Life aboard a space ship never gets dull, does it? If you’re Gene Starwind it does. Gene’s recklessness and lack of forward thinking are finally starting to catch up to him. But do main characters ever get punished for being reckless?
Get a haircut, and get a real job
Reality is finally settling in for Gene. A vast majority of time on a ship is idle time between jobs and stops. And what chores are left, he wants no part of. We finally are seeing one of Gene best assets, his youthful energy, be his worst character trait. To the point of irritating and angering Jim. So Gene’s plan? Go after the biggest bounty he can find on Heifong. The problem with this? His biggest rival for collecting bounties is traveling on the ship with him! As Jim keeps saying, they’ll need a plan if they are going to survive in the larger universe.
“People who think big, make it big. People who choose to only think small will only earn chump change the rest of their lives.”
So whats Gene’s next great idea? Entering the largest space race in the galaxy. Only the best ships with the best sponsors typically enter this race, and win. But in typical Gene fashion, that wont stop him. To get their entry fee, they go to none other than Fred. In a double or nothing gamble, Fred agrees to sponsor them, but only if they place in the top 3. With the pressure on, they start the race. And when Gene is under pressure, is when he begins to shine. he navigates the ship, and takes risks that put them at the top of the pack. The race does do one important thing: It proves just how strong and durable the ship really is.
Idle chit chat is not Gene’s strong suit
Entering the race does make three encounters possible for the Outlaw Star: the first encounter with the MacDougall brothers, meeting Professor Nguyen Khan, and picking up Aisha Clanclan
The MacDougall brothers. Their ship is the one that Gene saw when him and his father were attacked 6 years ago. The MacDougall’s were also the ones that attacked them and the Pirates as they went for the XGP/Outlaw Star earlier in the story. Gene decides it’s time to get to the bottom of things and go after them. Harry MacDougall leaves a message for Gene to meet him, and away they go. In obvious fashion, their encounter is less than cordial, and during their fight, Gene boards the MacDougall ship, and comes face to face with Harry. But, much to Gene’s dismay, Harry is clueless is using the moment to hack into the Outlaw Star. Gene shoots his way out of the situation, and they go their separate ways.
Nguyen Khan is an observer of the space race. Until he notices a very peculiar ship: The XGP, but not as he remembers it. He decides to intercept Gene and ask him where he found that ship. Gene blows him off with the comment “We just found it abandoned”. This lets Gene pass, but its apparent from the encounter that Khan is mildly insane, and more is sure to come from him.
Poor Aisha. Since her first encounter with Hilda and Gene, she has lost her rank, and been forced to work job to job, scraping just enough together to make it from station to station. If this show needs it’s comic relief character, it’s her. She is the complete opposite of Suzaka; brash and nearly short sighted. Using a pathetic ruse, she finally manages to get aboard the Outlaw Star. And once aboard, manages to convince Gene and Jim to keep her aboard. With the final crew member now aboard, the Outlaw Star is ready for action.
The best thing about this series is within each story arc, plenty of action abounds, and the story and characters move forward. Outlaw Star keeps a good pace halfway through the series.