Relayhttps://relay.sc/feed/fiction/atom2017-01-16T12:54:33+00:00https://relay.sc/fiction/dear-diaryDear Diary2017-01-11T16:32:00+00:002017-01-11T18:53:55+00:00Errishttps://relay.sc/contributor/Erris We’re heading to the protest today, Sandra and I. We’re human, but…
It’s still wrong, what the UEE are doing, and we have to stand up for them, just like someone stood up for people like us all those years ago.
No. I should…
This is going to be a record, to explain why, to my family, friends, and to history, what happened, and why I had to do it.
So let me explain.
The Tevarin. It all comes down to the Tevarin.
The UEE beat them. Twice. Two different wars, decades apart, and then they just… we just… we enslaved them.
They’re getting some rights now, slowly, but it’s too slow. Even here on Jalan. The Tevarin are beings too. They have thoughts, hopes, dreams… and the UEE just… they just crush them. Grind them under jackbooted heel like some common bug.
Have you ever seen the Tevarin camps? I don’t expect you have. And if you’re reading this in the future, then… then hopefully you never will. Hopefully they’ll be long gone.
Because they are horrible. The Tevarin, living in squalor, stripped of dignity, respect, honour; stripped of the very things that make them Tevarin. Stripped of their belongings, thrown together like cattle, treated like criminals.
It’s like if we stripped humans of our freedom. Of the most important thing we have.
And Moscovitz sits on his throne, sits on his pedestal of power, and he abuses them. He laughs at them, posts videos of them, uses them for sport. He attacks any that try to stand up for themselves, attacks any of us that try to stand up for them.
Well, no more. We can’t let it continue.
We are organized. We are powerful. We are free. We can change the world, for the Tevarin, and for us. We just have to make our voices heard. We have to make our voices heard against the tyranny, the lies, the antagonistic assault, against the hate and fear spread by Moscovitz, spread by him, and those in power under him.
There’s an event today. Moscovitz is holding a rally; a ‘confirmation’ of his power. It’ll be a military affair, but…
We are organized. We are powerful. We are free.
And we are many.
There are more of us than there are like him. And even if they gun us all down, someone will know. Someone will hear. Someone else will rise up and take up the cause.
All he wants is power. All the Tevarin want is their honour. All we want is their freedom.
Mamma, Pa, if you read this… I hope you understand. You always taught me to treat everyone with love and respect and… I hope you can see that I’m just trying to live up to that. I hope you can be proud.
To everyone else, to anyone else, Sandra and I… we know we probably won’t make it back from this. We know how the UEE, how Moscovitz, deals with protestors. Just… don’t forget about us. Don’t forget about the Tevarin.
Don’t forget about Freedom.
Excerpt from the diary of Reese Allanah, 2719 – 2747
This entry, and thousands like it, are kept in the Tevarin Freedom Memorial, in memory of all who fought for Freedom from tyranny, oppression, and the UEE. https://relay.sc/fiction/iris-and-anemones-on-new-corvoIrises and Anemones on New Corvo2017-01-04T18:00:00+00:002017-01-04T19:29:59+00:00StormyWintershttps://relay.sc/contributor/StormyWinters Life is made of moments taken for granted. Moments of joy, moments of sorrow, moments of regret, the list goes on. The touch of his fingers as they glided down the skin of my back, the way he would caress my hair and then my face but most of all the light kisses he pressed into my neck each morning we were able to steal moments together in our busy lives.
Everett was a Navy medic and trained Cutlass Red pilot, he was stationed at the New Corvo Naval base and did regular rotations off world every few months. I was a civilian nurse at the New Corvo Medical Institute, New Corvo’s largest hospital. Between his deployments and my shift work, it took a lot of effort and work to try and make something in our schedules work.
This morning was a rare occurrence. The sun streamed through the window of my bedroom, warming me as I slowly woke. I could feel the weight of Everett’s arm across my hip, his body heat permeating my back from his closeness, his breath slowly tickling the back of my neck every time he exhaled. I reached back and slid my fingers into the hair at the back of his head, slowly working my fingers in circles as I heard him sigh.
“If you keep that up I may not leave this morning.” His gravelly morning voice vibrated my shoulder, his lips pressed up against it.
“Would that be such a horrible thing?” I asked with a small smile.
“Mmm, no. Would just make us both AWOL and then I’d have to contend with the Navy knocking at your door to drag me back.”
I didn’t have a chance to answer before his mobiGlas pinged abruptly in the quiet apartment. I felt him roll away from me to grab it from the bedside table, fully expecting him to check it and rejoin me. When a long moment went by I turned and glanced at him, his face a mixture of focus and shock.
He jumped out of bed quickly gathering his clothes and pulling them on, “I’m being
recalled immediately. There’s been a Vanduul attack in orbit, our fleet is fighting them as we speak.”
As if to emphasize the truth of his words my mobiGlas pinged beside me, I quickly read the message that had been sent. NCMI was prepping for a mass casualty situation, calling in all able bodied medical staff to assist and stand by. I threw the covers aside and grabbed my clothes off the chair and quickly dressed. Everett was almost ready and walking out the door.
I chased him out my front and stopped dead in my tracks as I looked up to the sky, “Everett…”
My voice trailed off as I spotted the battle that was taking place in orbit right above us. Splashes of colour so intense they lit up the early morning sky, one disappearing just to be replaced by another. A cold feeling took hold in the pit of my stomach, I grabbed his hand so tight in mine my fingers ached. I turned to him taking hold his other hand, “Don’t go.”
“Sweetheart, you know I have to.” His voice was gently restrained as he pulled me tight
into his arms, his hand rubbing my back trying to calm me. “No more than you couldn’t stay if I asked you to. We have our duties.”
He pulled back caressing my face with both his hands, “We both have to be strong and think of the people we need to help. Focus on that, ok?”
I nodded as I bit my lip to keep my eyes from filling up. I was scared and he knew it, his voice was rock solid, not one tremble in any of his words to convey his fear. He kissed me softly on the lips before pulling me in for one more tight embrace, “Know that I love you very much, ok? I always will, stay safe.”
A military transport pulled up, I hadn’t even seen or heard it coming up my street. “Lieutenant Cole, we were sent to retrieve you.”
“I’ll see you later.” His words whispered into my ear before he pulled away, dropping a quick kiss on my forehead before hopping into the waiting transport.
I watched the transport take off and disappear down the street at an urgent speed. I waited til I could no longer see it before turning and starting the walk to work. NCMI was only a 10 minute walk from where I lived but Everett’s sense of urgency had also taken me over and I felt the need to make it quickly. Just as I walked through the doors of the hospital I heard the aerial siren go off, warning the city of an incoming attack.
Mere minutes passed before we felt the shudder of the first bomb shake the ground, the lights blinking off and on once, everything glass rattling momentarily. “Amy, I need the staff list, I need to know who’s here.”
I was the charge nurse for the NCMI Emergency Department and used to the chaos and busyness of said department but I knew our worst day to date wouldn’t compare with today. I was handed a digital manifest that I quickly scrolled through, assigning tasks and duties as fast I could. Trying to get the basics out of the way before we were inundated with the wounded.
The next hours pushed us to the brink, the bombing accelerated and it became the norm to hear both Navy and Vanduul aircraft whistle over the city as the Navy fought to protect the city from the enemy. The outside courtyard turned into triage as every free space filled up inside the hospital, forcing us to only admit the most critical and treat the minorly wounded outside under the risk of aerial attack.
The floors inside my department became slick and dangerous to traverse as we worked feverishly, hopping from patient to patient in hopes of saving as many as was possible as they bled all over my floors. A few Navy personnel who obviously hadn’t made it to the base filtered through the doors. Every time a uniform ended up on one of my beds, my heart stopped. Just to start again when I realized it wasn’t Everett.
The evening wore on and supplies were low as we scrambled to field dress and treat everyone with whatever we had. This was the one time I was glad I had sat through one of Everett’s little lessons when he had shown me the basics of how to patch someone up with no advanced medical techniques. His words at the time echoed through my head, “You may not always have all the fancy machines and advanced technology that you’re used to. One day you might be forced to resort to other means.”
The main power had been knocked out hours ago and we’d been running on backup power ever since, it made things twice as hard as day turned to night. I threw another pair of gloves into the closest overflowing garbage and snapped a clean pair up as I moved to the next bed. I could hear the wheezing of his laboured breathing before I even got close to the bed, never a good sign. As the the closest nurse stepped back to allow me closer inspection my heart dropped and I felt bile rise in my throat.
Tears filled my eyes and pooled there, his eyes locked with mine and held them. “Hello sweetheart.”
Those words took the greatest effort for him to say and I felt the pooled tears silently track their way down my cheeks. I stepped forward and lifted the dressing from his chest as small trickles of blood slowly seeped down his sides. I closed my eyes and replaced the dressing, my hand lightly holding it in place.
I felt him lay his hand over mine, my eyes opening to meet his. His raspy breaths came irregular and he fought to speak, “I know.”
I felt defeat settle over me, there was nothing I could do for him. His condition was too far gone to treat with what I had on hand, he’d lost too much blood. He’d come in too late in the day for me to do a damn thing for him and because of a wretched twist of fate, I was going to lose him.
I grabbed his other hand with my free one and held tight, my eyes staying locked on his. Feeling his chest rise and fall irregularly, a small hitch once in awhile that forebode what was ahead. I felt his warmth slowly seeping through my fingers as his life drained away. Any words that I might have said wouldn’t have been enough, my eyes told. Hot tears smearing the dirt on my cheeks as they left clean trails behind.
In the end Everett managed to rally enough to speak once more and it was enough, “Know that I love you and that I always will.”
His chest fell once more and didn’t move again, his hand slowly sliding away from mine as the weight of his arm pulled it down. Life is made of moments taken for granted... the way his eyes lit up when he smiled, the way his lips felt anytime he kissed me, the softness of his hair as I ran my fingers through it, and so much more.
When it was all over, the fighting and the dying, it rained. The day after everything went silent, large drops soaked into the earth, attempting to wash away the evidence of destruction and death. I walked out to the crest of a small hill overlooking the largest park and river in all of New Corvo - the spot Everett and I had always called our own.
Scorched earth with patches of enduring life dotted the park, I turned my face up to the rain and let it wash down, mingling with the tears that escaped the corners of my eyes. I looked up to the sky, the unseen space where Everett had spent most of his career, doing what he loved. My voice cracked mildly but I managed to get the words out before new grief hit me, “Know that I love you and always will.”
Author’s Note: The title to most wouldn’t make sense when you finally read the story but when I wrote that final paragraph where she’s looking up into the rain in the park, the thing that came to mind was flowers and that each flower symbolizes something. An iris for instance is symbolic for hope and valor while an anemone is symbolic for the end to cold, dark days and the return of the sun. Both appropriate especially for that final closing paragraph, I hope you enjoyed it. https://relay.sc/fiction/a-day-in-the-life-of-tobias-fordA day in the life of Tobias Ford2016-12-21T17:00:00+00:002016-12-21T07:48:34+00:00Nehkarahttps://relay.sc/contributor/Nehkara I’m actually famous… well… sort of. My name is famous. My family name really. Or it was. My great-great-great-great - let’s just say my ancestor from long ago was Henry Ford. You have no idea who that is, do you?
Well, he founded the Ford Car Motor Corporation… or something like that. They were like the RSI of the first motorized ground vehicles - they made lots and they made ‘em cheap.
So I must be some big shot eh? 30+ generations with a famous family? Hardly. I am just a trader. I merely have my trusty Hull B, ‘Bee’. I love Bee even though she’s got about 50 billion km on her and she’s getting a bit worn in certain spots. Just replaced my port engine last week… son of a Tevarin that was expensive.
You’re probably wondering when I’m going to get to the point of this message. Well, you’ll just have to wait.
I grew up the only son of my parents Lorna and Perry - they were also traders. They liked to roam between Goss and Terra on their trade runs and I grew up in the cabin of their Freelancer, ‘Kitty Hawk’. I learned everything I know about… pretty much everything, from my parents. They were killed last year by the pirate Captain Mottar and her crew. I… well - I cannot begin to express how much I fucking hate those evil thieving wastes of flesh. They didn’t have to kill them; my parents weren’t stupid, they would have given up their cargo. I hate them so much. I hate them.
So, I’m dead. It wasn’t glorious, my death. It was… well it was pretty damn stupid to be honest. And ridiculous. I really can’t believe it.
I was traversing this here asteroid field - I think it’s called the Akiro Cluster? Anyway, I wasn’t really paying much attention. Honestly I was mostly listening to my tunes and letting my instincts fly.
You know, I think you’ve had enough lead up now and I’m running out of time.
I hit a fucking RSI Zeus. Yeah, that’s what I said. I know you all are gonna think I’m crazy… well, unless you find the wreckage around here somewhere. But I did. I hit a Zeus. I didn’t even know they still existed - even in wreckage form. It must have been lingering around this field for…… for… oh hell, I don’t even know. A long time.
Unfortunately the Zeus just ripped apart Bee. I lost the whole starboard side of the ship. Venting atmosphere. Engines went critical. Somehow I squirmed into my suit and jumped out of the gaping hole in the hull.
So, Citizen, here I sit floating amongst the asteroids and wreckage with a few minutes of O2 left. I hope this message finds you well. I have a gift for you. I have no family anymore, if you can find Bee’s black box you can claim her insurance and get yourself a shiny new Bee. Use this message as proof.
Now, I really am getting rather sleepy. I think it’s time to… fade away. Merry Christmas pilot. https://relay.sc/fiction/garbageGarbage2016-12-14T08:30:00+00:002016-12-14T20:46:59+00:00Errishttps://relay.sc/contributor/Erris The radio crackled, a young man’s voice coming through soft, but clear.
‘An Aurora? A Mustang? Maybe your daddy was ‘rich’ and he bought you a shiny 300 series, or a small Hull, an A or B, or a Freelancer.
I got my first Connie when I was 12 you know. A Phoenix. Of course, I wasn’t allowed to fly it myself, but I wrecked my Archimedes my first time out. Pa bought me 20 more, just so I could get used to them.
At 16 he bought me a solid-gold 890 Jump. Solid gold. Only 111 were made. I got number 3.
Of course, I moved up from ships almost immediately. Pa gave me a small loan. By 18 I was buying settlements. Buying and selling people’s lives. Oh, sure, the slave trade is ‘illegal’, but trust me,I’m rich enough to find ways around that.
I ignore that rule, just like I ignore all other rules.
That’s who I am. Do you know who I am? That is who I am.
I own entire planets. My name… my name is synonymous across twelve systems, a literal synonym. It means ‘wealth’. People just say my name, and they know I’m rich. They know I’m big. They know I’m important. They know me.
Look at you. No-one knows you. You don’t matter. You’re not big, or important, or special. You’re nothing.’
The man’s words started to speed up, a sense of panic emerging as his tongue started to stumble.
‘But I… I can make you something. I can make you big! You give me a chance, you listen to me, and you can have it. You can have whatever you want. You want money? Power? Ships? Women? I can give you all of that. I can give you anything.’
I don’t relent. It’s not even a therapy session at this point. There’s no conversation that I need to have, nothing I need to get off my chest. There is no catharsis, no healing, no freedom to be had here.
This one… this one I’m not doing for me.
I’m doing it for everyone.
Sometimes a bug just has to be crushed.
The man’s radio starts to break up as the claw on my Reclaimer continues to squeeze, cracking the cockpit of his 85X. He keeps talking, he must be wearing a flightsuit, but my grip, the grip of justice, it is inexorable. He can do nothing but plead.
‘Please! I… I can give you anything! Just tell me what you want! I… I can… I… Tru-‘
The radio cuts out with a squelch. It’s over.
He’s gone, and the Verse is better for it.
Now if only someone would do the same to me.
https://relay.sc/fiction/dragonflies-in-the-dark-chapter-3Dragonflies in the Dark – Chapter 32016-08-24T16:00:00+00:002016-11-20T12:15:48+00:00Nehkarahttps://relay.sc/contributor/Nehkara Captain Titus rises from his chair and nods to Beth, “How is he?”
“Seems somewhat disoriented, sir.” Beth says stepping aside to let him pass. “He knows who he is and where he is though.”
Titus motions for Archer to follow and gives Beth an affectionate pat on the bottom on his way past, moving into the corridor. “Does he have any physical injuries that you can see?”
“There seem to be two contact burns on his wrist where his mobiGlas sits and upon examination he has a barely detectable arrhythmia to his heart.” She explained, “Nothing that will affect him in the long term though.”
“Do you have any theories on what could have caused those injuries? Must have been something to do with his mobiGlas… Archer, you said it overloaded?” Focus knotting the wrinkles on Titus’ forehead.
“Yes sir, Zulu reported the overload just before we lost contact.” He answered in the wake of Titus as he followed him down to the infirmary.
The small group entered the infirmary to see Zulu sitting up in bed, wrist cleanly wrapped and monitor leads attached to him in various places tracking his vitals. A small smile crosses his face at the sight of company. “Captain sir, Archer.”
Titus smiles at the sight of his crewman once again conscious. “Zulu! How are you feeling? Can you tell us anything about what happened to you?”
“Can’t say for certain, Captain…” Zulu answers thoughtfully. “I remember talking with Archer, doing a scan with my mobiGlas and pulling the information about the Ponderosa, I think I briefly saw a shadow just before my mobiGlas overloaded and gave me a severe shock and then nothing.”
“You said shadow, what do you mean shadow?” Archer interjects before Titus can weigh in on Zulu’s response.
“Yeah… I know. Kind of a weird thing given it was almost pitch dark in there before but the light from my mobiGlas was enough… I saw something. I think there’s something on that wreck.” Zulu says reluctantly.
“Would explain how he made it from the inside to the outside, sir.” Archer gives the captain a thoughtful look as he considers the new information being presented. “The next question though is, does this ‘entity’, thing, being, whatever you want to call it mean us any further harm. Was that just a warning shot off the bow?”
The group is silent for a few moments, each taking some time to theorize. Archer is the first to speak again, “We need to go back in there, sir. As dangerous as it may be we have to find out what the hell is in there.”
“It might not have been a warning shot per se… perhaps more akin to a defense mechanism?” Captain Titus muses, stroking his beard. After a long pause he continues, “Even despite that consideration, I am tempted to agree, Archer. That wreck could contain some pretty incredible tech. We need to at least get a better look. How do you feel about us exploring this further Zulu?”
“Not to mention finding out the truth about what actually happened to the Ponderosa all those years ago.” Zulu replies, moving to unhook the leads attached to him.
“Wait a moment, where do you think you’re going?” Beth asks staying his hands.
“With Archer, I can’t let him go it alone.”
“You came back on the back of Archer’s Dragonfly, unconscious… you are in no shape to wander back out into the field so soon.” Beth says firmly, looking at the captain for back up.
“Oh will you both just cool it!” The Captain says with a clear tone of exasperation. “We’re not sending Dragonflies this time… the Monarch will take a look herself. Come hell or high water we are going to find out what’s out there.”
“Captain… there’s no water, we’re in space.” Archer replies with a grin.
“Smart ass.” https://relay.sc/fiction/lost-in-spaceLost In Space2016-08-17T16:10:00+00:002016-11-20T12:15:49+00:00Nehkarahttps://relay.sc/contributor/Nehkara “What the fuck was that?!” Captain Derek Kilgore braces himself against the arms of his seat as the Sedna harshly rocks in space.
“I’m not sure Captain, seems like some sort of gravitational anomaly.” Polly, Science Officer, replies in a worried tone.
“Undiscovered jump point?”
“Possibly. Bringing jump scanners online. However, this is the Stanton system… it has been pretty well explored.”
Another vicious wave throws the Carrack wildly about in seemingly empty space. “Faster would be better Polly. Jacob! Get this ship steadied.”
“Aye Captain, I’m trying.”
Polly gasps and shouts, “Captain! We are falling into a jump point! We must get the ship-”
Panels and pipes all around the bridge explode as the Sedna is buffeted by a massive shockwave. Polly lies unconscious against a bulkhead.
Alarms sound around the entire vessel as a dizzying sea of light and colour engulfs the ship.
“JACOB! Get us stabilized and pointed downstream. Jacob?” Captain Kilgore glances at his pilot, realizing that he is dead… a length of pipe impaling him through his pilot’s seat.
Rapidly, Derek transfers navigational control to his station and begins working feverishly to get his ship out of danger.
There simply wasn’t enough time.
The jump tunnel split in two. The Carrack, still being pulled sideways through the passage, slams into the split and is viciously thrown clear out of the jump and into normal space.
The shearing forces of tearing through the wall of the jump passage wreak havoc on the Sedna. As she finally settles, her wings and wing turrets float nearby… ripped clean off, along with a myriad of other bits and pieces of the ship. “I’ve always wanted a Carrack…” Liko grumbles under his foul breath.
Last week he had landed his heavily modified Crucible on Microtech and retired to a dark corner of a quiet bar.
Later that evening a nondescript businessman walked by his table and surreptitiously dropped him a note.
The note read, “Check your mobiGlas for a very limited time offer.”
Curiosity immediately clawed at Liko’s mind and he flipped open his holographic device.
The businessman had offered him the coordinates for a nondescript salvage operation for 20k UEC. It was a lot to pay for coordinates but he felt flush and ready for a new job so he quickly accepted and exited the bar.
Now, he stands on the bridge of his Crucible, the Tulip, glaring at his long range scanners. A Carrack. She’s right out on the farthest reaches of the Stanton system, further out than anything he could remember.
Liko worked alone. He had jury rigged up a ton of automation which allowed him to operate his Crucible with a crew of 1… himself.
As the Tulip approaches the wreck, he jumps back in the pilot seat and guides his ship out of quantum. Immediately he knows there is something not right about the situation. His suspicions are immediately confirmed as he spots a figure in an EVA suit, attempting to do patch repairs on the outer hull of the Carrack.
Liko is torn… he wants the Carrack but he had decided long ago that wasn’t a murderer and it was highly unlikely that figure out there would give up the ship.
After a long period wrestling with himself, Liko queues up the comms: “Captain Liko of the Tulip repair and salvage vessel to any crew of the adrift Carrack.”
“*Static* … Kilgore…”
“Please repeat. Transmission did not come through.”
“*static*… This is Captain Kilgore… Sedna. Crew… medical. Help?”
“Captain, I will close on your position so our communications are clearer.”
Liko slowly eases his hulking repair vessel closer and closer to the mangled Carrack.
“Captain Kilgore, this is Captain Liko of the Tulip. Could you please repeat your request?”
“Hello Captain Liko. We discovered an uncharted jump point in Stanton… but not with our long range sensors… we hit it and entered it sideways. Pilot was killed before entry. We burst through the wall of the jump passage and it tore the ship up pretty bad. Engines at 10%, main power offline, main turrets sheared off. I need medical assistance for my crew and significant help in repairing the Sedna.”
“Did you say you found an undiscovered Stanton jump point?”
“Roger that Captain.”
Liko considered the information carefully and was glad he hadn’t opted to come in firing.
“I was actually given this location as a salvage opportunity. However, seeing as you are still in possession of your ship that seems to be off the table. I have a proposal… I will lend you a pair of advanced biobeds to help heal your crew, I will get the Sedna back to best condition I can with my Crucible. In return, I would like us to return to the coordinates of this jump point, properly map it, and split the profits garnered from selling it to the UEE.” Liko was well aware that the profit from the jump information would far, far outweigh his costs.
“Captain Liko, that is a reasonable offer. You could have asked for much more given our situation. Consider it a deal.”
To Be Continued.. https://relay.sc/fiction/dragonflies-in-the-dark-chapter-2Dragonflies in the Dark – Chapter 22016-08-03T17:00:00+00:002016-11-20T12:15:49+00:00Nehkarahttps://relay.sc/contributor/Nehkara \\COMMUNICATION LOG BEGINS 2946.06.29.01.28\\
Archer: Gerard! Dammit, where the fuck are you?!
Gerard: Archer? We’re holding in the same position. Do you need us to rendezvous with you at your position?
Archer: Like yesterday!
Gerard: Trevor! Fire up the engines ASAP, we gotta burn hard to go get Archer and Zulu.
Trevor: Roger, cold-starting engines. Give ‘er.
Gerard: We’re on our way Archer, where’s Zulu?
Archer: Have infirmary standing by!
Gerard: Archer! Is Zulu okay? Are you injured?
Gerard: Beth, can you get ready for incoming casualties?
Beth: *static* Uhm… uh… yes! Of course… just let me… do we know how many?
Archer: Just him!
Gerard: We’re approaching Archer, we’ll pull a hard stop as we close on you.
Archer: Slowing to full stop.
Trevor: Bay doors opening, land at your discretion Archer.
Archer: Roger that.
\\COMMUNICATION LOG ENDS 2946.06.29.01.33\\
Captain Titus sits, eyes heavy with sleep, in a small conference room with Archer after Archer’s arrival back on board with his severely injured mate.
“Archer, you departed the Monarch at 23:40 hours with Zulu on a mission to explore a derelict and evaluate for possible salvage. Correct?”
“Yes sir. We approached the derelict and entered the access point simultaneously before deciding to do separate surveys. Zulu inside, myself scanning the outer hull of the ship.” Archer answered rubbing his hands over his tired eyes, grabbing the steaming coffee sitting in front of him on the table.
“Who made the decision to part ways during the mission?”
“Zulu, figured is we separated might be able to do the survey twice as fast, unfortunately that’s not how it went.”
Frowning, the Captain grumbles, “I see. Can you walk me through the events leading up to the incident?”
“Not much to tell, sir.” Archer continued, “We were bantering back and forth and he wasn’t exactly cataloguing his location as he went. All of the sudden he said he saw a light, I asked if he was by chance seeing the lights from my Dragonfly as the hull was pockmarked with holes everywhere.”
Titus rises slowly out of his chair, taking his coffee with him and begins pacing around the room. “Was that the source of the light? Did anything else happen? Did you discover anything about the wreck?”
“No sir, he reported the light was coming from one of the control panels on a console. He shut down his Dragonfly and EVA’ed to investigate further. At which point he accessed some information that indicated the derelict was none other than the Ponderosa and that’s when his mobiGlas overloaded and I lost communication with him.”
“The Ponderosa? The UEE ship? Fuckin’ hell that’s an old story. No one’s seen her in a couple decades.” Titus takes a long swig of his coffee and sighs, “What did you do after you lost contact? Where did you find Zulu?”
“That’s strange part, sir.” Archer said his tone one of curious confusion. “I decided to backtrack and follow his exact footsteps to look for him except I found him outside the ship, he was floating unconscious along my previous course I had just come from but the last I’d seen him was when we parted ways just inside the mouth of the access point of the derelict.”
The Captain retakes his seat and strokes his beard in deep thought. “How would he have gotten outside? That’s pretty fuckin’ weird. Could he have been blown outside by some kind of explosion? Archer, what were his injuries like from what you could see? Was he awake at any point?”
“No sir, from what I could see he was physically fine but…”
A knock at the door draws the attention of both men as it opens a moment later to reveal Beth standing there, “Apologies Captain for the interruption but I thought you might want to know… he’s awake. https://relay.sc/fiction/fire-a-bulkheads-storyFire – A Bulkheads Story2016-07-27T21:08:00+00:002016-11-20T12:15:50+00:00Errishttps://relay.sc/contributor/Erris When I woke up, my room was on fire. This turn of events was mildly inconveniencing.
It’s not like I’d set the fire myself now; I’d been asleep. But it’s not like I knew when the fire had started either. All I did know was that I was now awake, and my room was on fire.
There are a few things you think of when you wake up. You think ‘oh hey, I’m hungry, I should get some cereal’ or ‘screw today, I’m going back to sleep’. You don’t generally think ‘Oh, cripes, a fire. This is a problem’.
I mean, let’s be honest. There was a lot more cursing and swearing when I woke up, but… fire.
Give me a break. It was a very confusing morning.
Waking up to a fire in the room definitely left me with two main problems.
The first problem was the fire, as you’d expect. Putting it out, running away, figuring out why the stupid ship’s computer hadn’t vented the whole bloody Bengal to get rid of the fire yet, the works. Lots of questions. But mainly, there was a fire, and the first step was dealing with it.
Or maybe running away from it. I hadn’t really decided yet.
My second problem was finding Brock, and killing him for setting the fire in the first place. Killing him very, very slowly.
I can already hear you thinking ‘how do you know it was Brock? Aren’t you jumping to conclusions? Brock seems like such a nice young fellow.
HA I say. Brock. Brock is a Bulkhead; a parasitic menace of a moron, a troubled and puerile incompetently rampaging simpleton.
Brock is my nemesis, my Khan. I hate him. He’s like… he’s like sand. He’s everywhere and just…
I hate Brock. I hate that I’m stuck with him. I hate having to deal with him. I hate that he’s the reason I’m stuck as a Bulkhead.
I hate that he’s my only friend.
I should have been a Marine. I would have been a Marine, if not for Brock.
No, no, that’s a story for another today. Today, today there’s… what’s happening again?
Oh. Right. Fire. Shit.
So, while I was distracted, the fire has grown. Doubled in size. It takes up half the room now.
Yes, I’m yelling fire. Yes, I’m hoping someone hears me. The fire is now between me and the door; I don’t exactly have much of an option here.
‘Hello Cain, do you require aid?’ the monotonous dead voice of the ship’s computer careened metallically out of the intercom. Great. The stupid bloody computer’s here to help.
‘Yes you stupid thing, there’s a fire! Put it out!’
Okay, I’m a bit touchy. So sue me.
‘Do not attempt to put out the fire yourself please Cain. You are not qualified for fire prevention services, as you have not yet passed course A413B7. Fire control specialists have been notified. I repeat…’
‘Oh, dammit computer, don’t repeat. I get it. Why haven’t you just vented the ship yet you bloody machine?
‘Venting not recommended. You are not wearing a spacesuit. You would die.’
‘Well the fire’s gonna kill me if you don’t! So do something!’
Honestly, like reasoning with a child.
‘Don’t panic. Help is on the way’.
The connection on the intercom went dead and I sat down on the bed, sweating. I watched the fire, the hues flicker and flare; the tongues jump and die. The heat and the noise, the shifts and the smells of the fire; they made me think of life. Of my life, of all life… I don’t know. But I sat, sweating, sweltering, serene. Through war, through Vanduul and pirate attacks…
A fire in my own room would be the end of me. A fire set by Brock. Brock, the only reason I was stuck as a Bulkhead in the first place, and not following in my father’s footsteps as a Marine.
Crazy the things you think of when you’re about to burn alive.
I was so distracted by the fire, so lost in its ferocious, destructive beauty, that I almost didn’t notice the door slide open.
I say almost because, well…
‘Don’t worry Cain! I’ll save you! Fireman Brock to the rescuuuuue’ Brock, standing on the other side of the fire, his nasally voice splitting my head the second I hear it, a fire extinguisher in his hands, aimed right at…
Have you ever been covered in extinguishing foam? After the warmth of the fire, the foam felt cool. And sticky. The fire… the fire was out, quickly. The remnants of my room were now smoky, charred, and covered in sticky white stuff.
Don’t. Just don’t.
‘What the HELL Brock? You… you stupid… ignorant… useless… rampaging chaotic cretin of a catastrophe! What is wrong with you? Why the hell did you start a fire in my room! And what took you so long to get here and put it out?
I ought… I ought… I ought to… burn you alive!
The idiot stood in the door, extinguisher in hand, his dumb, excited grin sliding slowly off his stupid face as his regular look of confusion resumed its rightful place.
‘Uhh… what do you mean Cain?’
The… the nerve!
‘You started the fire in my room! You almost killed me! Look at my stuff! It’s all destroyed! I… I… AUGH!’
‘Cain… last night at the bar… you said you were going to head to your bunk and have some bacon and beans. I told you not to have a fry up but…’
Fuck. https://relay.sc/fiction/dorf-the-mining-maiden-chapter-3Dorf the Mining Maiden – Chapter 32016-07-13T22:23:00+00:002016-11-20T12:15:50+00:00Nehkarahttps://relay.sc/contributor/Nehkara Remember I said I was green? Really green? Well… it turns out I was TOO god damn green.
I was woken to the sound of an outer airlock opening. This was not a good noise.
Suddenly I was wide awake and flying from my bed, pulling on my clothes, and scrambling to grab my weapons. Knife, pistols, shotgun.
I instantly knew what had happened when I heard the airlock… so why hadn’t I predicted it? Fucking idiot.
Quickly, I move from bed to bed waking the rest of the crew. Priss was the swiftest. Silly girl sleeps naked, but she was still the first in fighting shape. I let them all know to meet me on the bridge.
“Lena! What the fuck? There are pirates boarding us!”
Bewildered, Lena replies, “Captain? We have nothing on instruments.”
“I heard them working on the airlock. They’re inside the outer door. They must be using jammers to block our sensors and alarms.”
“You said it Lena. Now, seal off every door between here and the airlock once the crew is all here. They’ll get through ’em fast but every little bit counts… ah there’s Klaus. Alright, do it.”
“Alright. Everyone get a spacesuit on right now, we don’t know if they’ll blow some compartments. They’re using sensor jammers so we’ll be blind to their numbers and position. Lena, you’ve got the bridge – take care of Vesta until we clear these bastards out.”
“Aye Captain,” Lena nervously utters as she pulls on her suit.
“Tora, Klaus – you two are a good team and I want that to continue here. I want you two to hold the refinery – find good cover and let them come to you. Lena, you help them with doors as they move.”
Tora, Klaus, and Lena all gave simple nods and with that they were off.
“Priss and Peter, you’re with me. We’re going to defend the habitation section using heavy cover. I want the first few dead before they even know we’re there. If they all head towards the refinery, we’ll move in behind them to wipe the bastards out.”
“Captain, why don’t we just all hole up around the airlock and mow ’em down as they come in?”
“Well Pete… I’m worried that they’ll come in flinging grenades. Some smoke and blinding light and we’re fucked… plus, they’re pirates- who knows what they have in their repertoire. I’d feel safer taking defensive positions where we can hit them when they don’t expect it.”
“Aye Captain, that makes sense.”
“Alright, let’s move out – Lena, guide us out.”
We move through the ship back to the habitation section where we hurry to create improvised defensive positions to fire from. We just barely finish.
A shudder echoes through the deckplates along with a loud BANG. There’s the first grenade. They’re in.
I trade glances with Peter and Priscilla, making sure they’re set. They both look nervous but determined. I’m sporting my shotgun with my other weapons easily accessible.
The moments tick by when finally I hear light footsteps on the deck plating. Then they’re right there in front of us – three of them decked out in Outlaw armour.
Without even thinking about it, I feel my shotgun buck against my shoulder as I pull the trigger. My aim is true… but the shotgun blast doesn’t slow the bastard down. Then BAM… Priscilla takes his head clean off with her sniper rifle.
I told her when she brought that fucking thing on board that it was a ridiculous weapon to have on a ship… but here we are. I’ll have to apologize later.
The next one I’m smarter… don’t aim for the armoured chest. Poor fucker. My shotgun blast tears apart his legs and he collapses in a heap with a scream muted by his helmet. A flurry of shots to his helmeted head finishes him off, courtesy of Pete.
The last one dives for cover and the next few minutes are a stalemate of exchanged inaccurate fire. I was trying to decide how to flush him out when I hear a door hiss and then a flurry of pistol shots. The third man now lies dead in the corridor.
Lena walks into view and sends me a very shaky smile, still tightly clutching her pistol.
I motion Lena over and then the three of us all hug her and each other very briefly.
“There’s gotta be more right-”
Just then, the sharp sounds of gunfire emanate from the refinery.
“Lena, back to the bridge. Priscilla, Pete – on me.”
We move quickly towards the source of the battle sounds… only to meet Tora and Klaus coming the other direction with big grins on their face.
“We got ’em captain!”
“Wow. Fuckin’ wow. Great job g-”
Priscilla slumps to the ground, crimson blooming from her upper chest.
“FUCK! Fire back!”
Four weapons send a wall of projectiles and deafening sound towards the idiotic outlaw that had remained behind in the airlock. When I saw he was thoroughly dead, I drop down to check on Priss.
Still alive. For now.
I key up my comms, “LENA! Get us to a UEE station NOW. Priss is down.”
Thank you for reading! Let me know how you liked the story in the comments! :) https://relay.sc/fiction/12986Dragonflies in the Dark2016-07-06T17:00:00+00:002016-11-20T12:15:50+00:00StormyWintershttps://relay.sc/contributor/StormyWinters \\COMMUNICATION LOG BEGINS 2946.06.28.23.40\\
Zulu: Test… Test… is this thing on? Can you hear me Archer?
Archer: Of course I can hear you, you’re standing 5 feet from me.
Zulu: No… but… in the… damn you. Is your comm working?
Archer activates his comms, a loud squeal echoes through Zulu’s helmet.
Archer: Oops, sorry. It’s on now.
Zulu: Yeah. I got that.
Archer: Are you ready to go or not?
Zulu: I was the one waiting for you. Let’s get out of here before the Captain comes down to find out what… or WHO is taking so god damn long.
Archer: Well, I was waiting for you to put on your make up and pick up that purse.
Zulu jumps on Horace, his Dragonfly, and triggers the bay door with his mobiGlas.
Zulu: Let’s go, there’s gotta be something on that wreck worth tolerating the agony of your company.
Hitting the accelerator Archer sped out of the bay leaving Zulu behind. In the distance, the skeleton of a long silent ship loomed, debris hanging like puppets on strings around it. Support crossbeams exposed like a ribcage to the elements of space.
Zulu: Closing in. What the hell was this thing anyway? It obviously had a hangar bay but it’s so broken up that’s kind of hard to tell.
The darkness closed in around them as they entered the cavernous entrance, lights activating on the Dragonflies as the last of the natural illumination faded behind them.
Archer: Your guess is as good as mine. Whatever it was, it’s ripe for the picking now.
Zulu: I’m a little worried. It’s been out here a long time. I wonder what’s left to be found…
Archer: Time will tell. How’d you want to proceed?
Zulu: We should split up. One of us needs to root around inside for goodies. The other can examine the outside of the ship for any sections that look more intact. Which would you prefer?
Archer: Are you scared of the dark, Zu?
Zulu: It’s fucking space.
Archer: Haha, so funny. Idiot.
Zulu: Fine, I’ll go inside. Just make sure you keep in contact… who knows what the hell is in this thing.
Archer: Ok, just don’t get lost and make me come save your ass.
Zulu: Yeah, yeah.
Horace dives off to the right and enters the skeleton of the hulk.
Archer: I was also serious about my last comment. Took you forever to learn your way around the Cat… almost needed neon directional signs. Starting survey of the exterior.
Zulu: Yeah, she’s a big ship. At least I’m not a klutz. Does the Captain still make you use a plastic cup? Surveying interior… lots has been stripped out of here.
Archer: So, I broke ONE glass.
Zulu: How many times?
Archer: You can only break a glass once, you moron.
Zulu: So… you’re not counting the Captain’s favourite tankard you smashed?
Archer: That’s not a glass.
Zulu: Oh shit… Arch… there’s a light in here. How the hell? This thing has been here forever. There shouldn’t be any power.
Archer: Are you by any chance seeing my Dragonfly’s lights cause there’s a shit ton of battle damage out here that left damn big holes in this thing.
Zulu: No no, it’s on a control panel. Looks like this was the far wall of the hangar bay. Should I check it out?
Archer: Um…all right but don’t touch anything.
Zulu: EVAing now. Horace is shut down. I’ll scan it with my mobiGlas, see what we get.
Archer: Stay in contact and I’m serious about that, something doesn’t feel right about this.
Zulu: Okay… I’m getting something… looks like the computer is still on somehow? I am able to access some information. This was the UEES Ponderosa, a military Idris.
Archer: Wait…Ponderosa? That’s what you said?
Zulu: Yeah… crew complement was 102.
Archer: The Ponderosa went MIA like two decades ago, how the hell…
Zulu: Something’s wrong… my mobiGlas is overloading… Fuck. FUCK… *STATIC*
Archer: Zulu, this is no time for your shits and giggles pranks… Zulu!?!
\\COMMUNICATION LOG ENDS 2946.06.29.00.24\\