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Dear Mad Elf,
I have recently become a crew member of the notorious privateer, Solomon Drake. This, in itself, is not the problem. I'm glad of the work, as it gives me something to focus on as i attempt to overcome my drug addiction.
What is troubling me, however, is the surly nature of the crew. Our pilot, a Space Rat spawn, is quiet and unassuming, and this annoys me greatly. The gunner, a mildly boring and 'solid' sort of chap, aggravates me with his good nature. Drake himself is the very model of a reasonably succesful privateer, but his frequent demands for the near-impossible, and his subsequent failure to even say 'thank you', induces an unreasoning level of rage. However, the antics of these cretins pales beside those of the man who brought me onto this ship of fools, one Silas Orr.
This scum seems to control a goodly part of the criminal trade in this region, and though he arranged for a detox treatment for me in return for services rendered, he failed to ensure that it was completed, and as a result i was abducted from my induced slumber and deposited aboard ship. His failure to complete the rest of our agreement to my satisfaction means that he is the deserving subject of all my wrathful energy.
Yet what is most worrying is that, even as i am recovering from my drug addiction, i am experiencing worrying feelings towards my work. I am an AI 'wrangler', formerly a reasonably placed operative in the Federation's support services. Aboard ship, i am in charge of maintaining Victoria, a fairly recent construction. My only grievance with her is that she is not by beloved Aurlok, who was my closest friend until i was exiled by the Federation, and to be frank, that she is little more than a talking calculator and nowhere near the level of the equipment i would prefer to be using, especially when i am expected to raid the Federation Data Network for information on their new 'Liberator' Heavy Cruiser.
Can you offer any advice as to how i can improve relations with the rest of the crew, and do you know of any reliable dealers near Dal 14?
Mad Elf replies...
I'm having a little trouble with some parts of your problem. Are you saying that the pilot and gunner are too nice for you? A Space Rat? Your dislike of Drake and Orr is much more understandable. I'll take Orr first.
This person is obviously asking for some messily biological form of retribution. I would recommend a heavy dose of para-hyrene (readily available outside the Federation), preferrably just before going into combat. Intense hallucinations of the sort produced by this drug will no doubt cause him to behave in an unacceptable manner, and your crewmates (assuming Orr hasn't shot them by this point) will get rid of him for you. Just make sure you aren't discovered drugging him (or shot at when he mistakes you for a slavering monster).
Getting rid of Drake would be a bad idea, as well as being far more difficult. (For the time being, at least.) He sounds like a reasonable sort of person who knows the limitations of his crew very well (after all, he hasn't actually asked you to do the impossible) and takes it for granted that you'll be able to perform. You could look at this as a compliment to your abilities, rather than an insult to your sensibilities. If, however, you still feel distressed by his behaviour, I'm sure he would prefer you to talk to him about it, rather than bottling up your feelings.
As for the rest of the crew: they sound unlikely to hurt you, so you may as well try to get on with them. After all, they are probably the most easily manipulated members of the crew, and if circumstances forced you to assume command, it would be good to have them on your side.
Victoria is, I'm afraid, your problem. However, you should try to stop comparing her with AIs you have known before, as it may cause an inferiority complex. Still, these modern AIs are fairly advanced machines, and you can reprogram their interfaces and surface behaviour very easily, using nothing more than voice commands. With a little effort you should be able to teach her to perform more to your expectations.
I must say I'm impressed that you are hoping to be able to get on with the rest of the crew, rather than leaving at the earliest opportunity. To help you in this endeavour, I would suggest that you stop thinking of them in such terms as 'ship of fools' and 'cretins': these thoughts will be made apparent through your behaviour, and the crew will be less likely to try to get on with you. Remember, it's a two-way street.
As far as dealers go, there aren't any reliable ones in your area; however there are some that you can trust up to a point. The other members of your crew should be able to recommend some.