Sunday April 15, 2001
Book 1: The Tub of Happiness — Big Haunted Battleship
In another remarkable case of suspicious coincidence, I mention 'extortion' in the strip that runs on the due-date for U.S. citizens' tax returns. I don't know how these things happen.


Narrator: Mercenary Captain Tagon brings home the bargain of the millenium. But where do you park a warship that outmasses most space stations?
Tagon: Luna control, I need a parking orbit.
Luna Controller: Do you have a preference?
Tagon: Check my mass and drive specs, please, control. I think you'll want me high and out of the way.
Luna Controller: Egad.
Luna Controller: How does the lesser magellanic cloud suit you?
Tagon: Something in our galaxy would be preferable.
Tagon: So, Breya, how do you like her?
Breya: This ship is huge... What are we going to do with a ship this large?
Tagon: Pay the bills. I've already landed a contract that happens to be perfect for this ship.
Breya: Ennesby told me about the automation problem. Manual ship combat without a trained crew is Crazy, tagon.
Tagon: There's no shooting involved in this contract, Admiral. Nobody wants to get in a fight with something this size.
Breya: So you're going to bluff some contracted enemy into submission? That's really crazy. No way.
Tagon: You underestimate me, Admiral. I'm hurt.
Tagon: When I registered the ship under our mercenary company charter, contracts started pouring in from all over the system.Then the U.N.S. security council offered to triple the best offer I had in hand. All we need to do is leave the system in a week without shooting anybody.
Breya: I think if we listen carefully we can hear the demons casting lots for the tattered, grubby remains of your soul.
Tagon: It's not extortion if they pay you before you have a chance to properly threaten them.