Friday fiction! Escape pod here!
The Raid - The Conclusion
He squatted down and ran a hand over her eyes closing them. He then whispered a prayer for the dead. She had been a true believer and his lover. Finally he stood and looked around at the mostly empty alcoves. Only the ones at the far end were occupied. They still contained the bodies of the first ones to be bled and were already dead. Grey bodies of Minmatars who had been completely drained of blood and left by the others.
"Any sign of the others?" he asked not addressing anyone in particular.
"No sir. We assume they made their way back to the Matari ship. This side of the ship is deserted, everyone is fighting the fires on the other side sir. Even the ones in the slave pens are gone. Someone took out the guards and let them out."
The saboteur had done an excellent job against them. Disabling the warp drive, destroying the primary and backup diagnostic terminals and disabling the fire suppression systems before torching sector 22. He couldn't destroy the captured Matari vessel, he needed it just in case they had to abandon their own ship. Now it was infested by those Matari sub-humans again.
"Sir, just five of us aren't going to be able to recapture over 100 Matari...."
"Did I say anything about capture?" the Captain hissed. "This mission is BoB'd. Head over there, kill them all if you have to and ensure we have control of the ship. The rest of you either fight the fires or bring me the head of that damn saboteur!" he snapped.
The men quickly dispersed leaving him looking down at his ex-lover. He was about to leave when he noticed her data-badge. A clip on device she wore to monitor their captives. It also contained a small camera. He pulled it from her coat and linked it to his data pad. He watched silently the scene unfolding. He listened and then rewound the recording, playing a section back at a higher volume. He could hear one of the Matari speaking.
"...killed my loving husband, sold my son to slavery and given my young daughter to your twisted Captain....."
He sped it on again, fast forwarding where he heard her cry out and then fall to the floor. The camera now only showed the deck plates and a pair of Matari boots.
"Where is Aellike?"
"The Captain had her sent to his quarters. Only the Elders know what he has done to her!"
"The Captain had her sent to his quarters. Only the Elders know what he has done to her!"
The Captain smiled and briskly turned to the door.
Chief Ezion stood by airlock four which linked to the captured Mammoth class hauler. It had taken too long to get ready. The small armoury nearest to the entrance to the Matari ship was found to be empty. The cowards in his crew had obviously armed themselves hearing there was a saboteur on-board. He had been worried the Matari had taken the weapons but he's checked the logs of the secure locker and one of his security staff had opened it and then closed it again a minute later with his hand-print so all was well.
"OK men, we're dealing with some terrified Matari refugees. They'll be cowering somewhere. Hopefully together so we can seal them in then cut life support. The only issue I can see is if they rush us, so we'll stick to choke-points and make sure they can't. Ready?"
The men nodded and confirmed their readiness. Each carried a laser carbine. An excellent weapon for fighting in a starship. It was a good close-quarters weapon and as a solid-state laser it was devastating against flesh. It was almost useless against armour meaning on the battlefield it was a poor choice, but in a pressurised can in space, it was ideal as it would be almost impossible to puncture the hull.
The team headed to the cargo bays assuming that was where the passengers and crew had gone to hide. Chief Ezion stayed towards the middle of the group as they advanced, weapons ready. Ahead they saw the closed door of cargo bay 2. The corridor was wide here to allow crates to be moved betweens the different bays. Various small shipping containers were lined up against the high walls. Ezion wondered why they had stacked cargo containers here and not in the hold.
"Pity we didn't know in advance they were heading back here Chief." one of his men commented. "This would make a great spot for an am...."
The security officer never finished his sentence. A bright red laser bolt shot down from upon high. His head exploded in a flash of super-heated blood, flesh and bone.
Another cried out, finishing the sentence his dead crewmate didn't.
Within seconds it was over. A sudden dazzling light show of bright red laser light and then the corridor was plunged into its dim flickering lights again. Ezion lay on the cold deck plate gasping, he felt his life slipping away. From where he'd fallen he could see between two of the larger crates. In the gap the body of Security Officer Nathrim was slumped against the wall, his right hand missing.
"So that's how they got the weapons." Ezion mused as a hulking Brutor rolled him onto his back with a boot. Ezion looked up at the sneering face of the Matari man which was then obscured by the muzzle of a laser-carbine.
A flash of light and it was over.
Hakar peaked around the corner. It looked to be clear. He advanced slowly towards the emergency stairwell. He hoped the route to the Captain's quarters would be clear with everyone fighting the fires he's started. Getting a starship to burn was not easy. For obvious reasons they made as much as possible from fireproof materials. However somethings could not be helped and too much reliance was placed on the high-tech fire suppression system. By disabling that in certain areas he had been able to create an excellent distraction.
Hakar froze at the sound of his daughters voice over the loud speakers.
"I hope I have your attention now you Matari dog!" a man's voice replaced his daughters.
"I have your little girl here. I will do things to her that would make Court Chamberlain Karsoth feel sick!" referring to the disgraced pervert who headed the empire for so many years. "Undo what you have done to the warp drive and the fire suppression systems. Return to the Mammoth and decouple. Once I have confirmed that is done I'll stick your daughter in an escape pod and you can scoop her and be on your way. We'll call it even."
Hakar powered up the stairs. He knew the Blood Raider had no interest in that deal. He'd destroy the unarmed Mammoth as soon as it was clear and keep his daughter for..." he tried not to think of what would happen as he landed with both feet on the stairwell landing. He stood to the side of the door and hit the open button getting the pistol ready. Nothing happened. He hit the button again. Still nothing. The system was powered and the door didn't appeared locked. It just wouldn't open. He moved to the middle and inspected the seal. He could see the discolouration on this side. It was welded shut from the inside.
"I'm not seeing my warp drive online. May be I should start slicing?" the Captains voice echoed through the speakers.
Hakar sprinted back down the stairs. He'd passed a maintenance locker a minute ago on the deck below. His heart was pounding in his ears as he ran.
"I'm pretty sure you have had chance to reach a terminal by now." Raysere said as if he was talking to a naughty child. Hakar burst into the maintenance room. There was a terminal there. However he knew if he did as was asked they would all die. The crew busy fighting the fires would come for him and with the warp drive active they no longer had a need for the Mammoth.
"OK, lets see how you feel after I've cut her pretty face off."
Hakar froze as he reached for a plasma torch. The scream was ear splitting. A high-pitched wail of agony. He dropped to his knees sobbing as the sound assaulted him. He didn't believe the Captain would follow through. He thought the Captain would keep her unharmed as a bargaining chip for his own life. He rose to his feet and grabbed the torch, tears streaming from his eyes. The screaming stopped abruptly.
"You might want to check channel 12" the Captain laughed through the speakers.
He knew he shouldn't but he couldn't stop himself. He walked over to the terminal and pressed a few buttons. The sight made him heave. The young face was bloodied muscle and teeth. The eyes stared forward, she'd passed out thought the pain but with her eyelids gone there was nothing to hide them. Brown. The eyes were brown. His daughters were green. The hair wasn't right either. He looked more carefully. With such wounds it was difficult to tell but the victim was older. He ran back to the stairs.
"She's still alive Daddy, just. If you undo what you have done then I'll throw in her detached face and an advanced medikit into the escape pod. You can return her to the way she was. But you'd better hurry, the flesh is dying."
Hakar reached the door and thumbed the switch on the plasma torch. The blue flame roared and then spat as he placed it between the two halves of the door.
Raysere checked the console in his quarters. The warp drive was still offline. This man wasn't taking the bait. He looked behind him. The daughter was in the corner sobbing, the remaining two slaves each side of her. He'd sacrificed the older one of the three he kept hoping to force the father to cooperate. It didn't look like his gamble was paying off. He stormed up to the young girl and grabbed her by the front of her t-shirt.
"WHO IS HE?" he screamed in her face "WHO IS YOUR FATHER!"
She looked him in the eye. She was no longer crying. The fear in his eye's giving her all the confidence she needed.
"To an Amarrian dog like you? Well, he is death. He is nemesis. He is justice." she sneered.
The Captain roughly backhanded her across the face and she screamed as she was knocked back.
"Well he's not getting in here any time soon with the doors welded so I'll show you what a real nemesis is!" he growled. He grabbed her t-shirt and ripped it from her before throwing her on the bed.
"Sounds like I'm going to have to kill daddy dearest." There was a clunk as he dropped his pants "But we've got plenty of time to have some fun! Ready to become a woman?" he snarled.
She screamed as he pulled at her jeans. She fought but he was too strong. He'd just got her belt unclasped and was trying to pull them down when he heard the door to his quarters hiss open. He turned, unbelieving that anyone could get in. In the doorway he saw him, a Matari man holding a laser pistol that glinting in the light. He looked down at his feet. His own pistol was in its holster which was now pooled around his ankles. He looked back at the Matari man and then down the crying, half-dressed girl below him with the bloodied lip from where he struck her. He swallowed hard. He had been caught with his pants down, literally.
"How are you doing here?" First Officer Hooran asked the man with the portable fire suppression gear as he sprayed white gas at the flames.
"OK sir, we're not really making any head-way but we are holding the fire back. The fire suppression in the centre of the sector is completely offline, out here on the edge it is intermittent. Whatever the intruder did, he didn't do it properly."
Hooran watched as the fire rolled forward and the team beat it back again and again. The fire suppression system helping every now and again. It wasn't totally disabled and the system in this area occasionally activated but only for a few seconds. Whoever that Matari intruder was he was both a genius and an idiot. You needed brains to be able to hack and disable the fire suppression system on a starship, but he was relying on the crew to stop it going out of control and killing everyone on board. It was a stupid risk and....
"Everyone, fall back to Sector 21!" he suddenly shouted.
The men looked at him in shock.
"But sir, we have the fire contained. If we pull back..."
"That is an order!"
The men started to pull back and immediately the fire advanced. The retreating men looked puzzled as their first officer stood where he was, facing down the approaching flames. Just as the flames were about to cross sectors the fire suppression system activated. White gases bellowed down from the ceiling beating the flames back. Then it cut off suddenly. It wasn't poorly hacked, he'd partially disabled it. Just enough to keep the fire from engulfing the ship and to make them think they were keeping it back themselves. A distraction. Hooran turned and ran to the bridge.
It took less than three minutes for him to burst onto the con of the cruiser. He hated being right. Everyone was dead. Slumped at their console, executed where they sat. A horrific sight awaited him at the front. The captain had been nailed to the black viewscreen with his arms outstretched. The screen itself sparked and hissed through the cracks. The captain was gagged and wore a blindfold. A blinking datapad was hung around his neck.
Hooran cautiously approached. He took the datapad. He felt a sudden resistance that gave as soon as he encountered it. The Captain woke suddenly, screaming behind his gag, he wasn't dead. Hooran noticed the wire coming out of the back of the datapad which had caused the resistance. There was also a faint hissing now. He realised what was happening and he moved fast, twisting away and leaping over a console to shield himself. It wasn't as much as a blast as a whoosh. The unmistakable blue flame of raw plasma lit up the room roaring over the top of the console he was hid behind. Then it was quiet. He slowly poked his head over the console. The Captain was still handing by the metal rods through his hands, however the blast had torn the lower part of his body apart. His torso twitched and his legs were either side of the room. Coils of intestine pooled below him making a wet slapping noise as more fell.
The First Officer stood their in shock. Almost on autopilot he pressed a blinking button in front of him indicating a priority message from their escort ships.
"WHAT THE FRACK ARE YOU DOING? YOUR NEUTING US BOTH DRY AND THAT MATARI RUST BUCKET IS ALMOST AT THE GATE. WHAT IS GOING ON?"
As if in a trance Hooran walked over to the weapons console and looked down. The two modified energy neutralisers the ship carried were firing on their escort frigates. He deactivated the weapons and took one last look around the carnage. For no reason other than morbid curiosity his mind then wandered. It had to have been a plasma torch and been turned into a bomb. So where did he hide it on the Captain? He would have seen it. He then looked at the damage and realised where it had been inserted.
"Oh my....." he said out aloud feeling a little queasy.
"So consultancy?" Waninna asked.
"Yes, simply a desk job." Hakar replied sheepishly "After the debriefing they contacted the Republic Fleet and were able to pull my old record. Not sure they believed what everyone told them. I guess those idiots at my old HQ felt they needed to keep the Gallente paymasters happy."
"But you said....."
"I know. When I did my 10 in the special forces I was out and a civilian, but we are now refugees. This is an opportunity and pays well with no risk. Just me telling these soft Gallente how to really fight." he laughed. "Look, if it bothers you that much I can find anything else."
"Like what?" she sighed, already resigned to the fact they had little choice.
"Well we are now in the land of the free and liberated. I heard that there is a special adults club near here. With my new found skills of inserting...."
Waninna held up a hand to stop him.
"If it means I never have to hear about where you stuck that plasma torch again, you can work on the frontline for all I care." she replied spluttering her coffee.
They both laughed as Aellike returned with her purchase.