*Action* - "Spilling its load"

Who: Captain Jed Calvert and Rosette LaChance
Where: Starbug, flying back to the Blue Dwarf
When: After the space station crashed
The Captain sighed deeply and squinted as he flew the Starbug past the
planet's outer moon, allowing the bright light of the closest star
burn into his eyes. He couldn't help but think this had been a wasted
He had set out to collect a large quantity of money and treasure he'd
kept buried for a few years, only to find his ex-partner had stolen it
and put it all safely away in secure bank accounts. Nothing was left
for him. Jed grew angry, knowing that the cost of Starbug fuel wasn't
cheap, and this trip hadn't even covered their expenses.
But at least he'd got to see Rosette naked. A grin cracked his dry
Rosette came from the back of the Starbug, rubbing her wet hair with a
towel. Jed continued grinning and looked at her. She caught his
obvious grin and scowled at him.
"You pig." she said angrily, knowing exactly why he was grinning so much.
She stormed off back into the cabin quarters where she intended to
stay for the entire flight.
As their distance from the planet increased, the radio chatter got
quieter until there was silence. They were out in open space. Jed
liked it when it went like this. He felt like an intrepid sailor
hitting the open seas, where anything is possible. It was dangerous
and you were all alone – but you felt brave and purposeful.
In the vastness of space there were hundreds of thousands of ships
around, but normal chance of meeting one along your journey was
probably quite small – unless you stuck to a shipping lane. Shipping
lanes mostly consisted of back-to-back transport ships. Often massive
tankers, carting important foods or manufacturing metals from one
planet to another. They were like mile-long trucks, often only piloted
by one or two people. Often burly men with handlebar moutaches.
Jed liked to avoid the shipping lanes, he normally hated seeing other
ships – especially because it reminded him of the days when he used to
transport illegal goods and he didn't want to take the chance of
running into a SpaceCorps ship and for it to scan his cargo.
So Jed took a route that took them through the empty blackness. It was
empty and black. Until he saw a ship blocking his path.
It was large and boring. Like a massive metal shoebox. It was clear
that it had been designed for practicality and not ergonomics. It
looked like it could carry an entire planet's worth of toilet brushes,
but as a penalty didn't have much in the way of steering. Normally
these types of transports didn't go far from the shipping lanes
because it was too easy for them to get attacked, and have their
special cargo stolen by looters. Jed fondly remembered the day when he
boarded a transport and stole it's entire shipment of Harry Potter books.
Jed honked the Starbug's horn out of sheer arrogance. The thing was so
large he couldn't be bothered to go around it.
"What's going on?" Said Rosette behind him, coming into the cockpit to
see what the matter was.
"Gorram big transport blocking the path!" Said Jed angrily.
"Then go around it!" She said simple. "Tsk, men!" she added.
Jed slammed his fist into the steering column and made a big show of
going around the vehicle.
"See. That wasn't so hard was it?" Rosette added sarcastically. Jed
angrily reminded her who the Captain was and she quietened down.
As they made their way around the large obstacle, it soon became clear
that something was amiss. Jed had to steer sharply to avoid a floating
piece of metal the size of a double bed. "Whut the-?" he said as the
Starbug passed a section of the transport ship that wasn't there at all.
A large section of the ship was missing, and several hundred small
boxes of it's cargo were floating out into space. The edges of the
hull were fractured and burned, like they'd been hit by weapons
blasts, with enough force to take great chunks out of the ship.
A great sense of danger seemed to creep over the entire area. Was this
ship attacked by the same thing that had destroyed the space station
around New-Stoke?
Jed found it terribly exciting and grinned.
"I think we should get back to the Blue Dwarf." Said Rosette, the
voice of reason.
"Exactly whut ah was jus' thinkin'..." Said Jed. "...To go back and
bring a larger salvage party!"
There was a pause as Rosette was so transfixed by the devastating
destruction on the transport ship she didn't immediately hear what Jed
had said. When she did she blinked. "What? Are you insane?"
"No. ah'm the Captain. And ah make the decisions." he said
matter-of-factly. "Look at all thut cargo, leaking into space. We
could bring a few more crew back here, get onboard and steal us some
of it. Then sell it fer a pretty penny."
"But what if the people who did this came back?"
"Whut? Ya gonna say no to free money?"
"I didn't say that, no." Said Rosette, a slight twinkle in her eye.
Ever since she could remember she had never had to worry about money,
her parents had been rich and she had never known poverty, until the
last few years where she had had to scratch out a meagre living with
no steady income. So free money did sound appealing.
Jed angled the Starbug away and headed back to the Blue Dwarf.
They landed on the flight-deck and Jed wasted no time. He quickly
clambered up the metal staircase on the flight deck, to the balcony
that overlooked the ships. It was here where flight-deck officers gave
orders and operated the airlock controls. He pushed the current
operator to one side and reached for the tannoy system microphone.
"Evenin' ladies and gents, this is ya Cap'n speaking. We've spotted a
lone cargo ship slipping it's lead about 2 lightyears from here.
Anyone who wants to earn a bonus on top of thar wage come meet me in
Flight Deck 1 for a salvage mission."
<Tag anyone! This is something quick and easy to run parallel to
Andy's *Action* while it warms up. Get your character to the Flight
Deck and into the Starbug.>

< Prev : \"STOKEing the fire in my heart\" part 5 Next > : Gordons Alive!!!