Posted by Civilian Michael Conrad (Black Sparrow CO) in For a Few Dollars More - The Wolf arrives
Posted by Civilian Michael Conrad (Black Sparrow CO) in For a Few Dollars More - The Wolf arrives
Posted by Civilian Linarra Riccio (Head of Medical and Social Services) in For a Few Dollars More - The Wolf arrives
Posted by… suppressed (3) by the Post Ghost! 👻
“We are approaching the OED System” the pilot of the sleek, civilian craft announced. It was small, capable of planetary landings and used for light transport and passenger work but Atticus was all too aware that the real job of this crew, although hidden even from him, was smuggling. There was a certain feeling of it, the crews stance, how they talked. They were obviously, to him, hiding something but Atticus couldn’t care less, it was literally none of his business.
Switching the Comm in his small and cramped quarters to silent he switched on his personal PaDD and immediately a message popped into existence, right on time. It was encoded with the latest encryption and on the screen it was only squiggles and random characters, but he had always had a knack for this and with his almost photographic memory, had no trouble reading the message without the benefit of his decoding software.
Are you here came the first line of text.
Yes was his simple and straight reply. There was no need to confirm who he or the other person was, he would never know that information anyway and if they had this address, they were part of a select few who could afford him.
The item has reached OEDV. The Contract still stands
The Contract is void, no payment has been made he sent. He sighed slightly, they always thought that they could get him to do a job without a deposit, like some rookie that was trying to make a name for himself.
The job is important, payment is made after the item is received
That’s not how this works, and you know that he sent, and then turned off the PaDD, ending the conversation. Placing it gently on the small table beside him he sat back and started counting. By the time he reached ten, his wrist communicator beeped and he turned it over and checked that display, and this time his eyebrow did rise. The deposit was twice what he agreed, somebody wanted this item very badly, and this was only the deposit, only one third of what the contract would eventually pay, and even this amount would mean he could live comfortable for the rest of his days if he so chose. Turning on the PaDD again he sent one more message, ignoring anything else that had been sent and turning it off afterwards, he already had the profile and the location for delivery, that was all he needed, all he ever asked.
Contract is accepted was all that was sent back, and then Atticus made sure his bag was packed, checked the various items on his person and checked the mirror. The face that looked back at him didn’t look all that mysterious, it was handsome sure, but he could easily have been in a Starfleet uniform, selling property on Risa or a waiter in the local eatery. He didn’t look like a bounty hunter. Maybe it was the eyes, they were always so relaxed, comfortable and, sad, perhaps. Or maybe that was just him feeling the strain of all these years and knowing this was his last contract. He slid his jacket on over his collared shirt and adjusted the cuffs and the collar, then slid a pair of darkened glasses over his eyes, a habit he had picked up that didn’t serve any real purpose except to hide his eyes. For some reason, people seemed to take notice of them and remember the eyes, so he hid them. Then, he picked up his bag and left his quarters to prepare to land at OED.
The Wolf, post 1, another coming.
The craft shook as another hit impacted the shielding, and the pilot cursed. Lights flashed over the consoles and the crew tried to deal with the damaged systems as the unknown attacker turned for another pass at them. They had barely passed the single large Asteroid that OEDV called a moon when the aggressor, hiding on the opposite side, had ambushed them. That had been minutes ago and in that time the situation had turned from bad to worse than bad.
“I’ve lost navigation control” the Pilot announced, “we are leaking plasma, shields are down to minimum and we are on thrusters only” he frantically tried to get the impulse engines working again, but it wasn’t responding. “We are entering the atmosphere” he said, pausing and looking up as the glow from the front of the ship told him they were beginning their descent.
“I can’t eject the core” the ships Engineer said, coming into the flight cabin, “everything is fused, I can only shut it down but then we aren’t going to have thrusters”, “we need them or we are going to hit the dirt like an asteroid hits a deflector shield” the pilot said, a panicked tone obvious as their descent became deeper and he worked to control it as much as he could only using thrusters.
“How long to impact” Atticus asked, strangely calm, seated in one of the empty console stations that had lost power now. Whatever he was thinking was going to happen, he was showing no fear. Why should he, it hadn’t happened yet so he had no idea what the situation was going to be. The ships rocked again as another salvo from the attacker hit them, and this time warning lights, more of them, erupted all over the consoles that still lived. “Hull breaches!” the Engineer said from his station, “Oh god, we lost Rinz and Tekko. They’re gone, we have no emergency shielding and they were sucked out.” The pilot swore and frantically tried to adjust the angle of attack of the ship.
“How long, and where?” Atticus asked. He didn’t care about the lost crew, didn’t know them, didn’t want to. The attack was too fast and direct for help to come from the Starfleet Orbital station, the fighters wouldn’t get here in time and he noted that the Pilot had sent no distress signal, more proof they were smuggling in the first place. “60 seconds, the ship has broken off their pursuit” the pilot told him and then looked around, “and we aren’t going to make it to the Colony. We’re going down in the wastes, better get the env…”
He had no chance to finish that sentence as another explosion rocked the ship, the Engineers console exploded in a flash of light and the Engineer was thrown bodily across the cabin, falling dead or unconscious to the floor. “Oh my god” the Pilot moaned, “they aren’t stopping, they’re following us down” then he and Atticus both looked up to see the ground fast approaching. It was indeed barren, lifeless, and even here they could notice the fierce wind blowing dust storms across the landscape. Nothing would survive for long out there in the open, and very soon, if they survived the landing, that was where they would be, with a ship that wanted them dead close behind.
Atticus adjusted the safety harness and watched the ground approach as the pilot wrestled with the nose of the craft and the dying thrusters. The ground grew closer and closer as if in slow motion, and seconds before impact, the pilot turned to face him, but Atticus heard no words. Instead, everything went black almost instantly after the massive jolt and sound of the small ship impacting the dusty, dead and barren wastes of OEDV.
The Wolf, post 2, last one next :D
The light stung, or maybe it was the dust as Atticus opened his eyes. The world seemed slanted, but as his vision cleared he realized that it was the cabin that was on an angle, and he could smell the burning scent of electronics and plasma around him. He had to get out. He was still here and the ship hadn’t exploded from either the impact or the attacker finding them, but he knew he had little time. Looking around the cabin he noted the pilot, groaning in his seat and the Engineer stirring and coughing. Atticus had been pulled from his own harness and was across the cabin, and as he moved he felt the agonizing pain of multiple broken bones grinding against each other and knew almost instantly that he had broken his arm, wrist, shoulder, ribs and jaw and had numerous internal injuries. The blood in his mouth told him about the internal injuries, but the dust and pain of breathing the dead oxygen of OEDV told him that even without the injuries, he didn’t have long.
Agonizingly, he stood, thankful that his legs worked but knowing that the piece of metal embedded in one that he was almost dragging was causing too much blood loss. It took only seconds for him to make his choices, there were always choices, and for him they almost always came down to which choice wasn’t as bad as the others, but he made it like he always did. That was, after all, his job. Painful moments happened while he dragged his way through the shattered vessel to the core, still humming and whining and in it’s dying throes, about to go quiet, and thankful that the containment hadn’t been broken. Without though he un-clipped the buckle from his belt and attached it to the core, then activated a link on his wrist communicator, both objects had a light that simultaneously glowed for just a second before going dark.
Painful moments later, and a trail of blood he knew he couldn’t afford, and he was back in the cockpit. He dragged the coughing and barely conscious Engineer over to the pilot and dumped him beside him, then turned to the man in the seat. “Can you talk?” he asked through broken teeth and lips, the pain from his jaw excruciating. “Yes” the pilot said, and with that Atticus turned on the ships distress signal and opened the comm system, still thankfully powered by the dying core. “The Channel is open” he said to the pilot, “make your mayday calls, let them know all survivors are on board and need rescue now.” The pilot nodded, and began to call, and Atticus patted him on the shoulder and moved back to the corridor. He didn’t look back as he opened the ships outer hatch, and stumbled, fell out into the dusty landscape with a cry of pain as his broken shoulder ht the ground, but he forced himself to crawl.
How long? Maybe minutes? Atticus felt he was away from the ship and had found a slight hollow in the ground, above him the wind blew viciously and dust stung both his eyes and his wounds, and invaded his chest as he tried to breath air that did little to feed his body with oxygen. But the dust storm would hide the crashed shuttle, and muddle the life sign readings in the area, the distress signal would let OED know where to find them, and the open Comm call would be picked up on every channel. Of course, the attacking ship would detect all of that as well, and Atticus smiled to himself in spite of the pain as a scream of an engine above him told him the ship had arrived.
Looking at it Atticus recognized it as the attacker. It was smaller than the ship he had been in, light, fast and designed for two people. A fighter, or raider as it was, but raiders never pursued their prey like this. It came to a halt over the downed ship and Atticus watched as a hatch opened beneath it and a figure dropped out, a figure in a breathing mask and carrying a disruptor rifle. He coughed, more blood, and narrowed his eyes and lips in a grim smirk as he saw the figure move into the open hatch he had left without stopping to consider it, and he only had to wait seconds for the sound and lights of disruptor rifle discharges to reach him. That was all the proof he needed. His hand moved to his wrist communicator and tapped the signal, and Atticus knew that as he did, the lights on the device in the shuttle would light up like the lights on his wrist.
The explosion was furious, and the crashed shuttle lifted bodily off the ground, the flames and shock wave reaching the hovering craft that had attacked them and consuming it as well. Virtually instantly, the crashed shuttle ceased to exist, it, it’s cargo and crew becoming only confetti to be spread over the barren landscape, and the hovering attacker soon joined it as the force broke through the vessels containment shielding and disrupted the mix, adding a secondary explosion from the hovering craft that sent most of it careening off into the wastes, to crash and become it’s own pile of wreckage with the pilot consumed by the flames.
Atticus realized at that moment also, that his shallow hole was not far enough away as he felt the shock wave reach him, and he was powerless as he was lifted and thrown like the dust around him further away, landing with another explosion of pain as more bones broke, including a leg. Lying on the ground, broken, twisted and bleeding out, gasping for breath, Atticus grinned widely. It wasn’t how he planned on going out, but it was glorious in it’s own way. His grin turned to coughing as he felt the blood fill his lungs, and trickle down his cheek. The air no longer supported him, and looking up at the dust filled emptiness, Atticus closed his eyes and lost consciousness as his body shed itself of life.
The dust hadn’t even settled when Linarra arrived and there were still small fires spread here and there. Normally wouldn’t even be here but they were short staffed and this crash needed more medical personnel the the hospital could spare. Besides, after days behind a desk it was nice to be able to use her other skills instead of letting them get resty. Once she reached the central point of the crash Linarra stared down the fire and rescue men who threatened not to let her pass.
“There could be wounded, let me do my job or I’ll make sure you lose yours,” Linarra demanded in a calm tone that let them know she would and could do what she threatened. She was not one to bluff. She didn’t know if was her dark eyed stare or tall intimidating stature made them rethinking their words of protests and she didn’t much care as they let her through with a med kit in hand and a mask over her face. As they carefully moved through the still hot wreckage she dodged wires and sharp metal deris. Linarra had seen wreckage before but this one was pretty bad. She knew whatever happened to this ship was no accident. Her telepathy and empathy screamed out pain fear and then out of the corner of her eye the doctor saw a hand sticking out of the wreckage.
“Over here!” She yelled to the rest of her team. When they were able to remove the debris she looked at the broken man beneath it with broken sunglasses over his brilliant green eyes. Linarra reached down and began to incubation. The blood in the lungs was a problem. She drained the blood and when he started to breath she squeezed his uninjured hand.
“You don’t look like a quiter to me. Fight,” Linarra told him and used her telepathy to hold on to his mind as she helped her team place him on a stretcher haul him to the hospital.
Linarra Riccio-Head of Medial and Social Services
Michael Conrad was sometimes much like a cat: Curiosity usually got to him. The Black Sparrow had lifted out of the Spaceport hangar for some test runs of their repairs to their engines. Michael, of course, figured they were fine. But when he caught the explosion on sensors, he decided to whip the Sparrow around and investigate. He had a feeling the Centurion would be on his heels, but in all fairness, he did tell them he was giving her a test run. And what better way than to make sure she can still lift off the planet like she was designed to.
Before landing to take a look however, he needed to run some scans of the area. It all seemed quite strange to him, and he wasn’t about to go down there until he got a decent look at things.
He decided to activate Katrina, her holoimage appeared in full human height next to him. And she was the original. “Yes, Mr. Conrad,” she said with a hint of disdain in her voice.
“Don’t be so down! I need a scan of the region down below, just outside of the dome. A ship crashed and I want to know what’s going on before we land.”
She shook her head and closed her eyes. “Scanning…”
The region outside the Dome where the crash happened was, as expected, barren and lifeless. More so in a large area that showed residual radiation from a small crafts warp core breach that had caused pressure rings to form in a large circle in the sand and rock expanding out from the center of the blast. As could be expected, nothing larger than a scrap of metal larger than a meter wide remained recognizable, and anything that wasn’t plating from the hull had been incinerated in the explosion. Cargo, computers, bodies. Everything was gone except the scraps of scorched metal. Energy scans showed residue consistent with a warp core explosion, and several of the metal pieces also showed telltale signatures of disruptor weapons impact powerful enough to do serious damage to a lightly shielded and unarmored civilian light freighter. Within the energy reading of the warp core explosion, but so light as to be almost undetectable or not worth investigating, was another residual energy reading that was too faint to identify from an scan at this range, but seemed centered in the warp core explosion origin.
Some distance away from the center, was the remains of another craft that had crashed from the damage caused by being caught in the explosion. While a large portion of the ship had been destroyed beyond recognition from it’s own internal explosion, the destruction had not been complete and the forward fuselage of the angular craft remained, containing the cockpit and most of the section behind it containing the computer hardware. Recognition programs would identify it as a ship type commonly refitted by pirates and mercenaries for light combat duties, and fast, light transport duties by civilians. The cockpit held two crew, and the ship was rated for no more than four other passengers in a cramped living space or cargo hold, depending on the set up. Those same programs identified the most common combat fit out being disruptors, and among the larger users was the Orion Syndicate and a number of significant mercenary businesses based around Orion. There were no life signs present and by the time of the scans, the response rescue teams were just lifting off taking the sole survivor from the incident to the hospital.
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