Q: So! You're Buck! I have to say, I've been looking forward to talking with you.
A: Oh, yeah? Why's that, friend?
Q: Let's just say that your reputation precedes you.
A: Heh. Can't say I'm surprised. Guy like me, people tend to tell stories.
Q: Are they true?
A: I guess that depends on the story and who's telling it.
Q: Fair enough. Let's talk about you. Where exactly are you from?
A: Well, us humans from the Fleet ain't really from anywhere. We been wanderin' out in the Fringe for a long time, lookin' for a place to set down roots.
Q: So you don't have a homeworld?
A: Well, technically we come from planet Cassus. But it's been a long, long time since we left. Seeing how things turned out there, I think we got the better end of the deal.
Q: Cassus. Wait! Isn't that the Dominion homeworld?
A: [Puts hand on gun] I don't recommend you say that again.
Q: Moving on. Let's talk about those pistols. Are you always packing?
A: You bet I am, mister. And they ain't for decoration. Growin' up out on the Fringe like I did, you learn pretty quick that your best friends are the kind that you wear on your hip. They're loyal, dependable, and they don't talk your ear off.
Q: Do you find guns useful in your line of work?
A: Well, if by 'your line of work' you mean exploring, then I'd say 'sure as a head shot', friend. You don't want to be venturin' into uncharted territory without a little insurance. And if that insurance is the kind that puts holes into things, all the better.
Q: What other kinds of tools do explorers use?
A: That's a big list. But I'd say that the most important piece of equipment for an explorer is something we call the Locator.
Q: Sounds interesting. Tell me more about it.
A: Well, simply put the Locator is kind of like a compass. Except instead of pointing you east, west, north and south, it points you to things like secret mountain passes, hidden valleys, and subterranean caves (http://ow.ly/8Npnh). Since those are the kinds of things that explorer's are lookin' for, it turns out to be one of them tools you can't live without.
Q: Speaking of exploring, I understand that you were recently on Nexus.
Q: What can you tell me about it?
A: I can tell you that it's my kind of place, friend. It's a whole planet full of unexplored frontiers, deadly beasts, and mysterious ancient ruins. You can't take three steps down there without something trying to rip you to shreds or blast you out of existence.
Q: That sounds dangerous!
A: Oh it's dangerous alright. A man needs a stiff backbone, steely resolve, and hair-trigger reflexes just to walk off the ship down there. Good thing I've got all three in spades.
Q: You sound pretty sure of yourself, Buck.
A: I wouldn't be very good at my job if I wasn't, mister.
Q: Why don't you tell about what happened on your last mission?
A: It'd be a pleasure. The Explorers Union sent me planetside to map out an uncharted sector, so I hitched a ride on an Academy research vessel with an Aurin Scientist and a grizzled old Granok Soldier. Nexus being Nexus, it didn't take long for things to get interesting.
Q: Do tell.
A: Well, I ain't exactly supposed to be talking about it, but I think it would fair to say that my two associates got themselves into a heap of trouble, and then I stepped in and saved their bacon. For most people, it would have been quite an adventure, but it's pretty much a regular day for someone like me.
Q: That's not exactly the story I heard. But let's talk about these 'associates'...
A: Surely. The Granok was about what you'd expect. Armed to the teeth, and he definitely held his own when things got hot and heavy. But just between you and me, he wasn't exactly the sharpest tool in the shed.
Q: Probably best if we keep that to ourselves. And what about this Aurin Scientist?
A: Liara? Now she was a character, no doubt about it. You know the kind. One of them true-believers. Circle of life and all that nonsense. You could tell she liked to hear herself talk.
Q: Interesting. Let's move on. Here's a hypothetical situation: you're sitting in a bar, and an intergalactic bounty hunter has a gun aimed at your heart. Would you shoot first?
A: Do I really need to answer that question?
Q: I suppose not.
Set your artistic skills to work and you could win fabulous prizes!
It’s show time! Sara Conavius is in town to help renovate your homes for the best program on holovision.
This festival is fun on a massive scale, laid over the top of a sinister tale.