Friday, 23 January 2015

1.6 Pirates and Knights Part 6

It doesn’t literally hit me, but the Sektain destroyer is almost upon us.

“Can it see us?” I ask Janelle.

“Can what see us?” demands the girl.

Darn, I forget to close the connection.

“The destroyer,” I tell her before muting my responses to her.

“No,” replies Janelle, “It will once I charge the weapons however. Not even our cloaking can hide that.”

“Do it,” I tell her as I grip the controls.

I can hear the girl curse in a mixture of alien languages, only a few I can understand. I should update our translators when we get back to Earth.

I look at the controls. The plasma cannons are ready, but the fusion lance is still charging. The destroyer has changed course once it detected us.

I fire the plasma cannons.

They’re better than nothing and much better than what most people have. Most people doesn’t include Sektain warships however as the Sektain were the ones to make plasma weaponry widespread in the first place.

The destroyer fires its emergency thrusters to avoid my shots. It is only partially successful as two bolts of plasma miss and streak off harmlessly into space.

The other two slam into the destroyer and its shield flickers and fails.

The fusion lance finally charges and I fire it. It zooms at the hapless vessel, the destroyer unable to dodge and is without its shields.

The fusion lance punches through the Sektain warship and unleashes a series of explosion throughout the ship. The forward third of it even breaks away from the ship and the engines flicker and died.

“That was some impressive firepower,” says the girl over the comm approvingly before her tone becomes extremely worried, “You’re not going to turn that on me are you?”

“Why on Earth would I do that?” I demand as I unmute myself.

“Because I’m a criminal and you’re a lawman,” replies the girl, “That’s how most folk do things out here.”

“Well you did say you haven’t done anything majorly wrong and you stayed out of trouble with the Knights and Sangor, which are people whose opinions I care about out here,” I reply, “So what were you doing out there in the first place?”

The girl hesitates for a moment before replying.

“If you mean why I’m a pirate, that is too long a story,” she finally says.

“Just tell why they were fighting and why you sent the distress signal,” I say.

“Well,” replies the girl, “Me and my crew stole a bunch of gear from the Talrak Ravagers, the ones with the assault ships, and tried to sell them to the Yarnel Interstellar Empire, the guys with the battleship. Except the Yarnels decided they didn’t want to pay so I sent the distress signal. Then the Talraks showed up after having followed me here and wanted their stuff back. So they fought while I try to sneak away. I guess you showed up at some point between then and now. So now I got several crates of stolen equipment and no buyers.”

“What kind of equipment?” I inquire.

“Five boxes of Sektain energy shield generator, a couple of crates containing plasma grenades, five of small arms and eight boxes of power cells,” answers the girl, “Interested?”

“Only if you’re willing to accept the pound sterling,” I reply, “Sektain tech isn’t easy to come by back on Earth and I’m always interested in acquiring more in a moral manner.”

“Does anyone else around here use the pound sterling?” asks the girl.

“The Knights and probably the Sangor,” I tell her, “ At the very least they will convert into something they will use. Do you want to sort out the deal back at Epsilon Eridani?”

“Is that a good idea?” asks the girl, the worry clear in her voice.

“You haven’t broken their laws and I think I might be able to get the Knights to licence you as a one of their privateers,” I reply, “The Knights will probably even let you salvage some the wreckage out here.”

“I could make a good profit on even a small amount of what is floating out here,” laughs the girl.

“Doing business now Sentinel,” grins Sam from behind me, “You don’t even know our new friend’s name.”

I almost jump. I had forgotten that he had entered the cockpit. But he has a good point.

“Before we got anywhere,” I say to the girl, “Could I get your name since you have mine?”

“Mia Robinson,” answers the girl, “So how are we going to New Valletta?”

“I would use my ship’s jump drive,” I reply, “But I’m guessing you don’t have one.”

“You got a working jump drive!”exclaims Mia in shock, “Do you have any idea how rare those are?”

“I do,” I say somewhat proudly.

It is true after all and jump drives are quite rare.

“So how did you become a space pirate?” Sam asks her, “You seem like one of the people from Earth not space. They’re either alien or Maltese”

Mia is silent for a moment before reply.

“I was on a education trip to Europa roughly a year back,” says Mia in a world weary voice, “At the time, I was helping out carrying cargo crates when the ship I was on left before I could get off. They were pirates and couldn’t just go back to a civilised spot of the galaxy to do me off. Fortunately, they were kind to me and took me as one of their own. The captain’s first mate was the father of my own first mate and pitied me. So I spent several months as part of the crew as Urck’s protégée. Then the Antol Raiders attacked us and the ship was finally cornered. Only me, Darrac and Borin escaped.”

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