Locke's latest conspirator knows too much about him, unleashing new fears—and threats— as he tries to escape.

⚡️THUNDERFANG S2 #8: Flight
⚡️THUNDERFANG S2 #7: Every Conspiracy All At Once
As the gang escapes Shiningstar, Lestrade reveals to Locke and John just what Jack Moriarty is doing in Portent.

The previous chapter


Season 2, Chapter 8

"Well, well, well. It seems I have found my little Detective."

// Set a Course Result

3 vs 6, 10.


Pay the Price, 98: ... roll twice. Oh, what fun.

46, 68: A new enemy is revealed. Your vehicle suffers damage.

Withstand Damage -2 [1]

+1 => 6 vs... Oh fuck me. 6 vs 6, 6. Miss + match.

-2 momentum [2]

Spaceborne Peril, 15: Dust clouds imperil navigation or conceal foes

The dice have demanded that I make an introduction...


The Scarlet Adler convulsed. Silence followed. Minor damages, I was sure. I could jump and still—

Something shattered and every alarm within the Scarlet Adler blared, the noise drowning out my own thoughts.

Not the maniacal laughter, though. Even through the din, that shrill sound still found a way to pierce my ears.

According to the sensors, the damages—plural!—were much worse than I thought.

I didn't have time to panic, though. I needed to get out of this situation and fast.

// Scene Challenge

As an added complication for the Match, creating a 4-segment clock. We are severely disadvantaged. Sucks to suck.

All around the Scarlet Adler, dust clouds obscured my vision. I had no way of knowing where they were. Were they close by? Had they fired from long-range? Was there more than one?

The Scarlet Adler still needed to cool, prohibiting my jump back into FTL. I could, however, do my best to get some distance on whoever the hell was firing at me. I'd never had to evade pursuers before, though I knew the history of the Scarlet Adler quite well. She'd gotten through the balefire storms surrounding Avam to get to us, and then gotten out again as we fled. She'd also evaded and withstood fire from the fucks that took us.

Avoiding a maniac was well within her capabilities. She'd done it before and I knew she could do it again.

Against my more rational side's better judgment, I gunned the engines. Hopefully, I wouldn't run into an asteroid.

// Face Danger 

+1 (edge; gunning it!) => 5 vs 9, 10. A miss.

Of course. smh

Clock: 1/4

Pay the Price, 68: You waste resources. 

Of COURSE. smh

-1 Supply. Marking Unprepared.

I heard another loud POP! from the Scarlet Adler as something—probably important, knowing my luck—overheated and burst. More chaos followed and I heard many more things shatter, fall, and crunch. My guess was medical supplies, evidence from past cases, and food. I had no time to check the damages. I just needed to go.

“Is this the great Detective? The one that’s plagued my family for generations!? the voice on the intercom shouted. Her voice was filled with rage, but it also sounded like she was...playing? The contradiction in the emotions struck me with fear. She was toying with her food. A bored cat that had just found a mouse.

And what did she mean by generations? None of it made sense. I hadn't been this unsettled since...

...since Akim.

I hopped out of my seat and quickly ran to check on the engines. They weren't cooling fast enough, and they needed to be ice cold now. I instantly regretted not doing a better job of learning how to repair her myself. I had always let Hudson or someone else handle the repairs. There was probably a very simple way out of this situation, but I hadn't taken the time to learn it.

If I could jump the Scarlet Adler, I could make my escape and figure out who was attacking me later. I took whatever I could find, hoping I didn't mess things up worse than they already were.

Stars willing, I would make it out of this alive.

// Secure an Advantage

+2 (wits) => 7 vs 2, 8. Weak hit.

Hmmm... too low on momentum, so I'll take that. +2 momentum [4] 

Maybe it was wishful thinking or hallucinations, but I thought I felt the temperature around the engines cool by even just a few degrees. I rushed back to the pilot seat and gunned it once more. I would need more runway in order to jump.

// Face Danger

+1 (edge) => 7 vs 2, 2. Strong hit and a match!

YAY! Mark progress TWICE! [2/10]

The feminine voice laughed as I took off. Watt clung to his seat, a cable tethering him in place as we began reaching impossible speeds. "Do you think this is going to be enough to escape me, Locke Holmes?"

A new fear dawned. This was no coincidence. They knew exactly who I was. They had not mistaken me for someone else, as I had secretly been hoping.

Despite the gears in my head obsessively trying to suss out just who was targeting me, right now my brain was in flight mode.

Diogenes would surely have me killed for revealing her location to a hostile intruder, so that way was out of the question. Thankfully, the dust clouds no longer obscured my vision, so I could try to formulate something of a plan.

// Secure an Advantage

+2 (wits) => 6 vs 3, 9. Weak hit.

Let's grab more momentum. +2 momentum [6]

"What the hell do you want with me, damnit! I've done nothing wrong to you." I needed to stall. A moment to gather my thoughts.

"Oh, trust me: you have wronged my entire family since The First. You have been a plague on our name and you threaten everything we have fought so hard to achieve. Your very existence is a cancer upon the stars. The time has come for me to wipe you from existence, Detective."

The First?

What exactly was I threatening? All I wanted to do was free the Branded, maybe wipe out a few assholes, and have sex with my boyfriend! Was that too much to ask?!

Was this a secret Salvi sibling I didn't know about? I had the most ties to them recently. I could definitely see Akim and Karim's family holding a grudge—perhaps a cousin? I couldn't recall them mentioning anyone else. To my knowledge, however, they had no idea that Karim and I knew each other, and none of them knew I was there right before Akim blew up.


Another dust cloud, 10 o'clock. I adjusted course. Maybe, if she was behind or somewhere around me, I could confuse them in another dust cloud. It was risky, but it was the only shot I had. I jetted towards it. Her laughter created a cacophony of sickening noise that pierced me to the bone.

Whoever she was, she wanted me dead.

// Secure an Advantage

+2 (shadow) => 4 vs 2, 5. Weak hit.

MORE! +2 momentum [8]

I took a moment—just one—to breathe and think over my options with the space dust obscuring sight once more. I was pretty sure there were no nearby settlements I could hide away in—Diogenes couldn't really have neighbors around her underground deepspace illegal establishment.

That just meant I needed to run. Faster.

I picked a direction that wouldn't put me too off course for my actual destination, and simply blasted off toward it. If I could outrun whoever was targeting me, then maybe I could stand a chance.

I purposefully did not check my surroundings. I already did not see another vessel around me, and I didn't want to truly settle on the possibility that there was no one there.

// Face Danger

+1 (edge) => 7 vs 4, 7. Hmmm... We'll keep this result, for now. Weak hit.

Clock is now at 2/4, and progress is now 3/10

"How's the weather in Portent?" Her voice perked up as if she was talking to a friend she hadn't seen in ages. "Which do you prefer: there or Port Wreck? Which place do you think Michael Crofton would have preferred if he hadn't gone missing? Speaking of going missing, the Scarlet Adler looks a lot like an old Salvi ship that hasn't been seen for quite some time..."

The fear within swelled. She knew more than just my name. She knew my entire history. My chest tightened and my heart pounded. For the first time, I think I understood the true depth of the fear that John felt on a constant basis. I regretted not getting Diogenes to throw in a false identity for me as well.

I changed directions four times, doing my best to lose her. I did not want to find out the true scope of how much she knew about me.

// Face Danger

+1 (edge) => 4 vs 3, 6. Another Weak Hit.

Clock is now 3/4, and progress is now 4/10

"Fly all you want, Detective. I have bigger plans for you."

I did my best to keep the ever-increasing dread at bay. If I let it consume me now, she would win. I had too many people I cared about, too many people who relied on me, to let her win. I had to try and escape this shitshow.

Ready or not, I needed to jump. I flipped switches and turned nozzles. I checked fuel levels and made adjustments. I fiddled with my black iron coin and thought of happier times with those I cared about. I hoped to the stars around me that the Scarlet Adler would not blow up in my face.

I just needed to get away and survive. That was all that mattered.

Please...please work.

// Secure an Advantage

+1 (edge) => 6 vs... 7, 8. Damnit! And my momentum won't help here.

Clock is now... 4/4.

Pay the Price, 56: A friend, companion, or ally is in harm’s way (or you are, if alone)

Well, even if we are alone, we have many people who could suddenly get into harm's way.

"Hudson Baker still runs Baker's Shipyard, right, Detective? And poor Agatha Lestrade. Does she really think she's going to get her job back? Maybe we'll let her. And what about the little puppy, Ripley Slater? You seem to be around him a lot."

Was...was that a threat?

"Just a few of the people you care about, Detective." Her laugh made my stomach churn. "They will have you to blame for their troubles."

// Finish the Scene

4 vs 2, 7. Weak it.

Honestly, not that bad. That could've been worse.

"Leave them alone! They did nothing wrong!"

"WRONG, Detective." I could hear a fist slam down. I had struck a nerve. "They know you. That is wrong enough. We will see to it that all you hold dear pays the price for your intrusions. And as they suffer, we will let them know the name of the one who is responsible.

"I'm sure you know, Detective," she said with an air of condescension. "Names have power. But you do not know the depths of that truth better than me. I know the true power of a name. And with mine, I will strip you of each and every last ounce of power you possess. You are no friend, no hero, no savior. You are a Plague. And we"—she paused. I could practically hear a dramatic hand raise—"are the cure."




// Advance Johnathan and Lestrade Clock


// Mark Progress

It's also come to my attention that I never marked progress on Ira's connection track when I swore a vow to him. Time to correct this!

Ira (Formidable) is at 3/10 now.

⚡️THUNDERFANG S2 #9: Strange
Safe and sound in the Interpreter, Locke meets with Diogenes. Naturally, things get a bit more strange.

The nest chapter

This work is based on Ironsworn: Starforged (found at www.ironswornrpg.com), created by Shawn Tomkin,
and licensed for our use under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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