple of gangs. Oh, and they also happen to be the sons of a prominent local politician. What could go wrong?
All our meddling over the past year hasn’t gone unnoticed. That, or one of Tanner’s side projects ticks off the wrong ganger. Either way, someone takes it upon themselves to kidnap Tanner, and it’s up to me and all the favors I can call in to rescue him. (Read an excerpt here!)