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​All Debts Are Paid

This song is by Jordin Kare and appears on the album Fire in the Sky (1991).

I was 19 years when I left my world
I had killed a fool who called me a liar
But I ran to the field and I climbed to space
And I drove for the rim on a starships fire
When the ship lifts all debts are paid

I signed on board the Angels 10
Her captain heard my tale with a sneer
He looked me up and down and said,
"Get aft. You work for the engineer."
When the ship lifts all debts are paid

Now the engineer was a man named Sket
He was tall and dark and damned to Hell
A dozen worlds had a price on his head
But he knew stardrives and he knew them well
When the ship lifts all debts are paid

For four long years we cruised the rim
I worked for Sket and slowly learned
Strange worlds we touched but I seldom saw
For I stayed below where the fusion burned
When the ship lifts all debts are paid

In time Sket told me of all his life
Of stolen ships and wild rides
A hundred tricks a stardrive plays
All this I learned and more besides
When the ship lifts all debts are paid

But fortune scorned the Angels 10
Her captain grew more cold and mean
We carried strange and deadly loads
And the money we saw was seldom clean
When the ship lifts all debts are paid

At last I'd had my fill of such
Sket called me son and begged me stay
But I left that ship on the next green world
And I watched her lift from far away
When the ship lifts all debts are paid

The years went by on many ships
My skills were sharp and my conscience clear
I built on Sket's foundation
And I rose to the rank of engineer
When the ship lifts all debts are paid

Two years I'd served on the Pride of Space
And a finer ship you'll never see
When the rumors spread of vanished ships
And the whispered word was piracy
When the ship lifts all debts are paid

We had no warning when they came
Their beam gun fired and fired again
They pierced our hull and the steel's deep ring
Was the death song of five honest men
When the ship lifts all debts are paid

But I was aft and did not die
The drives cried out as I pulled away
And I vowed as I drove across the sky
That a pirate ship would die that day
When the ship lifts all debts are paid

I was all alone but it mattered not
That I had no gunner, no guns to wield
For this was never a duel of guns
My weapon was the power of a stardrive field
When the ship lifts all debts are paid

Across full half a million miles
The power of suns bent to my will
To stretch the very shape of space
And kill the ship I'd sworn to kill
When the ship lifts all debts are paid

But the pirate's own field blocked my thrust
And struck and turned once and again
And I knew what hand must rule those drives
For the pirate ship was the Angels 10
When the ship lifts all debts are paid

We turned and drove for half an hour
My drives grew hot and I cursed and swore
For I had skill and speed and power
But Sket had played this game before
When the ship lifts all debts are paid

Then from my screen came Sket's own voice
"I do not wish to see you die
But it seems my son that I have no choice."
And my own voice said, "Then nor have I."
When the ship lifts all debts are paid

Then one last time I drove through night
To live or die, the gods decide
Our drive fields met. All space glowed white
And Sket's was the drive that flared and died
When the ship lifts all debts are paid

The Angels 10 hung dead in space
And gave no clue if her crew survived
But I knew if any man could live
That Sket at least was yet alive
When the ship lifts all debts are paid

I dared not give them time to work
To make her repairs, to fight or run
I towed them just ten trillion miles
And I dropped them into a blue-white sun
When the ship lifts all debts are paid

Then at last I drove for a friendly sun
With a crippled ship and this tale to tell
Of a pirate ship that was once my own
And the man I loved, and sent to Hell
For when the ship lifts all debts are paid