Fauntleroy - Postain

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Welsh Halfwit
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Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

For the first time in years I've been drawn back to writing stories. I returned to a universe I set up gawd knows how long ago with a whole slew of characters from the later tales, along with some new ones. (The original ship was an explorer ship called 'Fauntleroy'.) A fair bit of explanation happens in Part one, btw, so don't worry too much about not having a 'jumping on' point.

Part one.

The grey clad monolith hung against the infinite horizon as Commander Rhew tapped a few buttons on his small control panel, the whiteness of his hands almost glowing in the dim light. His ship adjusted three degrees to port and inched towards the waiting home. His new home, in fact, where they’d told him to go. It was one of the lesser parts of the military life, he told himself. You get little choice in exactly where you were assigned when you went for promotion. As usual, if you wanted to become the First Officer for a ship on your way to becoming Captain, there was only room for one per ship. Unless the one that was already on the ship was leaving, you left. It was why he’d had to leave the Frigate Asteron. He certainly wouldn’t have chosen this particular assignment. Not out here. Not in the back of beyond.

Not in the Briar Patch.

The Briar patch was where the species of the Universe had laid claim to over a hundred deserted planets some hundred years ago, when space flight technology had progressed far enough to allow egress on more than a sporadic basis and they’d all sent colonizing teams and forces and prison gurads and prisoners to lay official claim to the worlds. Hardy colony developers had gotten to work, building habitable territory out of the fields and deserts and rocks. Plants and lives had been fought out here, minerals mined and treasures found.

They’d competed for rights at first, of course. Money had changed hands at central archives and the regional offices meaning that some claims had gone in twice and blood had been shed on the planet surfaces. They’d brought in their own militias then, knowing that, if the species real military forces showed up to enforce their people’s rights, the others wouldn’t be far behind and no-one saw much point in risking war over ‘dustbowls with potential’ as Mican Senator Wykeham had opined.

Even the United Security Council didn’t see much profit out here at first, the organisation taking decades to set up a communal station in a spaceways ‘hub’. Interspecies diplomacy under their umbrella wasn’t needed or sought but the federal forces still liked to fly the flag, especially after the war. That was why the U.S.C. battleship Rodomont was assigned to the patch. It’s primary aim was anti piracy operations. It’s secondary aim was troubleshooter and the Captain of that ship had something of a reputation…

Captain Postain Stepped off his bridge and strode past Arrowby, the Ermine Telepath he’d been assigned earlier in the year. He couldn’t say he liked her but it did kind of please him that he didn’t have to keep up any pretence around her. Diplomacy being part of his job he had to curb his tongue several times a day when dealing with the crew. None of them were, exactly, first picks in the lists and he knew he had Lieutenants with the defects of Ensigns who would only have the rank of second or third Lieutenant on ships in the central systems. With Arrowby, he quite happily called her ‘idiot’ when she needed it. She was only adjacent to his command structure anyway, being part of the Investigative Division, the IOC.
“Same to you,” she called.
“Wasn’t even thinking it,” he shot back, over his shoulder.
“I’m sure you are now,” she guessed accurately as Postain turned the corner to the travel shaft.

“Shuttle bay two,” the Captain stated to the computer after the door closed and the automated system calculated the most effective way to get to the stated location, taking into account the five other cars in the shafts around the ship and where they were going. “No music” he said quickly, disconnecting the tracks it was about to play. It shifted down several levels, then headed along the central axis of the ship until it got to it’s destination, the shaft entrance closest to the required bay.

He stepped out and stood back as Raitchian Doctor Cobalt hurried in with a patient. “Teleport systems are still down, Captain,” the female grumbled, looking up at the Captain with her red tinted eyes. “Any news on that yet?”
“Emergency teleporter 2 is still working, Doctor,” Postain snapped, not bothering to go into how the ships systems had sort of overloaded helping out the Celicans on Past XVI, “You can use that for Emergencies. Talbary station has our replacement systems. We’re docking there tomorrow. When your new Chief gets on. “ He grinned slightly. “Are your records all written up?”
The door closed between them. He had nothing against the Brown fur beyond her almighty ego but he’d been thankful when Command had assigned him a C.M.O. who’d been out in space for more than three years. The Wolf coming aboard, Doctor Flakk, had over thirty years service on the Raitchian and it was that kind of stability Postain respected. He kept his hands behind his back as he strode towards the shuttle bay.

Engineers and crew scattered as he walked in and looked out into space through the force field membrane that stretched across the end of the bay. He could see the starboard rear of the battleship from here – or, at least, a portion of it – and the repair rigs patching up some of the time worn scars to the hull now they had the chance and weren’t travelling in hyperspace. He stayed back, near the main wall, as the fighter approached the barrier and fizzed through, aerial extensions flipping into place to keep the small spaceship controllable for the remaining twenty foot of travel before touching down on a standard landing pad. He stepped forward as the cockpit clacked open.

The new Officer pulled himself up from the seat as soon as he could, pushing the canopy open further as full time steps were pushed into place by crew. He noted the ‘brass’ in attendance and pulled his helmet off, revealing his pure white furred face. He clipped the two halves back together and spoke with some enthusiasm. “Permission to come aboard, Captain.”
“We were supposed to be picking you up at Talbary tomorrow,” Postain stated. “Any particular reason for the hurry, Rhew?”
“None beyond knowing you’ve been operating without a second for some time, sir. And I wanted to get to know the ship.”
“You’re not going to get that done in a day,” Postain remarked dismissively. “More likely it’s the ‘impulse control’ thing that’s noted on your record. You’re not here because you’re the best, you’re here because you’re trouble. Same as me. But, Rhew, if you can hack it here, you can hack it anywhere. Do the job, earn the credit, get out of here the right way. Oh. Permission granted, by the way.” Postain turned and stepped away, back towards the door.

Now he finally had the Captain’s permission, Rhew set foot on the deckplates and felt the hum of the ship. It sent a light buzz up the Polar Celican’s legs and into his handpaws and he wondered if that was the reason he was shaking slightly or if it had been the reception from his new boss. It certainly wasn’t cold in here and, being a Polar, he’d never find it cold anyway but he had the feeling he had things to live up to. Or live down, depending on what the last First Officer had done. He pulled his flight bag free from behind the pilot’s seat and put it through the security scanner. A general scan for hazardous materials and chemicals had taken place automatically when coming through the membrane but no security Chief worth their salt would let an unscanned bag onto the ship. It scanned clean for anything that wasn’t a light fabric or toiletries on the legal list. Everything else would come from Talbary. Rhew looked around as his allotted fighter – and the deck it was on - lowered to the next level, where it would be placed in the hanger close to the launch bay. “So,” he said, “this is the Rodomont, eh?” He sighed as a canister fell somewhere in the bay. “I’m doomed.”

Part two

He sighed slightly as he reached his door, some hundred yards from the command deck. The access panel had been coded to him by security whilst going through the routine medical and it accepted him pad print and microscan to open up into where Mikkal Rhew was going to be living now.

The increase in rank led to an increase in quarters size but the Rodomont was an older ship than the one he’d left so there wasn’t really much of a difference in size to appreciate. There was enough room in the living area for a small sofa and a table and, if he so wanted, a rug. He stepped in and the air conditioning kicked in to drop the temperature fifteen degrees for his convenience. They didn’t often leave the polar regions of Celica, his people.

Rhew dropped his bag on the sofa and stepped over to the food synthesiser. “Mentaka Shala,” he said after touching the panel. “Computer,” he said after the item appeared, “that’s a milkshake. Are your calibrations correct?”
<Insufficient data> the computer advised him.
He arched an eyeridge. “You can’t tell me if you have a fault? Your fault detector’s faulty?”
<Insufficient Data.>
“Figures you’d say that.” He tapped his communication device. It fizzed and he remembered it hadn’t been calibrated for the internal system yet. He patted the wall panel version. “Commander Rhew to Engineering.”
“<Engineering.>”
“Send someone up to my quarters, would you,” he asked the unknown voice. “The food synthesiser seems to be out of calibration. It can’t tell if it has a fault and served me a milkshake instead of Mentaka Shala.” he glanced at the machine. “I have reservations about drinking it without an antidote handy.”
“<I’ll send someone as soon as I can, Commander. It may take a while so you may prefer to use the communal systems instead.>”
So Rhew headed back out into the ship.

Captain Postain watched the stars move with near imperceptible slowness as the ship moved through normal space towards Talbary station. Something was digging at him. Something was ominous to his senses and that something was peace. Through general attrition they’d managed to, more or less, get the piracy situation down to a level where the colony forces could deal with them – mostly – and inter system emergencies were getting few and far between. Colonies were thriving – especially the likes of Calderon and Pandera – and even the others were finally developing. Postain cringed as he thought the patch might actually be becoming… civilized. It was either that or life was building up to kick him in the crotch again. He wanted to ask if there was anything coming over the Comms but he knew The Quolla on station would have told him already. She didn’t like him forever asking and he liked that. He found he sort of liked irritating her but maybe now wasn’t the time. He chose to read instead, pulling a log of current repairs up on his armrest screen. Strictly speaking they could do half the repairs at Talbary but there was a rule about restocking when you had sufficient stock so, to make sure they kept the budget up, he was muffins and cookies sure he was going to use as much of the maintenance budget before docking so they didn’t cut his budget. He spent more and more time battling budgets these days…

Rhew took a seat with the red and grey meat that comprised Mentaka Shala and contemplated eating it. Sure it looked right and smelled decent but he’d never met a synthesiser that quite managed to get the ‘freshly ripped’ aspect to the meat right. He looked up as a Celican with Junior Lieutenant stripes on his Green t-shirt collar sat opposite him with a large, hot, drink.
“Permission to join you, sir,” the newcomer asked.
“You’re supposed to ask that before you sit down, Lieutenant.” he nodded to his food. “Is this edible?”
The Lieutenant shrugged. “It’s palatable,” he replied. “More Savarra province style than Lakasha…”
Rhew started to cut the meat up. “Do we have a chef on board, by any chance?”
“My folks owned a Hotel that had to cater to off-worlders. They got pretty good at cooking foods. Gave me less of a shock when I got off the planet, I can tell you.”
“Yes,” Rhew agreed, not looking up. “They don’t like our eating habits. So,” he added slowly, “isn’t there something you’ve forgotten, Lieutenant?”
The Celican looked confused for a moment. “I don’t think so… Oh!” He stood up. “Science Officer Darren Levan, sir!”
Now he looked up. “Darren? How’d you get a name like that?”
“Human mother, sir.” He grinned slightly. “That’s why the Hotel got opened.”
Rhew shrugged. He’d heard worse combinations before and, frankly, he couldn’t blame the Human. “Fair enough. And you don’t need to thank me for the blood, by the way.” he’d obviously experienced this reaction to donation before and it elicited a proper smile from him. “Our cure is what we’re known for, after all. Oh, and I don’t need to hear about it, case you were wondering. Now that’s done, you sitting back down?” He looked around the nearly empty room. “Someone’ll need that chair soon.”
Levan sat back down.

Postain read the reports and security logs. His Chief of Security had requested four more temporary exclusions from the Starwheel bar and Postain wondered if they’d ever fix the problems with synthetic alcohols so they didn’t end up tasting like soap. He issued the credit bans on the four involved for the infractions and checked the latest intelligence reports. Balbury was up to his usual tricks, it seemed, and wanted by the races that weren’t actively protecting him, there were reports of a Bank heist on Caldera and…
“Sir, I’m receiving something,” Ensign Maldak said, turning her face toward him “It’s seems to be a distress call?”
“Put it up,” Postain replied, gesturing to the main screen.
“Audio only,” The Quolla replied, turning and flicking a switch.”

The audio screeched into flickering life, coming in and dropping out at irregular intervals. <”Thi…..he Icarra, reg…….. 19BQ48…, we are d….ing af…...tacke…..irate...at co-or……” The transmission cut off.
“Get them back,” Postain commanded.
“Signal’s gone,” Maldak replied, “but I got the transmission point. Sending it to the conn station now, sir. And checking the Icarra’s registry.”
“I don’t recall me ordering you to do that, Ensign,” Postain grumbled. “Find out if she’s real and what she’s carrying. And find out if we’re the nearest armed ship.”
“Coming through now, Captain,” she remarked, choosing to wait to send the report to the Captain until he asked. “She’s real and registered as on a transport run between Caldera and the labs on Ganna. The U.S.C. clipper Denares is headed for her.”
“What’s she carrying?”
“Sending it to your station, sir.” She tapped the button and he looked down at his display.
“Crud,” he swore. He pressed a button to access the general communications system. “Captain to all stations. Finish all repairs now. We need to get underway. All officers to their stations. Including you, Rhew.” He turned the comm off. “Helm, as soon as the repair crews are back on board, get us to that freighter, top speed.”
Commander Hawle. U.S.C. Loper.
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Nathan Kerbonaut
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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Nathan Kerbonaut »

Great stuff, Welsh. I'm always looking for fresh scifi, so count me onboard for this tale. I'll check out your past work in this setting, too. :)

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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

This came out really nice! I do hope that you continue to write more!

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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

Part Three

Commander Rhew was practically running as he entered the bridge and he forced himself to slow before he crashed into someone. The Polar Fox passed by the security officer assigned to bridge duty and walked the arrowhead shaped bridge to his seat to the right of Postain. He swept around and sat, sticking his tail through the usual gap in the backing. He noted the Captain’s thinner accoutrement was wrapped around his torso rather than down at the back but resolved not to mention it. He did, however, glance at the empty seat on the Captain’s left side.
Captain Postain saw his glance and chose to comment on it. “Supposed to be where the councillor sits. Never needed one so it’s a spare, Commander.” He gestured forward, towards the screen. “We’ve received a distress call,” he explained, “from a freighter called the Icarra. Seems garbled but they’re under attack.” He paused. “And they were taking stocks to the labs on Ganna. They have about thirty five metric tonnes of Quadria Ore on board.”
Rehw rolled his eyes at the information. “Shouldn’t they have had an escort?”
“Oh, probably,” Postain breezed, “but you know the lunacy of budget cuts. They probably relied on secrecy. Not that it’s relevant now.” He shifted slightly in his seat. “The Denares is inbound and should get there first so all we should need to do is provide back up and medical facilities.”
“Do you want me to get the fighter wing ready for drop?”
“No. I have actual full time pilots for that, Commander. You’re here to watch how I do things so you can do things roughly the same way when I’m not here so you don’t royally hack me off.” He sighed slightly. “but I was a few fighter craft down so I should probably thank you for providing one. I suppose.” He looked away and Rhew figured that was the closest he was going to get to an actual ‘thank you’ s he decided to accept it and ran through the log in panel on his arm rest to access positioning and times.

“Come on,” Flight Lieutenant Pascal ordered, urging his people on and into their suits. The Feline was ready, in the white jumpsuit and helmet and, quite frankly, didn’t see why the others were taking their time. There were six in his flight and he was anxious to put on a good show now he was in charge. This was the first actual non drill since Alpha wing’s Commander had been promoted back to central space and his former flight leader had gone up to Alpha. Now he was Beta flight leader and he was a little excited. “We need to be ready to drop as soon as we get there so let’s move!”

He moved across the fighter bay to where the Starlancers were housed and chose his usual one, number 14. He climbed the steps and into the pilot’s seat to run through the pre-flight checks, including flight power and quad cannons, after checking the comms link with the bridge was up and running. The bridge could, strictly speaking, listen in to any of the pilot’s chatter but they tended to issue orders through the flight leader. The voice of the comms officer came through loud and clear and, once again, he resolved to go to the bridge at some point to see if Ensign Maldak was as good looking as her voice sounded.

In the main medical bay, Raitchian Doctor Kelly Cobalt hurried her nurses around the room, setting up operation beds and scanners for the casualties she was pretty sure Postain was going to bring her. The stubby Rat had taken against her Captain – largely because she’d caught him calling her a stubby Rat – and his command style. She wasn’t going to report him, however, because he was the senior officer in the patch and, if she ever wanted promotion, she needed his backing. “No, get the operation table set up,” she told one of the nurses, “we’ve got ten beds and only one is currently set up for operation. Get the other one sorted. That way Doctor Jul can do one – if he gets here – and I can handle the other.”
Almost as she said his name, a young Mouseman scurried in, pulling his coat on. “Sorry I’m late,” he said, “I couldn’t find my socks.”
“You ever stayed in your own bed,” Cobalt snapped, “you probably wouldn’t have that trouble! Next time, Mican, turn up sockless!”
“Of course,” he replied, “I’ll still need my shoes.”
“Lose your boots,” Cobalt replied, setting out her tools, “you’ll be on report. And, most probably, eaten from tomorrow.”

Time clocked down as the ship sped on, her repairs just about holding up without having had any real time to ‘bed in’, and Postain waited for the first signs of damage on the board. The overload had done it’s worst on ‘C’ deck, in the aft section and some of the bulkheads and corridor’s were still sealed off. Fire control crews had the work around passages on their pads so they could get to where they were needed quickly but he hated the idea of any delays and why wasn’t Maldak updating him with the situation regarding the Denares? “Any update from the Denares, Ensign,” he asked.
“Nothing as of yet, sir,” she replied. “Their transponder signal puts them about five minutes out from the freighter… and I’ve not been able to get them back either, sir.”
And they were ten minutes further out. Postain had the annoying feeling they were going to be too late to do anything more than pick up the bodies. “Engineering,” he said, after tapping his comm, “Give me as much speed as you can.”
“<Already doing so, sir,>” the Engineering chief replied over the link.
“The Fighter wing reports ready,” Rhew added, reading the report on his arm rest.
“About time,” Postain grumbled, checking on the reports for himself. Everyone seemed logged to their station, even Arrowby was in his office and probably reaching out with his mind or whatever nonsense telepaths did in this sort of situation.

Twelve minutes later the ship returned to normal space and Postain forced himself up from his chair. Ahead, magnified on the viewscreen, hung a debris field that used to be a freighter and, hanging in her pieces, an intact ship. “The Denares,” he said simply. “Get us a line, Maldak!”
“I’m… “ she turned towards him, her light brown face showing surprise. “I’m not getting anthing from her, sir.”
“There ARE signs of life, Captain,” the Science Officer on station added, “but life support is failing. Signs are an EMP weapon was used. We have an emissions track.”
“Forward it to Talvary,” Postain replied, wheeling. “Rhew, you’re up.” He nodded to Maldak. “Send out the signal for way team ‘B’ to assemble at Emergency Teleport station 2 in full kit. Get over there,” he demanded of Rhew. “Find out what happened on that ship!”

Part Four

Rhew found himself trying not to pull down his suit as he stepped over to the teleport bay. The survival suit was an all-in-one type of thing, fully sealed, with a radio comm system that lit up his helmet visual display with the name of whoever was talking to him at the time. He had five assigned to him here, a Doctor called Jul, an Engineer called Hakan, a computer officer named Zeel and two Security officers, Martak and Donald. He couldn’t see what they were through the suits but he was guessing that Hakan just might be an Equinna, based on the fact he stood a full thirty inches taller than everyone else and was almost as wide as himself and the smallest one combined. Not to mention the petrol generator he was carrying like it was a sandwich.
“All systems active,” Rhew asked inside his helmet. Every name in his H.V.D. lit up as the others replied. He joined them on the dais and tapped the button that switched him to exterior speaker. “Put us in the Denares Engineering section,” he told the control officer.
“Sir,” the officer replied.
<”I take it your name’s not Falla,”> Jul’s voice said in his ears. <”You’ll need that sorted, uh, sir.”>
Rhew sighed. He’d not thought of that. He’d just been given the suit, which obviously wasn’t as ‘new’ as he’d figured. “Mikkal Rhew,” he said, “but call me Falla this time if you need to.”
<”O.K., Fella Falla,”> Jul joked.
“Get us over there,” Rhew told the Control Officer. And then he fizzled out.

Postain glanced behind him as Arrowby slinked onto the bridge. “What are you doing up here,” he asked.
“An ‘all stations’ alert and the feeling of suffering,” she replied, sitting soundlessly in the ‘spare’ chair. “It’s either the ‘pot luck’ lunch or something’s going on.” She scooched around in the seat slightly. “I could get used to this chair.”
“I could get used to you within the automobile off,” Postain griped. “But not now, I suppose.” he pointed towards the ship on the screen. “What are you getting from there?”
She looked at the screen. “The downside of the bridge being three decks down and surrounded by other decks is there’s no line of sight. I can’t get much of a telepathic lock. But empathically…” She grimaced. “They’re suffocating, Commander.”

The group returned to normal space inside a rapidly stagnating engineering deck, close to a dead power core. “Hakan,” Rhew ordered as Jul knelt by one of the stricken engineers and put one of the masks he’d brought with him on the fellow, “get the power back online if you can. Is he going to be okay, Doctor,” he asked Jul.
<”Depends,”> Jul replied, <”There’s been no oxygen here for a few minutes at least and the temperature’s dropping. He’ll be entering hypoxia in a few minutes if it keeps going.”>
“Agreed. The atmosphere’s gone out too quickly,” Rhew mused, “and yet gravity’s still with us. That generator hasn’t stopped turning yet.” he looked around. “There must be a micro breach here somewhere. Come on, we need to get on for the bridge. Whichever one of you is Donald, stay here and watch out for Hakan as he gets the power back on.” They made their way to the exit door and stopped as it refused to open. “This’ll take a few seconds each time,” he muttered, opening a panel to the side of the door and pulling out a small pump mechanism.
<”What’s with the petrol thing,”> Jul asked as Rhew started pumping for pressure to open the sealed door.
<”EMP,”> The engineer’s light said, <”Fries everything. Drains all power. Our.., umph”> he paused as he pulled open the control column, <”generator here uses a different energy to… restart the power generation systems.”>
The door hissed and released it’s death grip on the wall and the others helped Rhew pull the gap wider so they could get through. An almost imperceptible waft of air shuddered through the room and Rhew felt the deck plates move just slightly as he stepped through into the passage. “Didn’t want to send him back to the ship, Doctor?”
<”Didn’t want to risk it with only one emergency station working,”> Jul replied. <”They could go out at any time. Safer to only risk it once.”>
“I’ll go to the bridge,” the Arctic decided, “You two go to the medical bay. Get thermal sheets and see if you can save their Doctor.”
<”More likely an orderly or a corpsman on a ship this size but sure. Call me if something tries to kill you.”>
“It’s usually the know-it-all dies before the fighter in these films,” Rhew replied, taking a handful of breather masks before he headed towards the front of the small craft. He slipped a mask onto a Feline Officer he saw and, taking a second to check that she was breathing, continued on his way. “Really needs to be six on these teams,” he complained.

The bridge was smaller than the Rodomont’s equivalent, with just four stations present; weapons, Helm, sciences and the Command chair. Recognising that rank had it’s privileges, Rhew checked on the Commander first. Nothing. No pulse. He slipped a mask on the Canine and set the oxy running before checking on the others. A Castorian Beaver blinked a near frozen eye at him and let out a long breath as he slipped the mask on. He tapped the external speaker as the Officer tried to stand. “Careful now,” he said as he headed back for the Captain and began chest compressions, “don’t try to move. Who are you?”
“Ensign…” the Beaver coughed and wheezed, “Ensign Severn, s...sir,” he shakily stood up and held onto a console. “I don’t… I don’t think that’ll work, s..sir.”
“I have to try,” Rhew protested, increasing the pressure to almost bone cracking force.
“E...Emp device,” the thickset Ensign advised, “from a big ship.”
“But that wouldn’t…” Rhew suddenly twigged on something and pulled at the Commander’s shirt to reveal his chest. He pushed finger and thumb together on a particular point and felt something small and hard under the skin. “A coronary implant, right.” He stood up as the lights began to humm back on. Transferring back to radio comms, he congratulated Hakan on getting things operational. “Soon as you can, track down that breach.”
<”Will do, sir,”> the voice affirmed.
“What happened here,” he asked Severn.
<”I don’t know yet,”> Jul said over the comms, <”Orderly’s coming around though.”>
Rhew cursed silently and put the speaker on. “What happened here,” he repeated.
“Could… Could ask the… prisoner,” Severn replied, listening as the oxygen generators struggled back towards life. “She might still be alive.”
“What prisoner?”
“Pirate pilot. Caught her before… the big one h...hit…” Severn took a step and stumbled. Rhew watched as the Castorian caught himself and stopped from hitting the floor. He kept his distance. He had no crew list for this ship. He had no idea if there was a ‘Severn’ aboard. It wasn’t likely they’d try anything but you never knew… He switched to the helmet again. “Jul, ask the orderly if there’s a Castorian aboard called Severn, will you?”
<”Castorian,”> Jul queried, <”able to hold their breath for fifteen minutes and thermal insulate themselves? Right, I’ll ask.”>
A moment later, Rhew had his answer.
Commander Hawle. U.S.C. Loper.
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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

This really just gets better and better as I read it! This story is definitely awesome!

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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

Part Five

It barely took a minute for Rhew to run from the bridge to the small brig in the security office, and that was with him keeping Severn with him, complete with breathing mask. The Castoran had protested but Rhew had bitterly explained that he wasn’t leaving anyone he didn’t know alone right now. He’d stopped short of cuffing the Otter, and had left him his baton for defence, but had relieved the youngster of his sidearm – just in case. He’d resolved to ask why the Ensign had been carrying a weapon on the bridge some point later. He understood that, on a small ship like this one, bridge officers had to be their own security but it still seemed off to him.

Like everywhere else on the Denares, the brig was flickering back to power and, even from here, Rhew could tell things were wrong. The sealed door was open for a start and Rhew considered that maybe not EVERY door should have a pneumatic override on the inside as he looked in. There had been a struggle here, that was for sure. The Watch Officer’s chair was out of alignment, the computer terminal had been snapped in half and, frankly, so had the Watch Officer. This fellow hadn’t suffocated, the odd angle of head and neck spoke to that. He looked up at Severn, the anger in his eyes made visible by interior lighting that Rhew turned on for the effect. “When fighting for Oxygen, your prisoner killed this guard and escaped into a suffocating ship,” he growled. “Something you wanna tell me about the prisoner, Ensign?”
“I don’t know what you’re meaning, sir.”
Rhew stood and backed the Ensign up against the wall, putting his helmet close enough to him that he could see some of the tiny particles of ice on the brown furs’ face as they flaked. “I’m talking about what you’re holding back! What you know about this pirate! Spill!”
“She…” He swallowed. “She’s Castoran, sir,” he started. He wanted to add more to it but Rhew had already turned his comms back to the group. “All personnel on alert,” he ordered, “a female Castoran pirate is still aboard.” He looked up as he thought of something. “Jul, Martak, she’s probably headed to you for an environment suit.”

”If she’s been here all along, she’s probably already here,” Jul said, looking anxiously around the small bay. There was the bed on which he had the ship’s orderly under a mask and thermal blanket and the others he’d used all his masks on on the floor where Martak had left everybody he’d dragged in. The security officer himself was opening the door to the suits when a shot of energy lanced through his suit and arm, twisting him away in reflex as the shot flashed across the room and impacted the bulkhead to the left of the Doctor. “Found her,” he told the others. “Could do with some assistance.”
The interloper stood in the doorway as Jul pulled the half conscious medical officer down to the floor as he hunkered behind the bed. It looked like she was saying something but Jul couldn’t make it out at first. Then he stood up, keeping his hands raised. He carefully moved one hand to tap the communication switch. “You need to tap this,” he said, “our suits aren’t on your system.” He mimed pressing the button and put out a breath as she lowered her gun arm.
“I want out of here,” she said. “I want one of the fighters so I can leave!”

“Not likely,” Rhew said, stepping into sight, Severn shuffling behind him. She raised her arm again. “How badly do you want to live,” he asked. “The fighters have no power and the Rodomont’s right outside. Your options are looking quite poor right now.”
“I still have hostages…” She didn’t sound entirely sure.
Rhew drew on that. “You have people aiming weapons at you is what you’ve got. Two of us, at least.” He nodded towards where Martak was holding his undamaged arm upright, trying not to waver as his wound drew an increasing amount of his strength. “Three, now,” he added as Donald appeared. “Get past us and the Rodomont will shoot you into teeny, tiny, atoms. Your only chance of surviving five more minutes is to lower that arm, stand aside and let the Doctor here treat our man. You have no time to decide. Do it now.”
“Trust them,” Severn added.
“Shut up, Severn,” the other said, stepping aside to let Jul get to Martak.
“You KNOW this person, Ensign,” Rhew accused, growling as Donald shifted to cover the crew member.
Severn peered at the pirate. “I can’t… There’s something about the voice but..?” He smacked his lips.
The suit held up her arms in exasperation. “It’s Senny.”
“Oh,” Severn grumped. “Should have guessed, shouldn’t I? You being a pirate and all that.”
Now Rhew actively stared at Severn. “You didn’t think to mention that,” he demanded angrily. “You knew it was a Castoran female and there’s one in your family who happens to be a pirate..?”
“We’re not related,” Senny commented helpfully.
“SHUT UP!! Get that suit off! I’ve got a spare mask seeing as there are dead aboard!” he pointed a finger. “One of which you killed. You’ll be held responsible for that, we’ll make sure of it.”
“You’re not really encouraging me,” the female said, taking a breath and holding it like her species could before she disconnected the helmet and exposed herself to the stagnant air. Hakan had, apparently, tracked down the breach and sealed it but air pressure was still low and wouldn’t be back to normal for some hours. She pulled the suit apart and Rhew watched as she exposed more and more of her fur. He could hear Donald cough into his suit with what he understood to be embarrassment but felt none of his own as the thick tail flopped out and the tip smacked the deck. “You didn’t need to strip to your underwear to put the suit on,” he mentioned drily.
She half chuckled and raised her claw tipped fingers with a smile in a slightly offensive gesture. “I was wearing a flight suit, fella,” she said after putting a breather mask on, “Too thick to wear a second suit for long.”

It took another ten minutes work for Hakan to re-establish the computer and take the information it had recorded on the EMP weapon whilst building up enough power for the transport system. Leaving Martak with Jul, Donald and Rhew escorted the two Otters back to the bridge where one of the officers had started to come around. “W...who..,” the officer tried to say.
“Commander Rhew of the Rodomont,” Rhew said, wondering how many times he was going to have to say that in the coming months. You never tended to have to introduce yourself so often when you were one of the lower ranks and he idly thought about recording himself saying it so he could play it back every time he was asked. He cast the thought aside. “You were hit with an EMP attack. I’m sorry but..,” he glanced at the dead Captain, “you do have a handful of fatalities. When we contact the Rodomont, we’ll take your prisoner back with us. Put your hands down,” he commanded as Senny waved. “We’ll be taking him too.” He nodded to Severn. “They seem to know each other. It might be useful.” Or, he thought, it might be their inside man.
Commander Hawle. U.S.C. Loper.
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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by NHWestoN »

Glad you've come back to your saga, Welsh.

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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Wonderful job as always! I now just need to catch you more so we can talk more than we have. :D

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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

PART SIX

Senny picked her nails as she waited in the bare bones room for the person they were sending in to interrogate and worked out what was going to happen next. The person would turn up, offer her coffee or tea or something else to drink in an attempt to make it seem like they were on her side and not going to lock her up for years on end for the things the pirates had done, both now and in the past. Her future lay in the prison system, probably on Caldera, and the main prison had several senior guards quite sympathetic to either the Pirates position or their own position that would be endangered by what the clan knew about them. Her best chance was to keep schtumm and…

The door opened and an Erminian walked in with a small envelope and a vending pack of sandwiches. Senny looked her over and decided the Shirt and shorts didn’t really go with the danger sign logo on the shirt shoulder. “IOC, I take it,” she asked, “what does it stand for anyhow?”
“Not got a clue,” Appleby replied, sliding into the chair opposite. “Investigations Oversight Commission, Intelligence Overwatch Co-ordination, Insight Operations Council… all of them turned out to be phallic in some language or other. And long winded.” She helped herself to a sandwich. “They realised everyone was just yelling IOC before long so I think it’s just IOC now. Sandwich?” She indicated the pack. “River trout. No mayo.”
“Isn’t it supposed to be a drink,” Senny asked, waiting until Appleby had taken a bite before deciding it was safe and reaching out for one.
“You lot can draw fluid from your food.”
“Not so much from a pre-packed, flash frozen, sandwich. That’s why we learned to drink Caffeine and fruit juice.”
“Right,” Appleby said, putting her half a sandwich back in the box and taking some paper out of her envelope. A pen appeared from her pocket and she clicked it into life. “I do old school,” she said, tapping a spot on the table that turned on the recording devices, visual and audio. “Security log #217,” Appleby said, “1829 ship time, Central date uh…” She looked it up on the table, “35214, U.S.C. Rodomont, I.O.C. Agent Harmony Appleby presiding. Please state your name for the recording.
Senny leaned back and yawned. “Senny,” she said.
“Full name,” Appleby prompted, rotating a hand to prompt. Senny said nothing. “We can get it from your brother,” Appleby added.
“Severn is NOT my brother,” Senny protested. “He’s just from the same colony is all!”
“Yeah,” Appleby remarked, affecting to check her notes. “Tell your DNA. They took swabs when they checked your injuries over and found you clothes. Same litter?”
Senny sighed in defeat. “I’m two years older. And I don’t go by Senn Waters anymore. It’s Senny.”
Appleby looked up at her. “Waters,” she asked suspiciously.
Qsenny sat back and folded her arms before gesturing dismissively. “That’s why I don’t use it. Get on with it.”
“In my own time.” The agent’s eyes appeared to sparkle slightly as they reflected the ceiling light until she moved slightly. “What was the shipment wanted for?”
“Bling,” Senny replied smartly. “It looks good on the fur.”
Appleby shrugged and Senny figured the agent was about to get cross and shout at her face. “Cant’t argue with that,” she said instead, “although I’d be reluctant to wear high explosive as a necklace. Come on, there’s a seller involved, isn’t there?” She waited a moment and Senny didn’t respond. “OK,” she compromised, “we’ll come back to that. Let’s go for background. Why’d you become a pirate anyhow?” Senny said nothing. “Guess Postain’ll have to get that out of your brother too.” Appleby shrugged. “He’ll enjoy asking him about that. I hope he’ll tell the truth.” Appleby watched Senny’s eye flinch. “It’ll probably help him decide if a court-martial is needed.”
Senny straightened up. “Court-Martial,” she said, shock in her tone, “for what?”
Appleby shrugged again. “He’s a martinet for the rules. There aren’t many Castorans out here and one of them just happens to run into their sister as their sister is robbing a freighter, killing all the occupants, stealing dangerous cargo and killing a USC Officer on his ship?” She made notes on the paper, glancing up as she wrote. “The timing talks of inside assistance, especially with accessing the transit routes. An officer on the helm of a Council ship could easily do that. It’s probably treason.”
Senny slammed her hands down on the table and stood up to try and intimidate Appleby. “Severn would never do that! He’s stupidly loyal to you lot! Just like he was to our father and the system, even back home! I could never…” She swallowed and sat back down, releasing the tension on the floor cuffs attached to her ankles. “I could never break him out of that lie. But he’s got nothing to do with it. Nothing. I just wanted to make some money is all! That’s why I became a mercenary. Money. Severn would have tried to talk me out of it. He DID try to talk me out of it but that was years ago! After I had a record. This group accepted me and I’ve been alongside them for three years now! So send me to a cell and be done with it!”
Appleby stood up and picked up her envelope before taking the rest of the sandwich. “We’ve probably got a better option. Tell you about it when I come back in with the drink.” She tapped the table. “Interview suspended, 1840 ship time, IOC officer Appleby leaving room.”

Appleby stepped out of the room to where Postain was waiting in the dark. He waited for the door to close before he spoke. “She told you anything?”
“You were watching so you saw what was admissible in court. “But, yeah, she told me everything.” She passed him the piece of paper from the envelope. “The names of the Prison officers on Caldera you need to investigate.” She looked at the image on the screen. “She hates her life, her Father abused her, she’s gone out of her way to be physically tough to repel advances from her ‘friends’, she’s used as little lethal force in the attacks as she can get away with, loves her brother and hates Peas.” She gave him a hooded look. “It’s always those who rely on physical strength have the least mental strength. Like oh, so many, she didn’t even know I was in there.”
“I always know,”
“Head trauma can make people more sensitive,” Appleby admitted. “The amount of people who’ve wanted to punch you in the head over the years…”
“What do you reckon to her?”
“Huh,” Appleby sighed. “Project:- Reclaim could be an option but she has to want to change and she has to admit it. I can’t influence it.”
Postain stiffened slightly.
“I know you hate the project,” Appleby continued as Postain opened his mouth to say he hated the project, “but it frees up Prison space. She might be a hard sell on giving up her comrades, though.”
Postain slapped the envelope. “She’s already done it. Tell her that co-operation will be taken into account and, if she gives them up willingly, we’ll go in and try to take as many as we can alive. If not…” He stepped away from the room. He knew he didn’t have to finish it but did anyway. “We’ll blow the I love you apart without mercy.”

PART SEVEN

Senny looked Appleby in the eye as she took in what the IOC officer had just said. She sipped the river water the officer returned with and considered all her words carefully. “He can’t do that,” she decided to say, her gaze stone-like and unmoving. “Even I know that’s against the laws set down by the Council. You lot are supposed to uphold those laws.”
Appleby relaxed in her chair. “You’re correct,” she admitted, “but this is an extreme situation. Area command could make a decision but the Captain’s reluctant to contact them on an open channel right this moment. That means he gets to make the decisions and, quite frankly, he’s not in a good mood with you lot. He’ll say their resistance meant that he needed to ‘enforce the peace’ to a higher level and he’ll get off any charges, especially if he gets that Quadria back.”
“Can’t YOU do anything?”
Appleby decided to straighten up a bit. The problem with being an effortlessly flexible species was that, if you spent too much time relaxing, you tended to ooze into a puddle on the floor. “IOC’s a civilian organisation,” she reminded her opponent, “attached to the Council. We have a lot of say in investigation but..,” she grimaced slightly, “no say at all in military matters. It’s his show. What he says goes. So,” she added, “anyone you’d like to keep alive?” She smiled lightly.

Doctor Jul finished patching up Martak on the sickbay bed and examined his notes. The criminal had done her work well and so had the Doctor. But, even with the patchwork having been done, he knew Martak was going to be back in several times with arm pains and loss of fine motor control of the fingers. He sighed slightly and found his way to Doctor Cobalt’s office. “Shame we didn’t get him here a few minutes earlier,” he told her.
“Why,” The Rat Doctor replied. “A moment or so made no difference. I checked your work,” she added, “with the damage she did it’s a good job you did, Jul. I keep telling you, the fact they can come back for follow-up appointments is because you’ve kept them going so they HAVE follow-ups. Take a win.”
“Bet the Wolf we’re picking up could have done better.”
Now Cobalt flashed him a look that said ‘don’t argue’. “But the Wolf we’re picking up is NOT here, IS he? Until he is, I’M in charge and I say you did a good job. Take the win, Jul.”
“You know,” he decided, faking a smile, “I think I’ll just take the win and prescribe some medication?”
Cobalt pointed a finger. “Nothing more than aspirin. You know what the Captain’s like about doped up security.”

Rhew couldn’t sleep. Especially not on the bridge. Strictly speaking he shouldn’t have a hot beverage there either but he felt the need to keep alert. The Captain had told him to sit command whilst he was overseeing the interrogation of the prisoner. He’d watched as the Denares had found enough power to start limping away toward Talbary station. He’d watched as shuttles picked their way through the debris of the freighter to pick up clues and bodies. He’d listened to comm traffic thanks to Maldak sending the radio to speakers. He now knew that Hossa was cheating on Della, his wife, on Celda II’s top rated morning radio show but, having listened to that show for years, he knew that had happened five years ago. He also knew there was a leisure cruiser being helped out by the Claudus Militia after a breakdown near the planet. But he’d heard nothing about the Pirate operation. He consulted the files. There were no bases listed near here so, optimistically, that meant a ship. Ships he could handle.

“OK,” Appleby said, “you get the terms of this? Area command will have to sign off, of course, and you’re not getting off the murder you committed but the Penal parade does provide an option for you to spend your sentence outside of a cell with an electric tag attached. The local Commanding officer will decide if it’s to go around the ankle or the neck – and guess which one the Captain prefers? If Area Command agrees, you’ll receive a minimal wage and no real need to spend it so the money can pile up over the years. Good conduct shaves time off your sentence and can lead to a job offer, depending on the Commanding Officer. Bad conduct gets your brain fried faster than a Breakfast Waffle…”
“I haven’t said I’d sign yet,” Senny declared hotly. “I’d want a LOT of assurances first. One. That A certain Captain has to get approval for punishing me with the shock collar…”
“Which you won’t have,” Appleby said patiently. “He’s the ranking Military Officer on this ship. Judge and Jury. And he’s NOT a nice guy. But he IS one of the Good guys and I can assure you of that. As far as he’s concerned, “if you’re a member of his crew, you’re under his protection. You do nothing and he’ll do nothing to you. And the crew knows that, if THEY do anything to you, he’ll throw the book at them. You’ll be better protected on the ship than you would be in Prison – which is where you probably should be.”
“And I want his assurance that he’ll use minimal necessary force on them.”
“He’s a dangerous Dog, not a Rabid one,” Appleby remarked.

Postain fought down a growl of impatience, put his hand on the table next to the Human Female and waited for her report, drumming his finger claws on the table top as she finished up.
“If I make a miscalculation,” she warned, “it’s all down to you.” His claws stopped and, a moment after, she finished working on the computer and looked up. “The readings taken by The Denares computer were wiped by the pulse, of course,” she said, “but the emergency back up survived relatively intact. I’ve set our shield frequency to counter the magnetic effect of the weapon. But that DOES depend on them using the same pulse weapon.”
“I sincerely doubt they have more than one,” Postain replied.
“About an hour ago, you probably didn’t know that they even had one, Captain.” She sighed politely. “It’ll work if the frequency is even close but try not to test it. Further to the ship? It looks like a Celican cruiser from about five to ten years back.” She shrugged and grimaced at the same time. “That means it’s newer than this tub. We probably have the advantage on maintenance and weaponry, though. Looks like they were just finishing off the Freighter when she arrived. They just dropped the pulse weapon and scarpered.”
“Don’t use local terms, Palmer, I don’t understand them. What the Galak does ‘scarpered’ mean?”
“They legged it,” she explained.
No reaction on Postain’s face.
“They warped out of there before it went off. They probably figure they can pick it up later…”
Postain was already heading out of the computer science office, activating his comm as he went. “Postain to Rhew! The EMP device is still here somewhere! Shields up!”
Commander Hawle. U.S.C. Loper.
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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

Part Eight

Rhew didn’t wait for Postain to reach the bridge before taking action. “Helm,” he commanded, “Put a hundred thousand K between us and the debris, now. Any direction.” He kept the main scanner on the debris field as he felt the ship twist around, starboard hard fuel engines firing to turn the ship before they cut out and the port ones cut in to stabilize the turn before both sides pushed the ship forward. “Maldak,” he added, “tell flight deck they need to send out an engineering shuttle with manipulators. Oh, get one of the flight engineers to go with them.” The Polar Celican put his elbow on his arm rest and his chin on his fist. “They might need to turn the thing off.”
“How is it we haven’t seen it whilst we were here, sir,” one of the others asked.
Rhew sat up straight again. “The thing we’re looking for is about the size and shape of a large, circular, freight container, Ensign,” he advised. “As the debris is mostly large, circular, freight containers…”
“Of course, sir,” the Officer replied as the reverse thrusters slowed the ship into it’s new position.

Several decks away, Flight Lieutenant Pascal pulled his helmet closed and felt the few seconds of wind as the enclosed space filled with breathable atmosphere. He ran the test for several seconds before taking the helmet back off and stepping up into the shuttle with the apparatus. He stepped past it and began running the pre-flight checks on the pilot’s console as he waited for the… Oh, he thought, it’s Kerri.
He could tell the incoming Engineer was Kerri the Squirrel as the environment suit was doing twenty miles an hour across the bay and up into the ship. She inclipped her helmet and greeted him. “Heya, Troy,” the little redfur chattered, “ready to go disarm a multi-use bomb?”
He gave her a smile he almost meant. “Almost ready to come back, Shona.”
She clapped him on the shoulder and he fought back a low growl. “Aw, don’t be like that,” she beamed, throwing herself into the co-pilot’s seat. “It’s the return of the dynamic duo.”
Pascal shook his head. “I have no idea what you’re talking about and I don’t really care to. You’re nice enough but…”
“I could say the same,” Kerri commented.
“...And I’d definitely want you on my side in a race…”
“Bet you say that to every Jondhal…”
“...I’m, uh, just going to take off now, OK?” He started the launch procedures and strapped himself in as Kerri adjusted her belt so it didn’t strap across her neck and clipped it into place. The door to the main compartment closed and the small ship lurched off the deck before heading towards the energy field at the end of the bay.
“I’m always a bit nervous on leaving the ship,” Kerri remarked, for the tenth trip running, as she looked around the cabin as though searching for cracks.
“Then why do you keep volunteering,” Pascal asked, immediately wishing he hadn’t.
“Oh Chief Gaval volunteers me. Says he likes to think of me strapped down.” She paused for a half second. “I’m not sure how to take that. It’s either him saying I never stop or something I should take to tribunal.”
“It’s the first,” Pascal said, turning the small ship towards the debris field. He activated the forward monitor on Kerri’s side so she could try and concentrate on it and not talk to him.

The Captain pulled himself up short as he neared the lift and turned left instead. There was something he figured he’d probably better do. His ship was a battleship and needed for combat but it was also a ship that tended to be out and about for years at a time and, well, people were people and they tended to be irresponsible and bring the results of their being people along with them. With things as they were, he figured he needed to make their leader aware and take precautions so… He pressed the button by the tiny school’s office. They had two classes on the ship – Five to tens and Eleven up. All in all there were fifteen children on board and Postain didn’t want to meet any of them. The secretary buzzed him in and he stood next to the desk. “Get the classes into the secure area,” he said, delivering a message that could probably have been done on the comms if he could remember this guy’s name. “There’s a minor possibility of trouble and they’re better off in there.” he didn’t bring up the fact of exactly what the danger was but, frankly, he didn’t want kids running around and panicking in a power free atmosphere. The secure zone was shielded against things like that and came equipped with oxy bottles and thermal heaters. Having delivered his message, he turned away without waiting for response and headed back to the lift.
Nodding to Postain’s back, the secretary paged the two classes.

Rhew watched as the shuttle inched it’s way into the debris field and sipped his coffee as he guessed the small ship started scanning. From where they were, the shuttle scanners could detect the magnetic field, even in this dissipated state and pick it out from the other metal. He watched them adjust course as broken shards of metal skinned the shielding and knew that they’d have to turn the field off to grab the device. He was still watching when the Captain arrived.
“Captain on the bridge,” Maldak advised and Rhew got out of his seat like it was suddenly electrified.”
“Good timing, Commander,” Postain stated, taking his seat for the show. “Whilst you’re up,” he added, “you only drink those on the bridge if the Captain has one.” Taking the hint, Rhew headed to the replication machines. “No sucrose and black as pitch,” he added.

“I think I see it,” Kerri chirped excitedly, pointing to something on the screen some fifteen kilometres ahead of them in the expanding ring.
Pascal glanced at it and decided she was probably right.
“I’ll go get linked up,” she said, unclipping her restraint and rising from her seat.
“Helmet on,” Pascal warned.
“I know, I know,” she complained. “I’m not a Noirish Squirrel, you know? They’re the nutty ones!” She clamped the helmet back on and stepped through to the back before Pascal closed the door again. She stepped to one side, behind the controls of the grabber, and engaged the magnetic clamps on her boots so she stayed attached to the floor. “In position, Pascal,” she said and he replied by opening the side door to space. In a few seconds the temperature in the cargo section dropped two hundred degrees C as the atmosphere blasted out.
She engaged the grabber, manipulating the levers to adjust the aim of the glue plug on the end of a three hundred foot cable with a pneumatic charge. She had two recharges for the charge but kinda hoped she wouldn’t need those as she took aim through the camera mounts and locked in on the thing she’d tagged on the Pilot’s console.

She fired and the sticky projectile shiffed silently through the night to clutch onto the target. Kerri figured she really didn’t want to engage the magnetic charge on the grabber for obvious reasons and gave a small prayer to the Prism that the plug would hold in place as the system retracted the canister slowly as Pascal did his best to hold the ship in place against the oncoming metal. He watched with alarm as a jagged piece cut slowly past the cable, almost hitting the device shortly before Kerri finished her work. <”Seal it up,”> he heard her say, <”We got it! Yes!”>
Only Kerri, he thought as he shut the bay door, could possibly be so excited about having a massive bomb on board.
Commander Hawle. U.S.C. Loper.
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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Stupendous work on this chapter and how it was written! You can't tell that you ever stopped!

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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

Part 9

The Engineering crew were looking the EMP device over and, until they’d done so, they’d requested the ship stay really quite still – or as still as possible considering there was always movement in space – so Postain and Rhew had taken the chance to talk in the Captain’s ready room.

Rhew was wishing he hadn’t. Postain was wishing Rhew hadn’t followed. He’d been hoping for a few minutes to himself but the Celican had asked if he could have a word and, as nothing was going on, he’d no reason to deny the request. Rhew, for his part, was wondering how to broach the subject he wanted to ask, that of the prisoner. “You wanted to ask something, Rhew,” Postain grumbled, checking over things on his computer. “You’re not going to make me ask what, I hope. Speak.”
“Well, er, it’s about the prisoner, uh, Senny…”
Postain pointed the little stick he was holding at Rhew. “Do NOT feign lack of confidence when it comes to me, Polar. You’re a first officer, not a petty criminal and, frankly, the feeble attempt to curry favour really ticks me off!”
“Right.” Rhew put his hands behind his back and flexed his claw tips into his pads to give himself a little added irritation. “That Pirate murdered a security officer,” he declared hotly, “She’s getting away with it on this… Reclaim thing!”
Postain looked at him coolly. “She is NOT getting away with it. I agree she shouldn’t be released but we’re going to be in charge of her until area makes their decision and, possibly, even after that. Reclaim has meant we’ve been able to add an extra ship in the patch and take down several operations.” He sighed and sat back. “It’s also kept down the pressure on the prison population and enables us to find out who’s in ‘the life’ by choice and who got forced into it for other reasons. It can rehabilitate worthy people…”
“I can’t believe you’re supporting this!”
Postain growled and fixed Rhew with a dangerous glare. “Never interrupt me again,” he warned, letting the Celican see a flash of his teeth. “And I do NOT support the intention. They left the care of the Council worlds and shattered our laws for personal gain. They deserve little consideration and little mercy. But there are two reasons we’re doing this. One. When we encounter these Pirates again – at their base, hopefully – her information could save lives on our side. Two. And this is the really important part, Commander. It. Is. The. LAW. We’re here to enforce it, not make it, Commander. Any prisoner under our administration is entitled to the protection OF our administration. They’re entitled to full process of the law and the punishments applicable for abrogating them! We have the liberty of defying illegal orders, defying our own actual laws is something quite different. Are we clear on that?”
Rhew swallowed. “I… believe so, sir.” he said. “Permission to leave, Captain?”
“One moment.” He straightened up in the chair. “Do you know why you were sent to me, Commander?”
Rhew almost considered lying by had the feeling the Captain already knew. “This was the only ship requiring a First Officer, sir, and I was looking to become a First Officer.”
“The Rubicon has also requested a First Officer and so has the Kassimon. There’s a second reason you were sent to me and it’s the same reason the last three had. USC Command isn’t sure you have what it takes to become a Captain. First Officer is rarely the position people aim for in life. They’re sure you can be a first but they’re not sure you can cope with being first. So they send you to me. If you can survive ME, you can survive the chair. And you only survive ME by confronting me on every decision I make that you don’t agree with whilst accepting that my decision IS the one that counts! I can tolerate mistakes but I will not tolerate half measures in any way. Understood?”
Rhew looked disturbed. “Un...Understood, sir,” he admitted.
“Good. Now, back to the bridge.” Postain decided he didn’t need to remind Rhew to call him if the ship should happen to turn up in a search for it’s reusable device. He figured he didn’t need to.

Severn and a security guard escorted his sister to a pair of ‘c’ grade cabins that had been assigned as their home for now. After ten minutes they came to a pair of rooms just down from disaster control and a security post and the guard linked the door to the signal being put out by the collar Senny was now wearing. “That’s your key,” he explained. “Only security or you can open the door from this side.”

The cabins were both on the inside of the ship, with ‘windows’ provided by cameras mounted to the outside of the ship to provide something to look at. A bare bones sofa took up much of the room with a coffee table and leather effect chair making up the majority of the furniture. The kitchen consisted of a Food replication system, a disposal and a lap tray. Senny stepped in and turned around. “Think this is smaller than my room in the base,” she complained. The guard stepped in and pressed a button on the wall. Part of the wall slid back to reveal a double sized bedroom with a small, en suite, shower room on the other side. “I’m allowed ‘guests’,” she asked lightly.
“Give it a few years and you might find someone desperate enough,” the guard said bitterly.
“Oh, I figured we’d be friends,” she commented, this time dripping the sarcasm in her tone.
“Not…”
“...going to be saying anything inventive, Mate,” Severn said, taking a poke around and making sure there was toilet roll in the bathroom. “I take it mine’s the same and I’m going to need to take Senny shopping?” He stepped back into the living space.
“This is a Battleship, not a explorer ship. We’ve got two small shops aboard and a tailor. You’re perfectly entitled to escort the prisoner there.” He turned to Senny. “The prisoner is NOT entitled to visit them by herself. Nor is she allowed access to secure areas of the ship or any sort of weapon. If you do decide to go ‘for a walk’, you will be escorted by security. If there are none available you don’t go for a walk. Clear?”
“As clear as your dislike, plodder,” Senny retorted. “Take it Severn’ll be next door?”
“It’s already linked to him.”
“Then **** off.”
“You really can’t make friends, can you,” Severn asked after the door closed behind the guard.
“Not with people who don’t want to be,” she replied. She noted his mouth about to open and held up a hand. “I have no interest in talking about home, brother.” She enveloped him in a hug. Good to see you, anyhow.”

Kerri stepped back from the device and the considerable number of cables attached to it in the shuttle bay. “We’ve drained it according to this,” she said, holding up the padd she planned to blame if things went wrong. “Removing the core will be pretty simple. Uh, for the robot. It’s still somewhat dangerous and needs a steady paw so I’m not doing it.”

Five minutes later, Postain returned to the bridge. “I have an idea,” he said.
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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Wonderful work once again! I hope you can post more often!

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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Nathan Kerbonaut »

Really enjoying this story, Welsh.

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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

Thanks, Nathan. And now we meet Henry Postlethwaite, area commander.

Part 10

The old Mouse sipped at his Nut Coffee and looked over the meeting table at people who weren’t really there. Holograms of Briar Patch commanding Officers stared back at him like some blockbuster movie special effect as they waited on his word. He was nearing seventy and the inevitability of his future stretched before him like a piece of infinite taffy that no-one wanted to eat.
He’d tried retiring once, after several years as Security Chief on an explorer ship named Fauntleroy. He’d been across the universe, outside known space and fought an attempted coup. During retirement he’d gotten bored, become a private investigator, gotten reacquainted with an Admiral and appointed head of IOC out here in the patch. And, for the last six years, he’d been in charge. Not of Talvary Communal station. Not of the IOC out here but the whole flamin’ lot. People talked of ‘sector command’ but, in reality, it was him. Just him, making decisions for the Council out here. Sure, he had assistants and advisors but they weren’t the final say. He noted he’d fallen into reverie again and people were still waiting for him. “Feldar,” he said, looking directly at the Feline/Human cross who led Pandera station, “good job on the Zerban heist. Miles caught the one that got away on Calderon and we’re closing in on the money. Raka,” he added, looking at another one of his group, “I want that situation at the foundry wound up as soon as possible. Involve whoever you need from the local forces. Maybe the possibility that they’ll get hurt will stop some of the collusion you’re thinking is happening. Or it may help you prove it. If you need more than that, the Fantana can be sent your way.”
<”Won’t be much help if the colony government is involved. I’ve heard a whisper that Balbury is involved”>
“You’ve provided no proof of that,” Henry Postlethwaite reminded him, standing to move away from the table and over to the coffee machine. “And, if Balbury is involved, you wouldn’t have heard a rumour. If they do escalate,” he added reluctantly, “remind them that we can too? As for now, that’ll be all gentlemen and ladies. This time next week for the next meeting, keep an eye out for Balbury and I apologise again to those for whom it’s the middle of the night. Postlethwaite out.” He poured another Coffee and stepped through the door into his office. “Balbury,” he muttered, slapping the desk. “That’d be about right.”

He hadn’t even hung up his battered jacket on the hook before the door beeped. “Hang your hope on the hook,” he told his visitor who, he found by looking at his computer screen, was Lieutenant Smek, his adjutant, “and get your tail in here.” He sat before noting the door was still closed. “Of course,” he muttered, “the voice idents got defaulted. Enter!”
The door opened and a Canine Officer stepped across the threshold into the office. “I have a report from Captain Postain,” he announced.
Postlethwaite chuckled slightly. “After only three hours? He’s trying to pass the buck or something?”
“Beg pardon, sir?”
Postlethwaite accepted the report. “Captain Postain hates oversight, Smek. His reports usually arrive right on time.” He held it up. “A three hour delay means he’s been involved in something and hasn’t had the time to do a report. The fact that it’s JUST a three hour delay means that he fears what he’s about to do has the capability to offend a lot of people so he’d like someone else to authorise him to do it. What’s he up to?”
Smek looked down at his senior officer. “It seems he has some sort of plan for crippling the pirates that took out the freighter and the Denares. He’s planning an assault on their base and requesting the go-ahead as soon as we can give it.”
Postlethwaite looked confused. “And he requested this on an open channel?” The Mican looked around. “What’s he up to?” He thought for a moment. “I wonder..?”
“Sir?”
“He knows they’re monitoring our…” He shook his head. “No, no, never mind.” He flicked through the report and stamped his authority on it. “Get me a line to Central,” he added, “it might be an idea to ask for a few cruisers for temporary assignment. Just in case.”
“Sir,” Smek said, heading back out.
Postlethwaite spun his chair around. “What are you up to, Marius,” he mused. “Poisoning the well, perhaps?” He put in a call to the local colonies space traffic controls.

Rhew sat, watching the goings on on screen as the device was put back into place and he readied the ship to get out of the immediate area at best speed as soon as the shuttle docked. The course was already planned and the scanners were locked on…
Rhew’s attention was diverted as Postain stepped back onto the bridge. “Area Command have given us their blessing,” he said simply. “He knows we’re up to something,” He took up his seat as the shuttle docked. “Best speed to watching position, Helm, We receiving the signal, Maldak?”
The Quollan replied in the affirmative as the ship sped to hyperspace velocity for a bare half minute. They’d have been out of sensor range if it were not for the relay buoy Kerri had just effectively turned the ‘mine’ into that put out a trackable signal over magnetic wavelengths that Postain trusted the enemy wouldn’t scan for. After all, they should know where they’d left the muffins and cookies thing, shouldn’t they? He was amazed they hadn’t already returned to collect it by…
“Picking up something now, sir,” Maldak reported, “it’s coming in now.” She looked over to the Captain and First Officer. “It matches the silhouette Palmer provided. A Yavva class Heavy Cruiser. How the hells did they get one of those?”
Rhew sighed. “After the trouble on Celica a few years back, some ships sent to be repaired at the colony shipyards got cannibalized for parts. Some of them weren’t as cannibalized as Celica command thought. By the time financials were back in place there were a few ships missing.”
Postain knew most of this already but grumbled on behalf of the rest of the bridge crew as they didn’t have the authority. “I’m beginning to think your lot shouldn’t be trusted with anything more than water pistols. And, even then, only when the water’s frozen. Never mind. Reckon we can take her?”
“Absolutely,” Rhew replied as the opponent dragged the probe back aboard.
“Then let’s go see who’s at home. And,” he added, “if they intercepted my message to Postlethwaite...”
Commander Hawle. U.S.C. Loper.
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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Great work as always! Keep up the writing!

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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

I have to admit the plot idea with Maldak doesn't really come off. But it does serve to show that thinking on your toes doesn't always work and plans can change several times on the way to battle.

PART 11

Ensign Maldak kind of wished she hadn’t enquired as to what the plan was.

The enquiry had probably brought her to the Captain’s attention and he’d selected her for a mission. It seemed he was playing the odds and, having followed the ship to an uninhabited system orbiting a red dwarf star, had reversed course and dropped her off here in a shuttle to guide others in. She had a message pod for them, whenever they turned up and she was broadcasting a single ‘ping’ signal over subspace towards Talvary station every few minutes. This wasn’t why she’d asked to learn shuttle piloting. The Quokkan tapped her claws on the console and came within an inch of firing a thruster.

“Right,” Postain said, “Here’s my thoughts.”
Rhew stepped around the small office, clearly impatient and brought himself to a stop as Postain spoke. “We’re after several things on this strike,” the Captain continued. “We’re after that ship, we’re after that base and we’re after the stolen Quadria. We’re also, of course, after the people involved in the Quadria theft. What’s the priority,” he asked, giving Rhew a hooded look.”
“Well, er,”
“They all are, Commander. All of them are. That’s our problem. That ship, if properly maintained, is capable of giving us a black eye on it’s own. If the base is defended as well, we’re outgunned. That’s one of the reasons I sent a guarded message to Talvary earlier. If Postlethwaite’s on the ball, he’ll send the other ships we have in the patch to a rally position close to the target zone.”
“One of,” Rhew prompted.
“The other reason is they probably have ways of intercepting open signals. I sent one that stated we were preparing to attack their base.”
“So they either armour up or…”
“...run,” Postain finished. “If they run, they’ll probably be doing it without planning. That means we can learn their bolt holes and we can probably learn a lot more about them. If they ‘bunker down’, we still know where they are. We’re playing Chess against an unknown opponent, Rhew. According to passive scans from our bouys, there HAS been some transit from here in the last few hours.” He stopped as his computer beeped. “I had Stellar Cartography find out what they can about this system,” he explained. “It can barely support life so they must have done some work inside a moon or they have a satellite station. I don’t much like either of those options, to be honest.”
“Either of them needs money,”
Postain sighed and swung in his chair slightly. “First more than the latter. Talvary used to be used as a Pirate station. Back when Cabbary Station was above Caldera. We’d mothballed it, they’d restocked it. According to this, there’s an artificial satellite between the third and fourth planets in the system and micro moons between the fourth and fifth. Let’s see where they’re going.” He stood and led the way back onto the bridge, ordering a coffee and walking off before it was delivered so Rhew had to carry it for him. “Let’s have a word with our prisoner,” he added before Rhew sat down. Go get her up here.”
Rhew fought to leave his eyes unrolled and asked the computer where ‘Senny’ was.

At that particular moment, Senny was trying on tops that didn’t scream ‘I don’t belong here’ in the Tailors. The Doe’s selection of non council tops wasn’t large but she figured she could get away with the blue top she’d found. The only slightly annoying thing was the fact that it was classed as a male top but she reckoned she could get along with that. The pants – or trousers as the Rabbitoid insisted on calling them – were more of a bugbear. She wanted light, canvas, things – like she had back at the base – and the tailor didn’t have them. “I can make some up,” the long-ear said hopefully. “If I get your measurements I should be able to make a pair by tomorrow?”
“And what do I wear in the meantime,” Senny asked impatiently.
“The cargo pants you tried on ten minutes ago,” Severn said from the room’s one customer chair, where he was reading a book. He hadn’t looked up.
“They were heavy.”
“They fitted and it’s only for one day,” he insisted, finally looking up. “Look on it as a gift you don’t want but can use. Not like you have to pay for it, is it,” he asked over sweetly.
She pointed a finger at him. “You do NOT get to hold it over me! I’ll look on it as a loan, nothing more! Whatever income I get I’ll use to pay you back, got it!”
“Got it,” he said simply, returning to his book. “Whatever you plan to do, put some pants on.”

The door to the shop opened and Rhew stepped in. He blinked at the scents in the small showroom and shook his head slightly to clear his nose. “Anyone here,” he asked, checking his wrist computer to make sure the tracking collar was, indeed, here somewhere.”
“I’ll be out in a moment,” the tailor said from the fitting room as the main door closed behind the Commander. Instead of waiting, Rhew stepped over to the room and looked through the curtain.

“Do you MIND, sir,” the tailor asked, irritated.
“Not particularly,” he replied drily. “She’s wanted on the bridge. NOW.”
Senny gestured down to her unclothed lower half. “Do you mind if I get something on first?”
“Oh. Right,” Rhew said, glancing down before pulling his head back behind the curtain. “Hadn’t noticed.”
“Right,” Senny said, reluctantly pulling the heavy pants up and clipping the tail hole together, “now I’ll… Wait a minute!” She put her shoes on quickly and stepped over to the curtain to throw it back angrily. “Whaddya mean you ‘hadn’t noticed?” She glowered at him. “I realise you’re a Celican and I’m not exactly your type but I’m not exactly chopped riverweed, am I?”
“I don’t care,” Rhew remarked, smirking internally. “Captain wants you on the bridge to talk about your base and the ship. Him too.”
As her brother paid for her clothes, Senny followed Rhew and fantasised about clubbing him with his own broken off leg.


PART 12

Senny joined the others in stepping onto the bridge and had to admit herself as being impressed. Not in the general order of the bridge or how well it was commanded but in how smoothly and effectively the security Officer appeared behind her left shoulder. Despite the collar she was wearing, she was beginning to think security wasn’t a high priority on the ship but his presence reassured her on that respect. If her compatriots of up to an hour ago attacked, she might have him defending her.
“Recognise it,” The Captain remarked gruffly, neither turning towards her nor indicating the screen. Appleby sat to his left and the Erminean waved slightly at her. She found herself waving back and stopped herself.
“Feels like I never left,” she replied bitterly. “You’re looking for the station, I take it?”
“No,” he remarked, “I’m looking for you to tell me all about their base. Then I can use the information to act.”
Before Rhew could stop her, Senny made for his chair and sat. “It’ll take a few minutes,” she told the Captain as he was about to explode at her. “I talk more when I’m comfortable,” she explained, crossing her legs and grimacing at the feel of the new trousers.
“Talk fast…” Postain realised what he’d said and what was about to happen. “You know what I mean,” he added.
Senny thought better of what she’d been thinking of doing and decided to stick to the facts. “We don’t know who made it,” she confessed, “But, as no-one wanted to spend the money to explore it, the Kavas Clan decided we’d do it. It’s from an old civilisation, dating seems to be back seven hundred years and it was hardly in good condition but they’ve invested. Last I heard there were twelve working cannons and two torpedo launchers.”
“Which brings us to the next question on the list,” Postain remarked. “Where are you getting the weapons from? Torpedoes and launchers cost a lot of cash. Who’s taking the Pirate Dollar?”
“It’s not like they told us pilots all their secrets,” Senny said, experimenting with turning the chair around and raising the height. “I like the view from these chairs,” she told them. “I begin to understand why Savan swapped the Cockpit for… well, the bigger cockpit.” She’d given Postain a sideways glance then that she hoped he hadn’t caught. “I know a Caldera trader popped by a few times a few months back and he seems to have an in on weapons. Kalikov energy weapons and Juves class torpedoes being his specialities, judging by that’s what we’ve got. Doesn’t mean he can’t get other stuff, of course,” she added, waving a handpaw dismissively. “The Wrecker, on the other hand, is fully armed and ready to act. You’ll need something special to knock her out if you’re planning to fight everyone. I can help you with that. For a cost.”
Postain looked ready to hit her but it was Appleby who spoke, smoothly and quietly. “We’ll target engines and weapons,” she told Senny.
Postain turned to her. “I get to decide that,” he growled loudly. “I get to act on the information she provides, not you! If she wants to tell me…” He paused for a moment.
“...the shield frequencies and how to shut them off,” Appleby prompted helpfully, earning herself a shocked look from Senny. “Yes, I am telepathic,” she said before the prisoner could even think of the question. “No, I didn’t and because he’d throw me in the brig faster than I could imagine if I dared.”
“Shut. Up!” Postain snapped. He turned back to Senny and poked at her. “You heard her! You HAVE the word and, if you’ve got any resentment about the ‘deception’, you can stick it in your ear until later, got it!”
Senny fumed several curse thoughts at Appleby. “At least,” she said tightly, “she didn’t prompt me on my responses as I hadn’t even thought them yet.” She pointed at Appleby. “You and I are having words later,” she told her before giving over the frequency. “Savan will have your specifications on the computer too. That Celican prides himself on knowing his pursuers and every weak point. I’d suggest changing your parameters to a random frequency.”
Postain nodded to the science Officer. “Set it to change frequencies every thirty seconds, Lieutenant.” The Officer complied after acknowledging the order.
“I might be able to talk some of them into not resisting,” Senny advised.
“Not a bloody chance,” the Captain spat. “I’m not letting you get anywhere near a communicator right now, Pirate.” He huffed and pulled his emotions back in. “I cannot trust you, Castoran, and I’m not going to do so soon. Do you know anything useful about the base?”
“Not much,” she added. Except where the latrines empty to and that can’t be of use.” “You never know..,” Postain said to himself.

Ensign Maldak took her small feet off the shuttle dashboard and put them to the floor as the computer ‘pinged’ her. She’d been expecting it but the sudden reply of noise had still startled her in her half-doze state. She’d been out in space for years and still found herself falling into circadian rhythm sleep patterns that insisted she fall asleep after long periods of inactivity. Usually there was enough noise going on around her that it wasn’t really a problem staying awake during the ‘daytime’ hours but, here and now, her body clock was… not confused, she reasoned, but annoyed. But now there was noise. It meant someone was coming. “Computer,” she ordered, just in case, “plot a course back to the Rodomont and be ready to lay it in.”
<Acknowledged.>
Maldak readied the ship for what she called the ‘skedaddle’ manoeuvre as the ship was ‘pinged’ again. Then the ship comm system cricked into life.
<”Rodomont shuttle,”> someone said, <”this is the U.S.C. Dolva, are you receiving?”>
Maldak activated her comm but kept a hand over the ‘engine engage’ button, just in case. “This is shuttle Klass,” she sent. “Transmit ident codes, over.” She waited until the computer identified the light cruiser Dolva before she relaxed.

“I think we have a problem, sir,” the Helm officer said, switching the main view to the direct view in front of the ship. The ship had taken refuge behind one of the seventh planet’s moons whilst the relay drones had been providing the pictures further into the system. “The heavy cruiser’s moving out again, sir… And she’s heading straight for us.”
“Escort her to the brig,” Postain told the security guard whilst thumbing to Senny. “You get on a secondary station,” he added to Severn as Rhew took his seat and readjusted it until he got it to a level he was more or less comfortable with. “Everyone else to battle stations.”

And the signal went through the ship.
Commander Hawle. U.S.C. Loper.
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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Really awesome work! I love what you have accomplished so far!

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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

PART 13

Pascal’s flight was ready to fly, all his officers had reported in and were lit up on his display. They knew what they were up against now and it was a toughy. One of the stronger shields available, thick armour, twelve fighter dispersion cannons on either side and four main, ship to ship ones. Fifteen decks and usually staffed with thirty fighters. Well, twenty-nine now, he told himself as he recalled there was supposed to be a prisoner. Still, they were going to be out-numbered, potentially three to one. Just as well he had the best pilots out here. Well, the best available anyhow. They’d trained for this. They could handle it.

“We’re ready for…” Jul looked at the equipment readied by the beds in the medical bay. “...head injuries,” he queried.
“I keep forgetting you’re not quite as experienced as combat situations as you are at bedside escapades,” Doctor Cobalt sighed. “Consoles don’t tend to explode that much anymore, Jul,” she explained. “Unless there’s a boarding situations, most of our injuries will come from one direction.” She pointed up to the ceiling. “Those things aren’t solid across the entire deck and they’ll shake and break with every impact, even those on the shields. Two opposing energy forces hitting each other and we stop for a fraction of a second. Thus a shudder each time and stuff shakes loose They’re roughly five foot squared and they’ve got loads of things running through them. Add struts all over the ship and you’ve got a lot of stuff coming down on heads. Thus we set up for head injuries, fair?” The Mican Doctor agreed. “I’m so glad. Get ready.”
Jul wondered if he should find a hard hat.

“Ready forward weapons,” Postain said, keeping the tone in his voice level, almost uncaring to those who didn’t know him better. “Standby shields. Comms, are we still picking up the tracking signal?”
The comms officer Made his checks and assented, stating it seemed to be coming towards them.
“Figured that,” Postain muttered, watching the ship coming closer. “Can you jam their transmissions without alerting the station,” he asked.
“Uh…” the Comms officer looked back and fore between the Captain and his console. “No, sir,” he said bitterly. “If we block their systems in this system, it will block the station too.”
“And that’ll alert them,” Appleby sighed. “Catch 22, as the Human’s say.”
“I don’t know what that means and I don’t want to know,” Postain told her.
“But we have an ace in the hole,” Rhew reminded them.
“Are you two talking code or something? Stop talking nonsense!” He looked over to the Science station. “Are shields ready?”
“Affirmative, sir,” the Officer replied, keeping his reply short and curt.
“Then let’s get the show on the road and hope back up’s incoming. “Quarter speed towards target, launch fighters and stand ready to raise the shields.”

Unlike with the shuttle, the fighters essentially fired out from a lengthy launch channel to the rear of the ship and they could only launch four at a time so it was, essentially, like volley fire. He’d heard novice pilots give themselves whiplash the first time they’d used these things but they’d slowed down the system that rapidly deployed the next group into launch positions even as the ones before were still taking off. So there was no stopping in the channels after starting unless you wanted to be obliterated. You just held on and hit the throttle to burn out of the base ship and then turned towards the target. When he was younger, Pascal had wondered why the fighter bays always opened to the rear of the ship, making fighters have to bank hard afte they left. Now, though, he understood it. There were two reasons. One was the fact that, face to face with the enemy tended to give the enemy clear shots at the bay doors. Cripple those and the fighters were stranded outside. Facing the rear, they were harder to hit. The second reason is that you tended to land on these things going from one hundred kilometres per hour (or faster) to zero in a bare hundred feet. It was sensible to have something going in the same direction as yourself. He completed the turn against the shaded background of the planet, and took point as the fighters headed through space ahead of the Rodomont. “Alright,” he said over the comms, “you know the drill. Disrupt enemy fighters, damage their ship if you can and, for grief’s sake, stay OUT of the Rodomont’s way. Engage!”

“Let’s send them a surprise,” Postain remarked, looking to Rhew. “Send it,” he ordered. “Activate the package.”
Rhew repeated the order to the comms officer and they watched as the ship on the screen bucked and several dozen of the pin-prick lights blinked out. The ship slowed but showed no sign of stopping. “I was hoping for a bigger impact from the EMP than that,” he said, referring to the device they’d booby-trapped earlier.
“The reason we don’t have several of those things aboard, Commander,” Postain explained, “is that shielding against accidents is expensive. No sane Commander would have them on board without a lot of internal shielding. This Commander… Savan, she called him, seems to be capable. Best scenario, we’ve partially crippled her… She’s launching fighters.”

From the rear of the oncoming vessel, snub nosed fighters were doing their own version of Pascal’s wheel and coming for the Rodomont. “Shields up,” Pascal remarked, “Attack pattern Deva-10 and into them.”

Postain watched as the small ships began squabbling ahead of them and the ship angled to clear them from her path. Fighter interceptor cannons started up on the starboard side of the ship, getting ready to send out short range pulses of energy when required. “Starboard heavy weapons get ready,” he ordered as the ship came more onto that flank. “Regs state they need to fire first,” he said simply. “Screw that. Open fire!” He never really knew if the thrumming he heard whenever the weapons fired was in his head, to do with the power supply or something engineers installed because they thought there should be a noise when the big guns went off but there it was again, a deep pulse sound in his left ear as the cannons fired, streaking across the glimmering void towards the enemy as he cannons returned fire. “What are they targeting,” he demanded of the science station.
“Uh, it looks like they’re trying to hit…” Lieutenant Levan frowned. “Deck twelve?”
“Forward cameras,” Postain muttered. “She was right. This guy knows the weak points.”

The ship shook as the cannons continued firing, Scarring space.

PART 14

Maldak found herself in front of a Canine officer, delivering Captain Postain’s position and battle orders to the deck. It was something she felt entirely unsuited for, being just an ensign, but she had the attention of the ship Captain, Commander Paxwell, and several members of his command staff. Basically Postain’s instructions were clear. If we’re not waiting for you when you’re all here, come get us. Paxwell hummed. He was the Commander of the Cruiser Dolva and, with the other two ships being frigates, it meant he had command of this little fleet right now. A fleet that should have been four, not three. The ‘re-enforcement’ Area Command had been after were still on their way, so it seemed, to say nothing of the cover he’d pulled in. This was most of the Council ships in the patch and… He pressed the comm. “Commander Paxwell to comms,” he said. “Any sign of our fourth?”
“<They’re still coming, sir,>” the Officer replied. “<They acknowledged reciept of the co-ordinates and said that, as it’s almost directly between us and them, they’ll, uh, ‘meet us there’. Their words, sir.>”
“Understood,” Paxwell sighed. “Commander Fowley, get us underway at best speed.” He stood up after turning off the comm. “You stay here,” he told Maldak.
“Right,” she said as he left, thinking that whatever that Human had said about ‘fifteen minutes’ was off by about five minutes.

The Rodomont shook as cannon fire landed on her shielding systems. Postain gripped his arm rests to steady himself. He’d ordered a slight dip forward to better protect the forward image relays and he had to resist the temptation to angle his head upwards to watch the opposition ship.
“Shields down to Seventy four point two percent,” Levan reported.
“Don’t bother with the fractions Lieutenant,” Postain called out over the rumbling. He glanced upwards, just in case, and hoped the ship held together. He wasn’t worried about being spaced from here as they were no-where near the hull but damage was still damage. “Report on enemy shields!”
“Holding but down to…” The hybrid held on as another shot smacked the barrier. “...sixty percent, I think. The scanner just went down. It’s rebooting.”
“He’s going for precise hits,” Postain grumbled. “Bring us to pattern Bravo Four. Anle top mounted weapons for primary use.” The helm entered the commands and the ship began to twist to the starboard side, Weapons officers realigned their charges and continued to fire.

Pascal led his clutch of fighters through the incoming fire, taking consolation in the fact his wingman was still with him as he closed in on one of his opponents, striving hard to close in on an angle behind and above whilst watching for the opponent’s wingman. If it hadn’t been destroyed – like two of his own ships – it had to be around somewhere. He fired as the enemy flashed through his target lock mechanism and struck it a glancing blow on the back of the fuselage. It started leaving a trail behind it and Pascal jinked to avoid it. Frozen oil or fuel wasn’t great on the outside. It adjusted weights and speeds and needed to be chipped off by the shuttlebay crews so they were never happy about it either. Pascal noted that his wingman had finished the fight he’d started and he raced back into the fight to find another target. He found one as it fired on one of his. It’s shots ripped into Flight officer Savik’s fighter even as Pascal returned to compliment. Savik’s light blinked off in his helmet.

“Shields now at fifty seven percent, sir,” Levan reported, “structural damage on Deck three, section twelve.” He looked at the panel again. “Shield generators are getting pushed down there, sir!”
“He’s trying to breach, Lieutenant!” Rhew knew that the nearby shield generators would extend to cover the hole but that would take almost ten seconds, time during which a squad could be teleported aboard for sabotage. “Get a security squad down to the port weapons control relay; that’s the closest target to there.”
“Send a squad to the forward engineering section, too,” Postain added. “It could also be a target. Send a team to the teleport bay too.” He looked at Rhew. “They’ll have to lower their shields to teleport.” He shrugged. “Makes them just as much a target.”
He heard a ‘yes’ from one of the port side gunners as he splashed a fighter that had inched too close. He decided he wouldn’t criticise the Officer as long as she didn’t do a fist pump. She resisted the urge as a piece of ceiling fell in the passage behind the bridge. He pulled up the schematics of the pirate vessel on his arm rest. “Try focussing on these points,” he indicated, sending the targetting resolution to the weapons stations. “Dorsal shield generators,” he told Rhew. “Like this ship used to have, that one’s got a network of shield generators. Unless they upgraded, we might be able to punch a hole in her field for the fighters…”
He broke off as the ship actually shuddered from impact. The noise was loud enough, even on the bridge. “Breach on deck 3, section 5,” Levan warned. “Bulkheads in place!”
“Rhew, get to Deck 3 and head to wherever they board. Take that guy with you,” he added, indicating the guard at the back.”
“Sir,” the guard protested, “I’m supposed…”
“We’re all armed, Officer,” Postain growled, before remembering Severn, “except him. You know the way better than Rhew and it’s an ORDER!”
Wisely, the guard decided to obey without words as the communications officer reported that they’d been boarded and their boarding party had gone the other way. “Transport Chief reports the power’s failed and will take five minutes to recharge.”
“Bang goes my idea of beaming the scum into space,” Postain grumbled. He turned to Appleby. “You’re supposed to be helping, Ermine!” He gestured to the screen. “Talk to me!”
“Well,” she huffed, “they’re giving off pretty much the standard emotions. Surprise, fear, hate, excitement at the battle. They’re not sure they can win but their Captain’s planning to go down fighting if he has to.”
“He’s going to have to,” Postain replied.

Rhew and the guard could hear the fighting as they hit the third deck. As they approached, an officer fell back, a smoking hole in his upper chest that clouded the corridor. Rhew pushed himself down by the corner and peeked around the corner towards the enemy. Three guards versus five armed assailants. “Even odds now,” he told no-one, shooting to stun. The weapon’s energy beam lanced out and crashed into their armour. “Dissipation suits,” he warned as they replied, splitting their fire between Rhew and the guards on the other side. “You got a flash,” he asked his compatriot. The guard nodded and handed the ball device to the Commander. “FLASH,” he called, for the other team’s benefit. Then he activated it and lobbed it down the passage.
He looked away as the device filled the passage with bright, white, light and Rhew took to his heels down the way. The enemy aim was erratic as he approached and the guards were keeping the attention on them by issuing covering fire until the Polar Celican got close enough. He sprung high into the air and crashed down onto the back of one of the pirates, gripping his arms and using his teeth to worry at the Canine’s neck until something broke and the figure slipped to the ground beneath him. As the others vision cleared, Rhew held his gun direct to the head. “Wanna try absorbing this,” he asked, clicking to the ‘kill’ setting. “Take it from here, guys,” he told the guards as the Pirate surrendered. “One chance at leniency, pal,” he said, “and you just had it. Do anything and their orders are kill you.” He stomped back to his associate, his lips still slick. “Let’s get to Engineering. And take the weapons off Stun.”
Commander Hawle. U.S.C. Loper.
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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Just a very nice read and you did an awesome job on it as always! I can't wait for the next part since a certain somebody will be showing up soon!

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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

Part 15

The ship travelled fast, but not fast enough for the Captain as he watched the fight ahead of him. Two heavyweight boxers duking it out, the slightly heavier firepower of the Celican being countered by the sheer strength of the other side. Lives hung in the balance as the Rabbit adjusted his bandolier and turned to his right hand feline. “Time on target, Raven?”
The Burman snarled, the black streak of facial fur that betrayed her cross-breed status rippling as her teeth flashed. “Two minutes,” she remarked.
“Better get ready to pitch in then, hadn’t we. No quarter given. Time to fire.” He chuckled. “Avast, me hearties. Run up the flag and the false one, sound the battle cry and stand by to launch!”
The Burman smiled slightly. “We don’t have a flag. This is space.”
The Rabbitoid grimaced. “O.K., just do the other things then.” he sat down and put his feet up on the spare chair after pulling the restraint straps over his shoulders. “let’s go save the day.”

Pascal pulled his fighter out of a strafing run on the enemy vessels shields as one of their fighters locked on, twisting his fighter up and to the side in a triple spin that ended with him diving from a bolt of energy that emanated from the ship and atomised it’s own fighter. One of his last shots had fizzed through the shield layer when it had dropped to allow the big ship to fire out and he saw it had pocked against the armour, freeing what his sensors were telling him was a small hiss of atmosphere that automatic systems had taken almost ten seconds to seal behind emergency bulkheads. He twisted away, trying to get to the aft of the ship as three others from his fighter group joined him. <”Reckon Beta wing can keep them occupied,”> one asked.
“We’re all one wing right now,” Pascal replied, “but they’ll never live it down if they don’t.”

“Sensors are p…” Levan cut off as the ship rocked again. They’d delivered enough damage, it seemed, to knock out half the enemy’s weaponry and cripple their engines to cruising speed but the Rodomont had taken her own share of damage and Postain silently cursed the fools who figured it was best to have the shields drop every time you had to fire for the very simple reason that three seconds was an eternity in battle. Port side weapons had lost two cannon from their four and engineering was still, apparently, under attack.
“Sensors are what, Lieutenant,” Postain growled as the shaking stopped for a few seconds.
“I… I’m not sure, sir,” the Celican replied, throwing his hands up. “It LOOKED like the sensors were picking up another ship out there but they’re off-line again.”
“Ours or theirs?”
“I… I can’t tell, sir! Sensors are realigning!”
“Wonderful.” He turned to the Erminean beside him as starboard weapons blew a chunk out of the foe’s hull, causing an explosion to ripple the surface. “Tell me what they…” He looked at the small scale devastation and figured he knew what they’d be feeling right now. “Never mind,” he grunted.

The Lappinean watched on his screen. “Now we know the target, don’t we, lads?” He waved a hand regally, “Send in the lads to clear the way, Raven!”

Rhew slashed his claws across the face of a Raitchian pirate, dragging skin and blood with the grooves across his cheek and muzzle as the Pirate tried to club him with his gun. It was lunacy to fight with high energy weapons down here, where so many things had to capability to explode on impact so the fighting had gone hand to hand. One guard was knocking seven bells out of an Equinna with a shock stick that had almost broken with the impacts he was layering in. Other guards had gone to knives and claws. Both sides had a pair of snipers set up and they were keeping each other occupied and distracted from firing into the main melee so it was down to Rhew and the guards to stop the enemy getting to the main controls. Rhew had taken several hits and he could feel his cheek bulging, probably from broken teeth and there was certainly the taste of blood in his mouth, although that could easily not be his. He brought his arm up to intercept the downward blow and felt the impact shudder down his bones before he put his hand around the other’s muzzle and ripped downwards, tearing flesh from the lips. More guards arrived, headed by a Feline chief that he believed was called Nallavan, and the situation was soon, more or less, under control after he jabbed his opponent in the throat with his claws. He huffed as a medic hurried over to check him out. “Still breathing,” he said irritably to the slim Vixen.
“But possibly not as handsome,” she replied, rubbing ointment into his cheek to seal the cuts and tears. “That’ll patch your cuts until you can get to the medical bay.” She moved off to help the others and he watched her go, enjoying her figure for a few seconds as any Celican would… he shook his head. This was no time for that.
He headed up to the Chief. “Any more of them, uh, Nallavan,” he asked, a little out of breath through exertion.
“Not yet, Commander,” she replied curtly, gripping a railing at yet another bang. “Although I can’t promise that’ll last.”

Pascal noted something. Well, he THOUGHT he noticed something anyhow, but he wasn’t quite sure about it until Alpha three flew far too close to the pirate ship and came away, not only undamaged but undisturbed. “Their starboard fighter dispersal weapons are down,” he muttered. “Computer, scan for weak points in the shields. You pilots, with me!” So saying, he started another strafing run on the ship, calling in the information to the Rodomont whilst oblivious to the danger closing in behind them as a group of fighters from the station closed in on them from behind.

<”There’s something happening on the starboard side, control,”> Pascal’s voice said on the bridge, <”The |Fighter dispersal systems are down but the shields are still up. We’re trying to break through.”>
“That must be our sabotage squad at work,” Appleby commented.
“Let’s hope so,” Postain rumbled.
<”muffins and cookies,”> Pascal said, <”Alpha two is down! Fighters from the station on our… What the..?”>
“Where the hell did THEY come from,” Postain remarked, loudly referring to a group of last years Star-lancers that his screen showed ambushing the ambushers.
“Sensors are back up,” Levan said quickly. “We’re picking up… A frigate? Ident’s coming through… It’s the Loper, sir.”
“Oh, no,” Postain complained. “Pascal, pull back! Let the Rabbit take his shots!”

“I’ll have to remind him of this,” Commander Hawle said, finally taking his boots off the chair. “Let’s add our power to his and save the Dog. Forward cannons,” he added as the fighters pulled away, “let’s give that within the automobile a new headache!”

And the Loper joined the fight.
Commander Hawle. U.S.C. Loper.
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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Yay it looks like my favorite character is now in the story! XD

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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

Part 16

The Loper took the lead in the combat, being fresh into battle and, despite himself, Postain appreciated the slight protection afforded by the overlap of shields on the starboard side. He had his engineers focus repairs on that side of the ship as best as possible to get weapons and shields back up and running. One section had blown out under the assault when a control team had been trying to combat a fire there. Five lives lost to space. Five more on the butcher’s tally. Six guards, four pilots and three technicians through the gates in the last five minutes.

In the medical bay, Doctors Cobalt and Jul were working their hardest to make sure no more followed them, patching the walking wounded and stabilizing the ones who couldn’t walk and triaging two patients at a time whilst the Nurses kept them straight on exactly what the patients were being treated for. Jul sighed and indicated the incoming guards with the heavily bleeding Feline to the last spare bed they had. He moved over and ran scans that indicated a punctured lung, Kidney damage and head trauma. Someone, he presumed, had really done this fellow in. He could see the other two looking at him, putting their hopes in him. Maybe, if he had a full theatre available to him, he could do something for the guy but, this was triage and the others were bus. If he worked on the head injury, the abdominal damage would kill him before he could get to that and, indeed, vice versa. He told his eyes to fake hope as he told the guards that they’d done their job and they had to leave now so he could do his. He’d not leave the bed until something worse came in. And he knew there wouldn’t be anything worse in the time he had.

Rhew made his way back to the bridge, but stopped to pick up a dazed crewmember under a fallen ceiling panel. “Now many fingers am I holding up,” he asked, holding up all the digits on his right hand.
“F...four,” the Rabbitoid Doe replied woozily. “And one thumb.”
“Sounds like you’re clear to work,” Rhew said, shuddering and almost pushing her into the wall under the latest impact. “Probably better sit down for… five minutes though,” he added, pulling her away from where cables had fallen through the hole in the roof.
She put a hand to his side and held it up to show a smear of blood. “You, ow, need a patch too.” She stumbled and hopped with him towards a medical pack in a rest alcove. “Think I’ve done an ankle in,” she admitted.
“Doesn’t… sound too bad,” Rhew protested, helping keep her aloft by allowing her to lean on him.
“For a Rabbit it’s often terminal,” she joked, grabbing the pack and making him sit first so she could treat him. “A life in cartography seemed fun at the time,” she confided, cracking open the pack to get at the bandages inside. They heard a shout from outside, then felt the force of an explosion.

Hawle watched as his vessel began to tip the balance. The other ships would be arriving soon, he reckoned, and then it’d be all over. He’d arrived first because the Long Range Patrol ship he commanded was designed for speed and could flat out out do any ship in the patch. She was capable of handling anything up to a light cruiser by herself but something like the thing in front needed a heavier hitter on the side of the good guys. “Chappers,” he told his Human Helm officer, “Do your best to stay parked here but be ready to clear off if the Rodomont gets the weapons back on line.”
“Aye, sir, the Bristolian said, “I have no need to be shot up the jacksie.”
Even after this long, she could still come up with sayings that utterly baffled him and made him wonder if the translators were working as the Loper fired again, striking a direct blow to the hull.

“Send a hail to the captain of that vessel,” Postain ordered, seeing the enemy shields had fallen. “We’ll stop firing if they will. And we’ll take prisoners.”

As if on cue, the ‘rescue squad’ of ships began to arrive. “Uh, they’re hailing us,” Severn said, having taken over comms when the main console fizzed out.
“Who?”
The Otter looked up. “Uh, everyone, I think.”
Postain looked at the screen. “All ships hold fire,” he ordered, noting the pirates had ceased their assaults.

An hour later, repair crews had begun patching the patch jobs they’d just applied to make sure that the ship could make it back to the main station and Postain was waiting in his conference room. First to arrive was Commander Paxwell, bringing the prisoner Captain with him and his guard. Rhew, Postain had heard, was currently being freed from a room that had been cut off by the damage from a power line explosion and, frankly, Postain would rather have been there, helping rescue his officer than here, talking things over with Paxwell and… he shuddered. Hawle was coming too, using the teleport systems on his own ship to come over. He could hear them coming now. The door opened and Paxwell entered, looking perfect in his red trimmed outfit and stood at the other end of the table. “My new First Officer is indisposed at the moment,” Postain told him. “You can be seated.” He looked at the imposing Collian Canine who stood there, cuffed and under guard. “You can’t. We’re just waiting on Hawle now and… here he is,” he concluded as the Lappinean stepped into the room, his jacket being just about the only thing about his look that was actually permitted. For right now, however, Postain was prepared to tolerate the brown boot wearing, bandolier bedecked Rabbit’s utter disregard for uniform and allowed him to be seated. Hawle stepped over to the seat next to Postain and allocated that to himself. Paxwell looked between Savan and Hawle and was, quite obviously, trying to work out who looked more like a pirate.
“You’ll never take the base,” Savan started, before even being asked a question.
“Fine,” Postain responded. “Keep it. Now we know it’s here, it should be easy to blockade. Give it a few months and your stuff starts failing. Then the power goes out and they suffocate. No trade because we’re out here. No new supplies and no hope. I’m quite happy to do that. Lessens the death count. You’re going to tell me about the ore you stole.”
Savan smiled. “It’s already been sold,” he confided. “It’s gone.”
Commander Hawle. U.S.C. Loper.
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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Not sure why they don't like Hawle's uniform. I think it really suits him! :D

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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

Part 17

Rhew felt a little woozy. His wounds were acting up and, despite the Doe’s best attempts with the medical strips and sprays, he really wondered if they would be able to dig through the rubble before he got – heh – cold. He could see his fellow prisoner was troubled by the blood on her hands and wondered if there was some sort of irony in the situation. “For… For a star scientist,” he chuckled, trying to keep her spirits up, “you’re a fair nurse.”
“You say that like I’m winning,” she replied. “I don’t think I am.”
“Bedside manner of a brick,” he remarked, actually making her laugh, a short, sharp, sound.
“Stop trying to cheer me up, sir.”
He pushed himself into a seated position and held his side, where the wound had been opened up by a fraction of the blast effect. “Got no choice,” he wheezed, “it’s a Commander’s job. So, you, uh, want to talk or something?”
She held up her red stained hands, her normal grey plateaued against the skin. “I want to wash my hands,” she stated flatly. “I want to imagine there’s no one I know dead out there. I want peace in the galaxy. I want… to imagine I’m not depressing you.”
“You’re not,” Rhew declared. “Every predator knows the revolution. That death comes, sooner or later. We… have to accept the way of things…”
“We don’t,” the Doe said sharply. “We believe that life is important and you have to FIGHT for every day! When the worlds are out to kill you, you race the stars. You kick down the apologists and the defeatists and you fight.” She pointed at him. “And you’re going to fight, sir!”
Again he laughed until he winced and more fluid seeped from his side. “The Predator says ‘give up’ and the prey – no offence – says ‘fight’?” he shook his head. “It’s a weird universe.” He’d almost finished saying the line when he noted the tell-tale signs of someone transporting in.

Postain watched Savan intently as he spoke.
“I don’t know who the buyer is,” the Collian admitted, before grinning wickedly, “and I wouldn’t tell you even if I did know. Pirate/client privilege. As it stands, I’ll take responsibility for the crimes you state were carried out by my ship… if you can find more than one.”
“Hawle,” Postain said.
The Commander moved two fingers to touch his forehead and up in a slightly mocking salute. “I’ll have Winsome reconstruct as much of the memory as he can.” He tapped his comm and told his first Officer to accompany the scruffy Squirrel over to the pirate vessel.
“I’d send mine but the teleporter’s down so we’d be using yours anyhow.”
“Guessed, sir. It really would be better if you told us, you know,” hawle said, leaning back in the chair. “Saves us time and paperwork. Shaves time off your sentence too.”
“Unless, of course, we link him with an attack on an Osiran vessel.”
Hawle sucked his teeth. “Oooh, yeah. Forgot about them. Kinda have a ‘life’ sentence for piracy, don’t they?”
“As in you serve your sentence, then they kill you.” Postain glowered at Savan. “You’ve not done anything… silly, have you? Really don’t need them involved.”
“That would be against my rights?”
Postain stood and strode over to the prisoner as Hawle face palmed. “I don’t give a muffins and cookies about your rights,” he practically spat into Savan’s face. Paxwell started to move to stop him but he caught a glance from Hawle and stayed put. “You gave up all those rights when you took up this life and, as of this moment,” Postain continued, jabbing towards the Collians chest, “the only rights and protections you get now are those I CHOOSE to give you! We have seventeen missing ships in the patch over the last year and, until proven otherwise, you’re responsible for all of them! That’s over one hundred counts of murder, fella.” He growled. “And your crew has responsibility in all of them. Unless you tell our resident IOC officer all the ones you were responsible for and everything you know about the operations and set up! Enough co-operation and it should help your crew.”
“And me?”
Postain put himself almost muzzle tip to muzzle tip so Savan could see his eyes. “I have dead on my ship because of you. My new first Officer is possibly dead because of you. You. Are DONE.” As though to prove the fact, he took an epaulette from the captive’s shoulder. “Be the Captain they need one last time, Savan. Save them.” He turned his back to the pirate and cursed himself as he headed back to his seat. He shouldn’t have said that last bit. He shouldn’t have said the Pirate’s name. His temper had gotten the best of him. They hadn’t asked the name yet.

“I’m hallucinating,” Rhew said woozily. “A giant, blackfurred, Mican just materialized in front of me.”
“I see her too,” the doe remarked, smiling slightly.
“I’m Doctor Barleycorn,, CMO of the Loper,” the big Mican said, getting to work with her medical pack. “Looks like there’s an anticoagulant in your blood. A variation on apixaban.” She readied a needle. “Probably a coating on the blade you were attacked with. This should counteract it.” She stuck it in his side and depressed the plunger to insert the liquid. “Now, best tighten up this wound, eh?” She replaced the bloodied bandages with a pressure patch, designed to hold the wound together until they could get him to a surgical bed. She put the medical pack down and set it to replicate a pint of Rhew’s blood type before setting the machine to ‘transfuse’ mode and inserting the line into Rhew. It was a stopgap, she knew but transporting people weak from blood loss was a risk she wasn’t prepared to take right now. “Just like a Celican,” she admonished. “Can’t admit they’re hurt in front of a lady.”
“Oh, tell me about it,” the Doe replied a Barleycorn started to check her over. “We’ve been here an hour and he hasn’t asked me my name.”
“Ach,” the Doctor commented briskly, making the Doe wince as she tested the ankle, “he probably knows it. He’s Celican, you’re a Doe…”
“We’re not all… sex maniacs,” Rhew coughed.
“Silence, you,” Barleycorn ordered, “we’re talking about you, not to you. Just keep still and let the machine do it’s work.” She looked back to the Doe. “What IS your name?”
“Jasmine Dox,” she replied.
Rhew made a mental note of it as the last of the rubble was cleared away and people came to the rescue.
Commander Hawle. U.S.C. Loper.
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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Once again very wonderful work! :D

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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

Now for the first 'sideways' step.

One of my other characters in the 'patch' area of space is extremely low rent P.I./Bounty Hunter Harvest Moon. He's a Harvest Mouse with a prehensile tail and very little luck. He wears a big hat and drives an ugly car.

He also self narrates. First person, present tense.

PART 18

From the files of Harvest Moon

It’s about six thirty in the morning in Calderon City and it’s raining. It seems it’s always raining these days, sluicing the dirt into the gutters, where it runs for half a mile before it all slips into the river. It’s been like this for days now, ever since the weather control system went offline. The rest of the planet’s in the middle of summer and about a mile square has the tap on. I roll out of my bed and scratch myself as the computer link chimes again and I pull my hand back from where it was when I realise who’s calling. I put the hand back when I recall I spent last night commando and he’s already on the screen, which means I am too.

Henry Postlethwaite is one of the important people in the sector and I know he’s only contacting me for one reason. Caldera, the planet on which the city sits, is out in the sticks in the patch and generally quiet, which means the IOC doesn’t have official people out here. When I was younger, we ran across each other and, due to us being sort of on the same side – I used to bounty hunt and ended up protecting the same target – he set me up with a Private Investigation line out here. Of course, I had to do the rest, which explains the home office. Rent is cheap.
<”Take a minute to put some clothes on, Moon,”> he tells me through my computer and I take a few seconds to put the Tee-shirt I had on yesterday back on and sit in front of the screen, before recalling I’d spilled some Lemonade on it the night before. Shower time later, I decide, but I sit down for the briefing. He doesn’t look happy to be calling.

And, frankly, I’m not that happy to be receiving. My sister invited me to her colony for her birthday and, despite the fact I’d rather disembowel myself with a melon baller, I’m wishing I’d taken her up on it. I’m not a great fan of weapons ‘sales merchants’ – largely because they have better weapons than I do… actually, militant Terran Harvest Mice tend to have better weapons than I do – but the one they’re interested in here is a friend of the colony Police Chief and she hates me already. I’d like to say it’s a general thing and she hates all Private Investigators but, no, it’s just me. So Postlethwaite wants me to stick my neck into the Lionid’s den and we don’t even know if this is the right Lionid anyhow. I sigh and agree. My living expenses need the fillip in cash.

Ten minutes later I recall the water heater needs replacing and shiver into a large towel before dressing in something that resembles official uniform. I need to call on my sister’s influence as finance officer in her colony’s government for what I plan to do today – or, at least, the back up. It’s very unlikely I’d get an appointment this quickly so it’s the way of tricks that I’m going to go first.
I park the brickmobile up a block from his offices and exit. The lump of metal is just too well known around the area. The former owner, a notable drug runner, had died on the back seat, which is why it had been cheap. Nought to sixty in two minutes flat and enough armour that... that dink in the driver’s door? That’s from a missile. But that’s probably for another day. I could do with the walk anyway. I get the electronic distortion modulator that took ninety percent of last month’s spare cash and clip it onto my jacket lapel. As of now, to electronic devices, I’m a grey, fuzzy, blur. Or, rather, an unidentifiable one anyhow as the heat’s fuzzed me up already.

Seven am on a weekend and the office has a wandering guard protecting it and several others. There’s probably a laser detection grid on the floor as well and in the air ducts. That leaves the window on the second floor up. One of the best thing about this city and the economy is the fact that they build balconies and the recession has closed a lot of offices. What do these things have in common to assist me? Empty offices and access from the fire escapes, which can be quite useful at times… Access plan made. I set off for the boiler area. They never secure the window to the boiler in these places beyond a lock and, when the guard’s away, the Mouse shall play, taking a moment to open the little window and slip in. It doesn’t take much to turn the water pressure right down but it does take time and the guard is coming down the corridor. He would be, wouldn’t he? Knowing him he’ll need to come… Yup, I can hear him pressing the buttons. I can’t actually SEE him right now as I’m climbing up towards the pipes on the ceiling as quickly as I can, trying not to burn my little pads on the metal as I go. Next time, wear gloves. I have to hold on to the overhead pipes and, frankly, I’m thinking of how much of a cliché that is when the guard opens the door, steps in, realises the window is open and starts over to close it. My old mentor said that every plan had to have a back up so you can adapt to any screw up and I’d run into a guard that actually pays attention to details so I improvise. I swing down, close to the door and run out, slamming it behind me as he notices me. His reaction tells me what I need to know. He went straight for his gun. Killer. Great. His shot damages the lock, fortunately for me, as it does a better job of trapping him in than I could have. Ignore those films that tell you shooting the lock opens doors. Try opening one when you’ve blown the handle off. But he’ll call this in so I have to be quick.

I take the lift up to the third floor, one floor above where I want to be. Doesn’t do any harm to confuse the issue a little. Then I open the door to an office and make a beeline for the back window… Which doesn’t open. Well, that’s a Health and safety violation right there. I’ll have to complain about it the next time I’m not trespassing, breaking and entering. Oh, look, there’s more guards/killers getting out of cars. I love comms. I hate that guards have them. I sigh and reason there’s only one thing for it now. I pull a stun stick from my jacket pocket and make it ready. It’s pretty much a one shot thing and, after that, it’s down to the little blaster in my other pocket. I head back out and call the lift. It doesn’t respond immediately. Lovely, that means someone’s coming. Stairwell’s secured so I’m trapped up here. I open up the doors with considerable effort and look down. It’s almost upon me. It’s quite conceivable I’m going to have to fight here unless…

...I step onto the roof of the capsule, wrap my prehensile tail around the central support, and hope I didn’t make too much noise.

Four hours. Four flipping hours they searched that floor and, thanks to locking the lift, I got no chance whatsoever to go to the third floor during that time!

When it headed back down, I stepped onto the lip of the third floor door and, this time gripping the ladder to the side, forced the door open to get into a place that didn’t stink of oil, grease and old Hot Dogs. I smell like a sports ground vendor. Now, the target offices are down the end and I pad my way there carefully, keeping out of the way of cameras as much as possible and I enter the offices of A.W. Rathbone and B.Y. Booth.

Here’s a tip. Never go directly for the bosses computer if you want to know their comings and goings. Top secret documents will be hidden on their systems, as will blackmail material but, if you’re just trying to ascertain their comings and goings? Use the secretaries’ computer and consult the planners. In my case, of course, I want as much info as I can get so I use both, applying a password hacker to both. It’s a gift from an old hacker who once used the phrase ‘the only thing you can’t encrypt is the password you use to start things up’ so it followed the computer’s yes/no response to the first attempt to find the file the password was in and then used that password to get in. Technical, spoddy and boring. But it works. And I download a number of files. The light goes on as I’m partway through, with wireless drives transmitting to the receiver in the Brickmobile, and a pair with guns enter the room.

“Is this the washroom,” I say hopefully.

Part 19

From the files of Harvest Moon

I have to admit, I put my hands up. It’s kind of a thing with me, distracting people who plan to shoot me from actually shooting me. They tend to find curiosity gets the better of them and they want to know what’s going on. Plus they can see I’m not carrying any weaponry. My hands are empty. All this sort of thing gives them courage and one of them comes over to pat me down. His compatriot lowers his weapon slightly as they totally have the upper hands. The one who’s come to frisk me turns me to put my hands on the desk as the other goes for his comm. It’s a mistake. The surrender is, of course a con. My hands are empty but not my appendages.

He’s right behind me, patting me down and that makes him an easy target for my guest star appendage. My ‘third hand’ whips the stun stick straight up into his private parts. It’s not exactly a full strength blow seeing as, hey, it’s my tail, but it does enough to incapacitate the hoodlum for a number of minutes and I flip the stick to my hand to give him another bash to the head and give him a shock to the brain. The stick breaks and I curse myself for buying Lappinean knock-off tech. Should have gone with the Canine. Sure it cost a bit extra but it lasts longer than five months. I’m sure I’ve forgotten something. Oh, yeah, the other guy. I duck a bare few inches as he fires and, with true stormtrooper accuracy, misses. I draw and fire my own blaster and score a hit that deadens his shooting arm. Why the heck do I have it set on stun? How many shootouts do I ever get in where the bad guy isn’t trying to just outright kill me? When someone’s trying to off you, having a gun set to stun is a handicap, especially if they can get back up after someone splashes them with water! It’ll take a moment to switch over and he’s legged it back towards his oncoming back up. So I decide to enter by the back door and grab the fallen guy’s gun to shoot the window and, soon, it has a one inch round hole in it looking out towards an antique analogue, clock face. Well, antique effect, anyhow. Frikkin’ lasers. Burn through and don’t smash. Great.

I got for the more direct approach now, grabbing an office chair and swing hurling it at the compromised glass. It cracks and spiderwebs appear across the pane and the back up is almost here… Well, I was going to need to scour the hard drive anyhow. Just hope it’s in this computer that I’m ripping free and throwing outside. Finally the window goes through and a small Mouse joins the computer on the outside, on the fire escape. I kind of smack my shoulder into the bars and they’re definitely real. So it’s time for me not to be here. Three stories. Wonderful. Time to go.

My legs work like little pumps, pushing me down the fire escape with the computer as people race across the room behind me. Well, I have one thing in my favour. I’m in the open here. I’m pretty sure they won’t want me getting away but open shooting will attract attention. That’s to my favour as the first one is stopped from shooting through the bars by a second hoodlum. Lords bless second hoodlums. Great, here come the cavalry. Their cavalry, coming from the ground floor exit. I take a gamble and jump from the first floor. It’s not exactly my best landing but any landing you can run for your life from…

I have it across the other side of the courtyard and they have a Cheetan who’s having absolutely no problem catching me and, as I get to the other wall, his compatriots are hanging back and waiting for him to pounce, which he’s just about to do…

I have no idea how I’d like to die but I’m fairly sure it isn’t by the minute hand of a clock falling straight on my head like happens to this Cheetan and I find I have no real time to think how it must have been from my earlier shot damaging the mechanism. That’d take time and I don’t have it. I’m around the corner before they react. Three of them start a foot pursuit on the street and the others are probably going for their vehicle. I make it to the brick and wish I had remote opening. Sometimes you just can’t afford these luxury extras. It’s not like they’re life and death, is it? Except, of course, when they ARE. Oh, good, they’re getting their weapons out and calling for people to stop me. Does that EVER work? I manage to get in without breaking the keys and slam the door locked just before they get to me. I throw the computer – or what’s left of it – on the back seat and start the sod up as they start hammering and trying to break the glass. That is NOT going to happen so one of them takes his gun out again as I get ready to move out. He fires and he drops as the blast comes from his gun, hits the glass square, meets the refraction coat and goes straight back at him. Cops didn’t know about THAT when they sold the car either. I chug away as the other group come at me in their expensive truck and fully prove they’re off-worlders by trying to ram me off the road. This car’s kinda well known on Caldera (which is a bit of a problem at times as I said) and the locals know that, when it doesn’t want to move, it doesn’t. They hit me hard in the side and crumple the entire wing of their own vehicle. It’s actually quite impressive, watching their faces as their car crumples like an accordion against the side of my car. I hope they haven’t damaged the receiver unit in the boot.

I’m gonna need some place to lie low for a bit now. The Brick might be laser proof but I’m not. I have a place that’s, um, let’s say ‘within walking distance’ but drawing trouble to there would kinda be problematic so that’s out. I suppose I’m just going to need to do the other thing and I set a course for the other edge of the city as I imagine new cars coming looking for me. I don’t even know if I have anything Postlethwaite actually needs but he’s ruined my life in a half hour on a Weekend morning so I might as well take this thing to the small U.S.C. base - more of an office with armed guards really -and let them deal with it. If I’m followed, then, well, the Council’s to blame. Knowing my luck, he’ll charge me rent. Or ship me to Pandera. Let’s face it, if the information he wants on gun sales isn’t on Caldera? It’s there.
Last edited by Welsh Halfwit on Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

I really do like how this little sidestep is written! Its awesome!

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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

Part 20

The ship slipped through space on it’s way to Talvary station and the Captain strode towards the sickbay to visit the newest inmate of that particular cell free prison. He’d been to check on the children and was gratified to find the ‘safe zone’ had held up it’s end of the bargain quite well. Only a few bumps and bruises in the sealed box nearest the school. He opened the grey door to the small medical complex and strode in to the room perfumed by the stench of blood and despair. He was never a fan of these places, especially at times like this, when the morgue section was nearing capacity and the battle wounds were still visible on the walls and on the faces. A Lappinean he knew from Engineering strained to sit up in his bed. “If you damage what the Doctor’s have just repaired, Makkel,” he warned, “I’ll have you charged with damaging Council property, got it?” He winked an eye quickly, as an indication that he wasn’t being entirely serious that the engineer seemed to appreciate and he relaxed back on to the bed as Postain approached Doctor Cobalt in her office.

The Raitchian took a slug from her Coffee as the Captain entered and decided to sigh like a small steam train when she knew he was there. “We’ll have everyone ready by the time we get to the station, Captain,”
Postain decided not to comment on the fact that she was, quite obviously, exhausted and pressed on with his primary reason for being there. “How’s Rhew,” he asked.
Cobalt turned to look up at him. “As far as I know, he’s doing fine,” she said tartly, “you should ask Doctor Jul, he’s the one taking charge of him.”
He glared at her. “You’re acting Chief Medical Officer. It should be YOU in charge.”
She snorted and resumed drinking her coffee. “Don’t I know it,” she complained. “But that’s up to Command, eh? Jul was available and darn me, if Barleycorn didn’t seem to prefer turning Rhew over to him!”
“You think she has a problem with you?” Postain crossed his arms.
Cobalt grimaced. “Can’t think what it would be,” she snapped. “Anyhow, Captain, I’m quite busy so…”
“You reporting it,” he interrupted.
She actively considered for a few seconds. “Who has the time,” she asked.
Postain levered himself off her door and, deciding to tell Hawle to ‘sort it’ later, headed across to Rhew in the main room.

Jul was just finishing up his latest checks of the IV unit and Postain picked up the card that rested on the bedside table. He read the greeting and arched an eye-ridge. “To the brightest star, get well soon. Jasmine?” he put it back down. “Who said you could make friends so soon, Commander?”
Rhew laughed and coughed. “Celicans just can’t… help it, sir,” he replied. “we’re just too good… looking. How many did we… lose?”
“Time enough for that later,” Postain remarked, before turning to Jul. “How long until he’s able to leave the bay?”
Jul, sensing someone big and mean was talking to him, stopped pretending not to be paying attention and tapped a chart. “I’d give it a day, sir…”
“We reach Talvary in five hours at this speed, Doctor,” Postain told him. “Then I’ll have things needing doing. I’ll need him on the bridge to command the repairs.” He continued as Jul looked to protest. “I don’t want him running marathons, I just want him sat in the right chair. Can it be done?”
Jul was almost certainly of the opinion that, if it were anyone other than the Captain here, he’d say ‘no’ as it would, in extreme circumstances, be bad for the patient but, as it WAS Postain right here, in front of him… “A medical tech will have to take him there,” he said. “And stay with him. Just in case.”
“Might as… well be you, Doc,” Rhew managed. “You know my insides bett’r’n… anyone anyhow…”
“All yours, Doctor,” Postain said, heading out.
“I’d have thought you’d ask for a certain cartography Officer trained in first aid,” Jul said behind him. Postain just heard Rhew ask if he could change his mind before the door closed. Celicans, he thought.

Senny sat, kicking her heels in the brig as several officers in combat gear traipsed into the security area and started peeling the armour off. She made her assumptions as to who the errant Security Chief was and decided it was probably the Female Mican. The Mice tended to have large families and dedicated about a third of their population to the armed forces and they tended to turn out more officers than they had a need for. It meant that Corporals and Sergeants who should have taken command rank never had the chance to get it in the army. Thus they transferred their skills to security, where they were more than qualified to command. She relaxed back against the wall. “Any chance of being let out of here, Chief,” she asked.
The Mican looked up and Senny grinned inwardly until she noted the daggers look the chief was giving her. “As far as I’m concerned, you can rot in there, Pirate. I know what you did on the Denares. You’ll never get the same chance here.”
Senny spread her arms innocently. “Hey, there I was trying to escape when everyone was dying. Here, I’m not.”
The Mican stepped to the other side of the security field. “You broke his neck!”
Senny sat up. “You’d rather I’d left him to suffocate? Tell me, you think he’d have preferred that? The long, cold, death in space? No chance, just trying to take one breath after the other until his capillaries burst and his blood bloated? You think anyone would want that? Ow,” she commented, feeling the pain in her joints as she moved her arm.
“Don’t pretend you acted for his benefit!”
“I never said that, Chief. I wanted a suit and possibly an escape pod. But I saw no point in letting him suffer needlessly.” now she looked chagrined. “No-one needs to go that way.”
“On that, we’re agreed,” the Chief said tightly. “You be quiet now. Try not to keep reminding me you’re here and we’ll get along better.” She returned to the others, pressed a button on her table and Senny looked as the cell replicator fashioned a Perch sandwich and a Tea for her food. She’d be here a while, probably…

And the ship began to dock at Talvary Communal station.
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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

So glad that we have more of this story! Nice job!

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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

Finally, the much mentioned Doctor gets here.

Part 21.

Postain stepped from his ship via the forward hatch and stepped onto the communal station at one of its lower docking ports. He noted the change from the off white of the Rodomont to the off-brown of the station and felt the vibrations underfoot begin to change as the local generators took over from the ones he was used to. The port was quite empty for now, the only sign of ‘civilization’ being the vending machine in the corner; the first sign of consumerism that would be driven home by the mezzanine above. He stepped through the echoing chamber to the door opposite and the lift. It was a concession of his that he never complained about the obvious fact that the Rodomont never got one of the higher ports simply because that would mean he lowered himself to meeting Postlethwaite rather than having to look up to the Mouse. He headed into the lift and headed up.

The Dark grey furred old campaigner watched the denizens of the station with a mixture of curiosity and disdain. In his youngest days he’d hunted creatures like these and now here he was, helping them, saving them and getting to like doing it. The Lapis variety at home had been his favourite, swift, cunning and utterly harmless in a fight. As a Cub he’d had some great stalks and chases with them, although he doubted they appreciated it that much. It was the darkness of age, he thought, running the mind over all the decisions of life. Really speaking he didn’t mind being out here; this was where he planned to retire in the next few years and it seemed a good place to buy cheap property. He’d already put a down payment on a hunting lodge on Gallabon. Sending seventy percent of his wage to the agents should pay off the loan in four or five years and, then, it was all his.
He pushed something that resembled food around his plate and, reluctantly, tasted it. The station had a Celican restaurant behind closed doors – for quite obvious reasons as it was a ‘kill it yourself’ menu – but he’d been sitting here waiting for his prey. He’d heard it would be here, passing by the mezzanine cafe eventually and he needed to wait. Thus he stayed. At least he had a few feet between him and the surrounding people. They didn’t want to get too close. And there he was, a Rottian walking with purpose. Having acquired his target, the hunter worked out the best time to strike and headed from the cafe.

Postain saw him coming. There weren’t many Wolves out here so Doctor Flakk kind of stood out, being tall, faintly muscular and with the odd facial markings around his eyes. As the medic approached Postain realised that the circles of white were, actually, part of his fur pattern and not, as he had thought, some sort of affectation. He reasoned that it could, still, be dye. But there was no point in advancing that theory. There was a general rule for annoying Wolves. Don’t. Despite the fact he was almost anxious to get to Postlethwaite, he let Flakk ‘ambush’ him.
“Captain Postain,” Flakk announced, his deep voice almost booming across the doorway. “I’m Doctor Flakk.” In the manner of minor protocol, the medical Officer offered a hand.
Postain stopped and accepted the gesture. On Council ships, it was generally accepted that medical officers stood outside the command ranks and, instead of becoming Lieutenants and Lieutenant Commanders, became Lieutenants and Lieutenant Commanders. Same spelling but different pronunciation for some reason. Leftenant, it was pronounced. Postain didn’t understand why but, then again, he didn’t much care either. It simply meant that the Captain or Commander could give orders to the Senior and he gave the orders to his staff. Except in emergencies or when the Chief was off-duty of course. “Good to meet you,” he said.
“I’ve been looking over the situation up to yesterday,” Flakk said, noting the maintenance rigs heading for the ship in the void outside. “With the current compliment and th four new nurses, I think we can reopen the secondary Sickbay. I was planning on having Doctor Cobalt run it.”
Postain sucked his teeth. “Doctor Cobalt… might be better kept with you for the moment.”
Flakk tried to fix him with a steel gaze. “Why? Is she not up to it?”
“She’s totally up to it,” Postain declared. “But she’s had a few bashes to her confidence over the last few days, one of which was your appointment. I support your appointment, by the way. I have no doubt she’ll be a good CMO but not yet. She needs to know she’s needed right now. I’d advise that Doctor Jul heads up the secondary bay for a little while. Tell Cobalt you need her experience to get you through the immediate future. Or whatever. I don’t want her lost in a miasma of self doubt.”
Flakk regarded him calmly, judging his character. “I’d heard you were a tough one.”
“Oh, I am,” Postain asserted, leaning in, “and I don’t believe in wasting resources. She’s a good resource. DON’T throw her away!”
“I’ll judge her for myself.” Flakk smiled wryly. “That’ll take a few days of personal observation.”
“Good. Now,” the Rottian added, stepping out of the way as a Raitchian youngster bolted by, “I have to go deal with a certain Mouse. Your Mouse is currently in attendance on Commander Rhew on the bridge following battle earlier today. Doctor Cobalt is currently doing everything she can in the Sick Bay to prove her worth.” Postain blinked as Appleby walked by with a lengthy roll of something under her arm from the local meat vendors. She’d bought a fridge the last time she was here, he recalled. He didn’t have a fridge. Perhaps he should get one? He suddenly recalled he was still talking to the Doctor and excused himself to head onwards.
“It helps if you actually eat food in your quarters and not just on the bridge, Captain,” Appleby said as he passed by the magazine vendors, where she’d stopped and pretended to read a local downloader preview to see if it was worth her credit. He fumed and thought a few words at her that made her chuckle.

Postain stepped into Adjutant Smek’s office and walked through it, stating ‘He’s expecting me’ to the seated Officer, who bolted upright and attempted to get in his way.
“Sir,” Smek protested, “you can’t go in there…”
“Can and am,” Postain replied. “Out of the way.”
“Sir,” Smek protested, trying to stay in the way. “I have to announce you…”
“Well,” Postain said, fighting to keep his temper, “you go back to the desk and call him and I’ll go in so he can see it’s me. Now.”
“I…”
“Oh, get out of the way.” Postain gripped Smek and moved him aside before heading into Postlethwaite’s office.

“Come in, Marius,” Henry Postlethwaite said redundantly, getting ready to ignore a future complaint of assault he suspected Smek would be sending his way. “Coffee?”
“Not that nut rubbish,” Postain replied. “You have an update for me?”
“Prisoner’s being taken to a holding station and IOC are searching for leads. I have people running down the weapons traders and we’ve got a map of possible targets for you to hit when your ship’s repaired.”
“So we don’t know where the Quadria is?” Postain swung his arms in frustration. “They have thirty-five tonnes of the stuff! That’s enough to wipe out a city.” he stopped. “And we have no idea what they want it for.”
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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Great work as always! Its about time the doctor gets his butt there. :P

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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

Part 22

There were reasons Postain didn’t like being ‘on station’ much. It often involved copious meetings with senior officers he’d much rather ignore or wasted his time when he should be doing his duty. There was little to no challenge in the day to day business and very little outlet for pent up aggressions. The simulated environments never quite matched the locations they were copying – due to copyright issues and local bylaws promoting the real thing as better than any mock-up. So it gave a little relish to times when things went in a slightly off-kilter way. And he was quite enjoying knocking the Feline who was trying to kill him around.

He didn’t exactly have a room on the station but regulations insisted he kept some sort of office and the young Feline had tried to assault him on the way there. He’d come in from behind with a knife, probably hoping to get past security with something low tech, Postain assumed. But he’d turned at the last minute, after seeing a faint reflection in a wall panel, and the blow had missed. Postain hadn’t talked or tried to convince the male to drop the knife or threatened. He’d just growled and put his fist to the side of the Felines’ head. The Cat had swiped back, drawing a neat line across the Captain’s jacket and the reverse almost caught his arm but Postain caught it and twisted the wrist sharply, making his opponent cry out and drop the knife. “Wrong time, Feline,” he said simply before hoisting the attacker against a wall and punching hard to his gut. “You’re no professional,” he added, freeing the Cat’s wrist and back handing him to the floor. “And I’m not in the mood!” He picked the fellow up by his lapels and slammed him into the wall enough times o daze him before hauling him to his office and throwing him bodily into a chair that almost toppled from the impact.

Postain stepped to the desk and pulled a set of sturdy handcuffs from a drawer to affix to the youngster’s wrist and the chair arm. “I beat the hell out of you when you were freehand,” he told him, “Imagine what I’ll do if you damage my chair.” He stepped back out and retrieved the knife carefully, holding it between claw tips as he took it back to his office and put it in the filing cabinet.
“You broke my teeth,” the Feline complained.
“I’ll break your arm next if you want.” Postain sat opposite the youth and watched him bleed for a moment. “I’ve been attacked by professionals before, boy. I’ve been attacked by amateurs. Trust me, the only reason you’re still walking is you’re definitely the latter. Didn’t even use your claws. So,” he said, turning his glare on the prisoner, “what did I do?”
The Tuxedo Feline glowered back at him. “You killed my brother,” he spat.
Postain maintained his glare. “You any idea how little that narrows it down, boy? I’ve killed thousands of people’s brothers. It comes with the job and the only justification I have for that is they were trying to kill me. Now, who are you?” He held up a hand before the other spoke. “Don’t even bother telling me your brother’s name. I rarely know the names of the scum I kill.”
The Feline stood up and tried to tower over the table but found he had trouble due to the attached chair. “He was NOT scum!” he declared hotly, “Feron was an I.T. activist living on Clader IV when you ordered the destruction of a terror cell in the city! Your orders, your fault!”
Postain huffed. He knew what the Feline was talking about. An operation that was hardly the shining star in the Council’s history. A clusterRhukk of misinformation and politics that had cost thirteen civilians dearly. “Sit down. Now. Or I’ll sit you down.” He waited on the Feline to sit down and, when it didn’t happen, stepped around to put him back in the chair. He caught the arm that swung at him with claws outstretched and punched the Feline in the face with his free hand. “I am trying to go easy on you, kid,” he declared as the boy sagged into the chair, tears welling in his eyes, “but you’re not making it easy.” Again Postain took his seat. “That operation is classified,” he advised. “There are two things I want to know, boy. Your name and who told you about it. And you ARE going to tell me.”

Ten minutes later, Henry Postlethwaite was joined by his security chief as they approached the door to Postain’s office. The Chief had his weapon drawn but Henry told him to put it away. “Apparently Postain has the situation in hand, Teel.” The door opened on a sobbing youth manacled to a chair and bleeding from his facial wounds as Postain was putting on a new jacket. “What the heck’s been going on here,” the sector chief demanded.”
“We had a… disagreement,” Postain explained. “Seems he thought trying to kill me would get him in with the Pirate crews. I had to educate him on how hard that would be.”
“That is…” the youth sniffed.
“...exactly what you told me. Word for word.”
“This started outside,” the security officer demanded as Postlethwaite kept a smile from him.
“Yes,” Postain affirmed. “I took the knife off him and the fight continued in here.” He handed the knife over in a plastic bag.
“All right, Teel, take him in. You can get Captain Postain’s statement later. Take him away.” Postain tossed the Security Chief the key and they waited until the attacker had been taken from the room and the door closed. “Real story, Marius,” Postlethwaite demanded. “And not that line of balls about him wanting to be a Pirate.”
“Gets him into ‘reclaim’, doesn’t it,” Postain grouched.
“Not like you to be generous to someone who’s tried to kill you,” Postlethwaite re-iterated. “Out with it.”
“He wanted revenge for his brother,” Postain explained. “Apparently, I killed him. During operation Sandpiper. His brother was Feron Garza.”
“That was Yalla Garza,” Postlethwaite queried, pointing towards the closed door. Postain steepled his fingers and nodded. “He’s been trying to get hold of the files on that operation for months. H..hang on,” Postlethwaite added, as a thought occurred to him, “he’s blaming you for that?” Another nod from Postain. “But you weren’t involved in that operation.”
“I know I wasn’t,” Postain replied. “That was Commander Micheals. But, apparently, someone from the Council base on Pandera came to him two days ago with proof that I led the operation. And that I’d be here in two days. He reckons they expected him to release the files or something. But he booked passage to here and tried to kill me. In an amateurish sort of way. Didn’t even use his claws at first.” Postain sat upright in his chair. “Someone weaponised that boy, Henry,” he growled, “and I would very much like to know why!”
Commander Hawle. U.S.C. Loper.
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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

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A wonderfully well written chapter just like the previous chapters that I have read. Keep on writing because this really is great!

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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

And now we head to my NCIS rip off team(!) IOC Pandera are Federal investigators tied to the Council. The team o Pandera are:-

Feldar Jones. Feline/Human cross (Feline with Human facial structure under the fur)
Adriette Beran. Raitchian Female
Corp Davidstow Former Soldier Mican
Patcha Karl. Young, stroppy, Wolf.

Part 23

Raitchian IOC agent Adriette Beran pulled her car into Pandera City’s headquarters and aligned it next to Corp Davidstow’s HoVer hybrid next to the main door. She stepped from her sleek vehicle and smoothed down her jacket before heading into the main building. She looked around the reception as she entered and stepped through the weapons detector. It reported her side arm and she put the gun on the tray and added her ankle knife and keys – just in case. She remembered the first time Corp had gone through wearing his knife rig and the thing had gone ballistic. The number of knives their retired soldier had had on him that day. As for why Feldar had called them in this early on a Sunday morning…

Agent Karl met her, coming out of the break room with a mug of Coffee. “Any word on what we’re wanted for, Adriette,” the Wolf asked.
“Not a clue, Patcha,” Beran replied. “All I can think of is something big’s happening.”
“Well, like that’s news.” Karl took up her desk. “We don’t come in on the weekend for bunting and pickpockets. His nibbles is talking to the boss up there,” she added, idly pointing to Feldar’s office. “I’m sure he’ll tell us soon.”
“Corp?”
“No,” Karl said, swinging around to regard her senior. “I don’t call him ‘his nibbles’. Few other things but not that.”

<”...and yet another reprimand,”> Postlethwaite said from the other end of the space sector.
Relays meant that a conversation that should have taken hours to have were more or less instant and Feldar Jones stepped towards the hologram of his boss as though he was in the room. “It’s almost as though he doesn’t want to get sent back to the main sectors,” he said, smiling in that way Henry Postlethwaite had always found a little odd. Feldar was a Feline/Human cross, with standard ginger fur and Human facial structure. If he shaved three times a day and wore clothes that covered his entire body (and hands), he could even pass as Human. He’d been one of the first Henry had recruited when he’d headed up the IOC here and now he was the Mican’s replacement in the rank. “I take it it’s no co-incidence?”
<”It could be,”> Postlethwaite opined, <”He’s rethinking charging the kid but, as soon as he does drop the charges it’ll probably drive the guy you’re going to be after underground. And, in case you’re wondering, HE doesn’t think trying to get him relieved of duty on the eve of this theft is a co-incidence. We’re sorting out the sector map with regards Pirate bases but I want you to get this guy. Start with Yalla Garza’s place.”>
“Already have.”

Corp Davidstow knocked before affecting entry to make sure no-one was home. The Policeman with him had delivered the warrant but Corp preferred to do this sort of thing alone. With no answer, he used his technically legal code breaker to access the door panel and open the door. The White Fur stepped into the Feline’s apartment and sniffed. Something was up here. A strong smell of Lappinean pervaded the atmosphere inside and the faintly blowing cool air indicated a window was open somewhere. Something was setting his senses off so he pulled gloves on, pulled his gun and stepped into the living room.

It was in something of a mess, littered with papers, books, vids and cushions. There was an empty pair of shoes on the floor and the only thing that made Corp think it wasn’t just a bachelor pad was the smashed plates on the floor. Even solo males usually cleared up plates before they walked on them. He surveyed the room quickly, looking left, right and up before moving through quietly into the bedroom where the computer would have been. He headed past the broken hulk of the machine to the opened window and looked out onto the field beyond. Behind him the City Police Officer stepped into the room. “Stay here,” he ordered, “close the front door and don’t let anyone who isn’t me in!” He jumped from the windowsill to the field behind and took off in the direction of the scent. He moved quickly across the grass and into the trees. It was harder to tell the track by scent – as the military had trained him – so he took to listening and headed that way. He was only a moment behind them, he knew it. He.. slipped down a ridge to where one Lappinean was already in a car parked by a road and the other was just getting in, complete with computer drive that he tossed to his compatriot. “IOC,” he called, feeling stupid, “stop!” As usual, that had the one still standing drawing his gun and there was Corp’s, just out of reach following the tumble. He looked at it as the Lappinean walked over and raised his hands.

When they were halfway up, Corp flicked his wrist so his hands were clear of the blade that launched from his sleeve and slid through the air to impact in the chest of the Rabbit. Corp swung sideways as the startled enemy fired, making him miss as the impact threw off his aim. Corp pulled up his own gun and fired, taking part of the Lappinean’s left shoulder off as the driver decided on discretion being the better part of valour and taking off down the road. The gun skittered from the Rabbit’s hand as he held his shoulder. Corp sighed. “You wanna surrender or do I shoot you in the foot?” The Rabbit put his arm up as blood trickled from his wounds. “You’re lucky it was at distance,” Corp told him, putting the cuffs on. “Blade would have gone deeper at ten feet. Probably hit a major artery.”
“I need medical assistance,” he wheezed.
“Isn’t it wonderful,” Corp asked as he made a call, “you try to kill me then whine that I should save you? Talk about one rule for you, one for me. Ah, yes,” he said as he got through, “IOC Agent Davidstow, Ident 109675ACM. I need an ambulance to…” He looked around. “Where the heck am I? Uh, these GPS co-ordinates. Probably better send a teleport medic too.” He looked up as he heard a car approaching at speed and dove clear as the other Rabbit screeched by, firing at him even as he fired back, hitting the rear light. “I don’t think he liked me much,” Corp said, standing up. He looked at the Corpse of the second Rabbit. “Or it might have been you,” he allowed.
<”Hello,”> the voice on the line said.
“Yeah,” Corp replied, “nix that medic, would you, control? Just the wagon.”

Twenty minutes later, Corp reappeared at the apartment. He identified himself and the Officer permitted him back in. “I don’t see there’ll be anything here,” the Officer allowed. “I mean, we obviously interrupted them and…”
“Still probably something,” Corp remarked, heading for the bedroom and dragging a chair behind him, “and it’s probably in the air vent.”

It wasn’t. Corp found the wireless back up hard drive in the shoe locker and took it, wondering what the I.T. department could pull from it.
Commander Hawle. U.S.C. Loper.
Kilo - 2-8-3-9-10-2-5
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Leslie – 4-6-4-5-6-9-7
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David Campbell - 7 – 8 – 9 – 5 – 4 – 4 – 6
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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Loving your working on this. Keep writing it out as much as you can!

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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

Part 24

Patcha Karl stepped into the interrogation room and strode to her side of the desk. Opposite her, in the second of the rooms two chairs, a Mican sat shivering. “Cold in here,” she asked, knowing full well it was quite pleasant. “You don’t look happy,” she added.
“I’m not, exactly,” the Mican replied. “Why have I..?”
“Oh,” Patcha replied calmly, “we’ll come to that in a minute.” She tossed a datapad onto the table. “Standard financial checks drew up a few intriguing things for a start. You might like to check through those images, by the way.” She waited for a moment as he swiped through the images from his bank. They’d been brought up after the group had the name and pictures they’d required and it was one of those images that would muffins and cookies Lieutenant Jivan of his part in all this, much more than the money they hadn’t found. She’d get to that soon.

Feron Garza was, it seemed, a cautious one and, when he’d been approached by this individual offering him the chance at proof, he’d been recording them with a micro camera and it was one of the images from that camera that Jivan had just come across, judging by his face. “Care to explain or should I just theorize?” She waited on him for a moment. “No,” she asked. “Very well, let’s see what we know. This is you approaching young Mr. Garza with an offer of information that sinks Commander Postain into a world of trouble that’s not of his own making. It involves you in several crimes.” She looked up, pretending to think as she counted off various charges on her fingers. “Breaching your oath, breaching the secrets act, breaching the laws on fraudulently creating an item AND knowingly supplying said fraudulent item to someone. Oh, and murder too.”
There he looked directly at her. “What? Murder? No, I…”
“When we checked his place, a group were already there. During the battle, one of them killed one of their own.” She shrugged. “That counts as murder. As you’re part of the same group – let’s face it, it’s really unlikely there are two operations going on – you get to be charged with murder. Ain’t the law a beaut?” She smiled her brightest smile in an attempt to unnerve him.
“Aren’t I supposed to have a lawyer present?”
“Hmm,” Patcha replied, walking casually around the desk. “You’re only here on suspicion at the moment. That whole ‘Miranda’ thing or whatever we call it? Protects you as well as us. Anything you say can be taken as extremely helpful by the Adjutant General branch. So what’s it about?”

The Young Wolf slurped her Coffee in the main room afterwards as Jivan was led down to the cells. “Contacted on-line,” she told Adriette Beran. “Someone knew of his… infiddleties…”
“Infidelities.”
“That’s them. Threatened to release them to the base chief, who just happens to be his betrothed. I told Garva to see if he could track the mails. Jivan was told when to ‘arrange’ the release too.”
“So Postain’s right, I see,” Beran mused. “It’s not a co-incidence that it’s happened at the same time as the theft of the Ore. Speaking of which, we’re due to pay a visit to Messrs Pratchitt and Wodan to ‘assess’ their operation for Council needs in about a half hour. Feldar’s staying here in oversight, Garva’s doing Computer things and Corp’s watching over things in the morgue. So you’re coming with.” She stood up and located the keys to the company car she’d been allocated.
Karl frowned. “I’m your fourth choice? Really?”
Beran chuckled and walked past Karl’s desk on her way to the door. “I’m not going to need anyone savaged.”
“Hey,” Karl mock protested, grabbing her jacket and sidearm before chasing Beran to the door, “I’ve gone whole days without beating anyone up!”


“You also don’t look much like someone from Finance department,” Beran added shortly afterwards, as they arrived at Pratchit and Wodan’s secluded Weapons testing base in her car and parked up.
“Rats are good accountants,” Karl admitted, getting out, “but they need bodyguards.”
She sniffed as an Equinna strode across the lot towards them and, despite herself, sized up the spots to attack and where the toughest parts were. In case. People didn’t hire Equinna for their looks. Or their eyesight, she reasoned sourly as he asked if they were the IOC people.
“Yes,” Beran said, pushing a pair of glasses that had suddenly appeared on her head up so they rested on top of her muzzle. The arms disappeared into the fur at the side of her head and, even after knowing her for years, Karl still didn’t understand how they stayed on. “I’m Adriette Beran of the Finance department and this is Patcha Karl, local liaison.” Beran reached out a hand, which the Equinna took and shook with exaggerated gentleness.
“Fayl Pratchit,” he replied. “This way,” he said, gesturing them towards the main bay. Karl looked around as they walked over the surface concrete to the hangar. She noted the extra ozone in the air on her wrist computer and her senses agreed, feeling an extra ‘tang’ to the senses. Her eyes took in the weaponry on the table and the weaponry in the holsters of the five, no, six people around them. “Everyone in here is armed,” she said succinctly.
“You’d be surprised how many attempts were made on our stock before that ‘got around’,” the Equinna mentioned.
“We’ll need to see the permits for all those weapons,” Beran stated. “It.. complicates matters if the U.S.C. is seen to be doing business with people contravening local laws,” she explained. Their guide grumbled but acquiesced. “These are a selection of some of the weapons we can provide for the IOC departments in the briar patch. Larger weapons can be procured, of course, but at higher cost…”
“And cost is what it’s about, Mr Pratchit,” Beran commented. “It’s a simple thing. To have the Council send these items costs time and money. Manufacturing, detailing the U.S.C. ships to transport the materials. It can work out cheaper to buy what’s readily available on the market, providing it can be shipped and it works out cheaper than our own costs.”
The Equinna nodded, flexing his mane. “I understand that. Would you like to try the weapons out?”
Beran glanced at the items. “Keeping loaded weapons easily accessible is also a violation, isn’t it?” Karl could sense tensions rising amongst the others as Beran challenged Pratchit. She glanced around slowly, again assessing the threats and safe zones.
“They’re all locked on stun setting,” Pratchit replied calmly. “Pushing the borders of the law, perhaps, but still within it as non-lethal weaponry.”

They continued the tour, including the office, where Beran went over the files and financial records for an hour whilst Karl tried not to drift off. She rested against a door and yawned as Beran asked seemingly pointless questions about stocks and shipping. Karl didn’t quite see the point and was one decision away from going for coffee when Beran announced that she had enough information now, after scanning the files. “What was that all about,” she asked Beran as they walked back to their vehicle. “We learned nothing.”
“We learned plenty,” Beran countered, checking the vehicle over for bugs or devices. “They’re fully capable of supplying the weapons and their finances indicate they have two shuttles docked at hanger Two at the Spaceport. Oh, and that spike in the Ozone? One of those shuttles landed here recently, I reckon. Get on to Feldar,” she added as she started up the car. “Ask if we head to the Spaceport.” She sighed. “We’re making progress, Patcha.”
Commander Hawle. U.S.C. Loper.
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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

This was just a lovely chapter! I like it a lot!

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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

Oh, look who just hopped in...

Part 25

Postain stepped into the holding area in the security complex and stopped looking through the notes on the pad he carried. IOC Pandera had filed their initial reports and he’d read them and he’d decided what actions needed to happen now, after earlt morning talks with Postlethwaite. He looked to the boy occupying cell #3. “Sit up, boy,” he commanded. The youth stayed lying down on the ‘bed’. “I have to speak with you.”
“About what,” the Feline said sleepily, not looking up or opening his eyes.
“About what happens from here.”
The Feline shifted to a sitting position but still didn’t open his eyes. “I get a bomb tag around my foot, I think? And you keep me under control.”
“I was thinking more like you get that reporting job you were after because you have a direct line to Area Command.”
“...what?” The boy frowned and exposed a few of his battered teeth as the Rottian found a chair pulled it close to the energy barrier. “I.. You want me to stop trying to get you prosecuted for killing my brother, don’t you?” He opened his eyes and they flick focussed into a glare.
“Well, kinda,” Postain mused. “Seeing as I had nothing to do with it,” he finished, turning the energy field off and tossing the pad through to the youth. He sat down. “At the time of the operation, I was on a long patrol mission. Sandpiper came under Commander Micheals, the Canid in charge of the base on Ystan II. I think he’s now a 2nd Lieutenant at a relay base near the Osiran border.”
“Any particular reason I should believe this,” Garza demanded, waving the pad in the air. “Your lot can forge anything.”
Postain smirked, raising his eyeridges. “Funny how you come to that consideration NOW and didn’t just a few days ago. We found Corporal Jivan, by the way.”
“Who?”
“The U.S.C. personnel who gave you the information. IOC collared him after finding the back up hard drive in your place. Someone ELSE found the main computer, by the way. IOC engaged but they got away. Take a look. I have a few minutes.” He nodded to the pad and watched as Garza flicked to the video from Corp’s bodycam. He visibly flinched at the violence at the end.
“What.. what is going on,” he asked hollowly, the cry of the lost.
“Search me, Kid,” Postain replied. “Someone wants me shuffled out the way at the same time as some dangerous material goes walkabout? I think you’ve become involved, whether you wanted to or not.”

On Pandera, Feldar Jones decided to go into the field and took Corp with him, claiming drivers privilege in Corp’s allotted high performance vehicle and driving out to the spaceport. They ignored the hangar areas and headed straight for the control tower at speeds 20KPH below what Corp would have been pulling. He parked up and they got out, walking over to the guard to show Idents. “Here to see Chief Mayberry,” Jones said.
They were shown up to where a bustling old Mican Female greeted them. “Never good to see you, Feldar Jones,” She looked over to Corp as she offered Feldar a hand. “Nor you, Corp Davidstow. What crime are you investigating now?”
“Oh, just routine enquiries,” Jones breezed, shaking the hand. “No terrorism alerts today. Probably.”
She returned her gaze to the senior agent and withdrew her hand. “Probably,” she queried.
“Well, you never know how things will progress,” Feldar admitted. “We need to see the launch and landing records for the last few days, particularly those for Pratchitt and…”
“Wodan,” Corp finished. “And the surveillance for hangar two at the same time.”
“Does it have to be now? I’m supposed to be chairing a meeting of sector controllers in half an hour. Theyre coming in from all over. It’s taken months to set this up.” She threw her hands up. “Typical!”
“Well,” Corp said, “Can’t you get someone else to help us?”
“Yes, yes,” she protested, leading the way to the back office. “I’ll get Pellaw to assist you.”
“What’s the conference about, Chief?”
She waved a hand. “I’d be breaching secrecy laws if I answered that,” she said absently.
Behind her back, Feldar and Corp glanced at each other. Feldar shrugged but Corp didn’t believe the innocent look for a second.

Feldar and Corp started work, Feldar taking the launch and landing records and Corp the surveillance. Unlike his superior, Corp could use the fast forward function to make the feed speed up and he watched speeding things sprint between buildings and back again in the rain. It was still killing his eyes so he opted to get coffee. He paused the playback and stepped out to find the break room. Someone talking about the Controller from Laparra finally arriving outside had him look out where the car had just pulled up. A tall, old, Lappinean stepped out and around the car to permit the dignitary to get out. Corp forgot about his coffee and ran towards the stairs. He took them three at a time as he hurried past security guards and analysts to get to a door that he practically didn’t wait to open before he barrelled though it as the dignitaries entered through a different door. The driver simply nodded before getting back in the car and moving off.

Rather than heading for the parking spaces, the car headed back to the highway as Corp ran to his car and cursed. Feldar still had the ignition key. It took him a bare few seconds but the car had already vanished from sight. He groaned and smacked the wheel. There wasn’t much point in following. He slammed the car door and stormed back to the control centre.

“I found something on your footage whilst you were away,” Feldar claimed before Corp could get a word in. “Come look.” He waved his compatriot over to view the footage from two nights back.
“I just saw Balbury,” Corp declared crossly. “I couldn’t catch him. He was off in a car before I could get close!”
Feldar looked up, his face showing surprise. “Balbury? Here? You sure?”
“Like I’d miss THAT face!” Corp sat on the desk. “I met him once.”
“Yes, I know. On Lapas, when you were helping Adriette back to Raitche. So,” he mused, “what is the former head of Lappinean intelligence doing here? Provided it is him, of course.”
“It is!”
“Yes, yes. But the CCTV should prove it for the higher ups.” he shook his head. “Anyhow, look at this.” He started the CCTV recording of the area outside hangar two back up at 2430 two nights ago and played it at double speed until 0425. “See it?”
“No.”
“The rain, Corp.” he took it back to 2430 and pointed at a rain puddle on the ground. “Watch that puddle.” He pressed play again and Corp watched the puddle swell impossibly at midnight, gaining several feet in a single second.
“That’s an interesting trick,” Corp agreed. “Spliced feed.” He considered. “Not a bad one, either. Shall we go see what’s in hangar number two?”
Feldar nodded. “I believe we shall.”

The pair drove out to the hangar and Corp swore. There was a large shuttle, ready to launch. The vessels powerful engines began to repel gravity and lift the shuttle off the ground started as Corp accelerated towards the scene. He was forced to abort as the car came under fire from the security in the hangar. He skidded to a halt behind cover and rolled out to shoot back. “Well, you did say there might be gunfire,” he called to Feldar as the shuttle launched.
Commander Hawle. U.S.C. Loper.
Kilo - 2-8-3-9-10-2-5
Kilo
Leslie – 4-6-4-5-6-9-7
Leslie
David Campbell - 7 – 8 – 9 – 5 – 4 – 4 – 6
Corp Davidstow 6 - 6 - 7 - 3 - 6 - 6 - 5 (reactions 7 Combat 9)

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Re: Fauntleroy - Postain

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Really nice work! I do enjoy reading the whole chapter!

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