Overdraft: The Orion Offensive – “Golden Handshake”

Overdraft: The Orion Offensive

Episode 2 – “Golden Handshake”

Overdraft: The Orion Offensive – Episode 2 “Golden Handshake” picks up right where the last episode left off. Bridget and her surge team have arrived on Dragon Depot and are sweeping the place for threats. What they don’t know is that a group of hostile, xenophobic Xylanders are on the station. To make matters worse, Kolvax, the leader of the Xylander group, has ordered his followers to attack the humans. Kolvax quickly makes plans to kidnap Jamie Sturm and use him as proof that the scourge of humanity is at the Xylander’s doorstep. All in all it kicks things off with some fun.

Jamie, the interstellar trade broker whose get rich quick scheme goes bust, gets quite a bit of attention in this episode. First off we get his thoughts on the sorry mess he’s gotten himself into. Rather than trying to make the best of it, though, Jamie begins thinking his best bet would be to abandon Bridget and her operation and head back home for Earth where he could find a cozy little spot to go into hiding. Of course the Xylanders aren’t about to let that happen. Kolvax and his followers try to kidnap Jamie, which turns into an all out firefight between them and Bridget’s surge team. The Xylanders get caught out in the open and are thus forced to make a hasty retreat, but not without the evidence Kolvax needs to rally his people against the threat of humanity.

Regardless of the alien ambush, Bridget and her team plow forward with their goal of establishing trade with new alien species and raking in some much needed cash. Their first stop ends up being the planet Braghula. It’s a world covered in a greenish-yellow fog, dotted with briny lakes and odd colored sand. The native Baghu are a very exotic species that resisted all attempts of trade years ago. Now it’s up to Jamie to make a sale and close the deal. Alas, things don’t turn out all that simple, which leads for some more fun.

Like the first episode, “Golden Handshake” packs in a lot of humor and fun adventure. New species are introduced and new worlds are explored. More importantly, the characters are further explored and fleshed out. In this episode, we finally get the details on how Bridget ended up starting the first interstellar war involving humans. Lissa Trovatelli, Bridget’s new quartermaster/armorer, is also developed a little as a few details of her background are revealed. Furthermore, readers get a better idea of Jamie’s character as he deals with being taken hostage and forced to interact with a bizarre alien species he knows nothing about. I had to laugh out loud at his reaction to the alien Baghu not having a name. The story gets even funnier from there as teddy bears lead to an interspecies conflict.

The episode ends on a cliffhanger but delivers enough story to keep readers happy. The questions it leaves unanswered certainly have me interested in seeing what happens next. How will Jamie and Bridget escape a rampaging group of giant, tentacled covered stomachs obsessed with an insatiable appetite for teddy bears? How will they deal with the impending attack from the militaristic Xylanders and their insane, xenophobic fears? Whatever John Jackson Miller comes up with next, he’s off to a good start. I give “Golden Handshake” a five out of five metal bikinis. This is fun sci-fi at its best.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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