The following is the first part of a story I've been working on. This is a first draft and revisions may be made as I see fit. Enjoy!
In a distant place and time, far from our world, three ships blast their way through the upper atmosphere of planet Reyhn. Two are in intense pursuit of the third, weaving in and out of the clouds blanketing the area.
A small gunship ascends sharply, attempting to evade the cruisers closing in.
Cade wasn’t about to get caught, not by these directorate ingrates. Slamming the throttle on the transhyper engines, he thrust the gunship forward, past the upper exosphere and into the stars.
“Increase velocity, he won’t escape this time!” barked Commander Kreln at the hapless helmsman. “Sir, cruiser beta69 is reporting a failure in their inertial engines! Wait, they report their entire engine systems are nonfunctional!”
“Leave them, we can’t let this one get away! Prepare the magnetic grappling ray!”
“Sir, engineering section is reporting failure of multiple systems, we cannot maintain pursuit.” “Unbelievable! Why can’t we maintain speed?”
“It’s the central regulators Sir, their reporting a malfunction, the computers anti-meltdown protocols have engaged.”
Cruiser alpha69 began to lose pace with the gunship, as the distance between them quickly widened. A bright flash of green appeared and then the gunship vanished.
Moments later, aboard the stolen gunship Frantic Five: “That…went about as well as expected,” said Lin sarcastically behind her pilot’s chair. “What’s the matter Lin, too close for comfort?” Cade said as he slowly relinquished a half grin. “Being in the same star system as those imperial drones is too close in my “ignored” opinion.
“What’s wrong Jin? We were able to get what we came for. No one was caught, no harm done.”
“Heh, yeah…by the skin of our necks! You know full well that was just sheer, unadulterated, stupid luck!!”
“Maybe (laughs audibly)…maybe.”
Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! “Sigh, looks like another power circuit died.” Cade hits the dash button commlink for the engine room. “Rax, we’re getting an alert from the computing array about one of the circuits, can you check it out when you get a sec?” “Oh surrrrree, anything for you buddy!” said Rax.
“When do you think we’ll reach Theta 7?” “Another hour, at most.”
“Thrills! I’m gonna go grab something to eat. Maybe some coffee will calm these shaky nerves.” The cockpit door screeches open as Lin approaches, then shuts behind her.
Cade glances out the window at the warped space rushing by, then leans back in his chair to catch a nap.
Alpha69, Commander’s Briefing Room: “I want to know how that criminal scum were able to hack our ship’s network and I want to know now!” “Sir, initial analysis suggests it was a backdoor in one of our cargo inventory systems. It was so small, nearly undetectable.” said Ensign 4. “Undetectable! We are the the galactic armada! Where’s the chief of inventory? Get him up here now!”
Ensign 4’s eyes widen as he replies nervously “Ye-yes Sir.” Moments later the briefing room double doors hiss open as the chief of cargo and inventory slowly enters.
“Are you the chief?” yelled Kreln. “Yes, I am.” Kreln paused momentarily and then replied. “Sigh, …Good.” Kreln draws his plasma ray pistol from its pristinely kept holster and fires two bolts of searing plasma at the chief. The chief is knocked back and falls backwards onto the steel floor. He soon fades.
The officer’s all look nervously at the corpse now disturbing the normally orderly briefing room. Some are visibly shaking, trying to keep still.
“Let me make myself clear, there is no room for mistakes on my ship. Someone get custodial corps up here to get rid of that body. Ensign 4, find the backdoor and remove it, then see about finding a way to track that ship.” “Yes, Sir!” “I’ll be updating the admiral on our progress, so the next time I ask for an update it had better be a good one. Dismissed!”
Ensign 4 quickly gets up out of his chair and exits the room. Once out of sight of his comrades he makes a rush for a nearby garbage compaction unit and promptly vomits. Looking up from the compactor, the ensign straightens his uniform and proceeds down the corridor to his next assignment, all the while trying to shake the fear gripping him.
Planet Theta 7, high orbit: The Frantic Five flashes out of warp, appearing just above Theta 7. The inertial engines kick out thrust as the gunship makes it’s way into the atmosphere. The planet’s desert climate of red stone cliffs and mesas can be seen in the distance. Cade guides the ship across the sky. An ancient city quickly appears in the distance and grows larger as the gunship makes its way toward a small pad near the top of a weathered spire.
Cade hits a button. A message appears on the cockpit’s heads up display: Landing process engaged. Stability thrusters activated. The ship lands on the pad and then it’s engines shut off with a low electronic hum.
Lin enters the cockpit, followed by Rax. “Are you ready to do this?” “Just another day in business Lin.” said Cade as he places his double barrel electron bolt blaster into its holster. “Rax, you were sure to inform your contact of our arrival right?” “Yes, they’re on their way up.” “Good, I’ll help you unload the crates.” Minutes later, Six thetian pirates enter the pad from the vertical lift built into the spire’s west wall. “Uck, omicronians.” Lin whispers. “Be civil.” Cade replies.
The leading pirate steps forward, his reptilian body adorned with a visible plasma proof vest and shin guards. “Do you have it?” he asked. “It’s all here, 120 kilograms of fission reactor bricks…taken right from an imperial enrichment facility. Do you have our payment?”
The pirate’s eyebrows furl and then he yells something in thetian to the other pirates. One of them walks forward carrying a data card. He hands it to Cade and then steps back, falling in line with his captain.
“Here, scan this.” said Cade as he hands the card to Rax. Rax pulls a small-tap computer from his pocket and inserts the card in it’s open reader. Looking at the amount of money on the card, Rax’s eyes widen. He glances at Cade and nods his head.
“Well gentlemen, that concludes our business.” “Wait just a moment.” said the lead pirate. “We would like to hire you to acquire some…additional hardware.” Cade stares blankly at the pirate for a brief moment and then replies, “Okay, what are you looking to acquire?”
“Fission control circuits, the kind used in the imperial energy plants. We…we have a special use for them.”
“What kind of use?”
“Nothing of your concern. Can you get them?”
“You know us, we’re up for anything as long as we make bank.” “I was hoping you might say that.” The pirate pulls a second data card out of his pocket and tosses it to Cade. Cade catches it with his left hand. “That lists several energy production plants in this sector and a few in nearby systems. Bring me as many control circuits as you can obtain and your payment will be great.” Cade smirks at the pirate and then glances back at his crew. The three of them turn around walk toward the Frantic Five. The pirates turn and walk toward the lift.
Moments later the gunship’s engines turn on, the ship ascends off the pad and bursts forward into the sky.
In the galley, aboard the Frantic Five: “Are you guys ready for this?” asked Rax. “Come on Rax, out with it! How much did we make?” Rax pushes the card into a nearby reader. A number appears on an overhead display. Lin gasps in shock at the 6 digit number on the screen. “750,000 galactic byts! We could almost buy a new ship with that!”
“Hey now! She didn’t mean it.” Cade said as he looked upward, clearly addressing the ship itself.
Beep! Beep! Beep! “What’s going on now.” whined Lin.
The ship shakes violently, nearly forcing Jin and Rax out of their chairs. “Hit, we’ve been hit!” yelled Jin as he glances down at a ship’s schematic appearing on his small-tap. “Everyone to battle positions now!” yelled Cade. The three make a rush for the cockpit.
A shadow appears over top of the Frantic Five, darkening the otherwise bright glare of the nearby sun. Alpha69’s massive hull looms above as it continues firing on the small gunship.
Suddenly a voice is heard on the Frantic’s comm system. “This is commander Kreln of the Imperial Armada, prepare to be borded. Make no attempt to resist us this time!”
“Looks like our friends are back.” said Rax, seemingly impervious to the serious danger there were all in. “How are we going to get out of this? I don’t have any new clever hacks up my sleeve.”
Suddenly a pulsating noise is heard, coming from outside the ship. “Magnetic Grappling Ray!” said Jin and Rax in unison. “Well…heh…were screwed.” said Jin. The cruiser begins pulling the small gunship into it’s lower docking ring. As the Frantic is slowly lifted into the bay, dozens of howitzer fighters and mechs can be seen lining the circular walls. Cade looks out the cockpit window at the ship they are now engulfed within. He brandishes his blaster. Jin pulls an autobolt rifle off a rack nearby. Meanwhile, Rax hastily stuffs various gadgets into a satchel, along with several concussion grenades. “This is it, isn’t it? We finally get the pay off we were hoping for and now…we’re gonna die.” Jin said. Cade looks at her, then at Rax, then back at her. He lifts his blaster up to eye level. “If they’re really gonna kill us, let’s at least make it hard for them.”
To be continued.