I checked the feed from the cargo bay. A dozen steel drums. All of them full. The bay was empty otherwise. Normally that would have irked me, but the promised payment from this one delivery was worth the wastefulness of a near-empty cargo bay. The drums and their contents were pre-approved to pass through every one of the near-hundred checkpoints that we were about to encounter. It would not have been worth the risk of being stopped at every checkpoint for a full reckoning of our cargo if we were carrying our usual assortment of items—living, non-living, legal…not-so-legal.
Over the last three hundred years, elaborate guesses have been made about the nature of the treasure aboard the Arcadian. It was only after news spread of the ship’s loss to a freak storm as it passed through open and unclaimed seas that the rumors of what it carried began to spread along with the news of the wreck.
We are not deserters. We are not thieves. But we have been named as such by the imperial navy. We are hunted by the ships we once called our allies. The empress gave our captain a precious treasure as a gift. It was but a gesture. In truth, the treasure belongs to the empire, as all things do. Our captain has taken it.
The warship Mynotragon.