Who: Andy, 001
Where: destroyed vessel, unnamed cargo bay
When: -3 minutes before all hell breaks lose again
There was a great many things Andy had expected that would become of
him as he grew up, none of them entirely pleasant.
However looting an unknown vessel with a flimsy steel crowbar was not
one of them.
Andy spotted his target with a roll of the afore mentioned item. It
was a large thing, 2x2 metres wide, painted silver and red. Upon its
side was stamped in Chinese lettering. Whatever it was, it wouldn't be
closed for long. The cleaner took a few heavy steps forward as his
gravity boots kept him locked to what was left of the cargo bay. The
second he lifted up his tool 001 skirted around his right foot,
squeaking wildly at the prospect of breaking something no doubt.
Jamming the metal into the crate and letting off a strong grunt. The
lid of the plastic crate snapped open and was sent spinning through
the zero-gravity situation. Andy's hand lifted up for a moment to wipe
away his perspiration before he realised that; A) he had no heat
sensory, therefore no sweat and B) He was now wearing a helmet over
his mark IV janitorial suit.
Although it was helpful in not having him exposed to the vacuum of
space, he was still irritated by the small click that opened and ended
all conversations. "001." Andy addressed the convulsive robot that now
practically jiggled at the side of the box. "Scan it, see if we got
ourselves a winner."
Andy turned as the robot made with the scanning. The rest of the crew
that came was hard at work pulling the crates apart. Jed routinely
stalked around them, checking what the cargo contained. Apparently
this sector was simply storage quarter for the crew's personal items.
But he couldn't imagine a vessel that would have a crew store its
stuff in a cargo area instead of their quarters. Never the less, a
small smirk played across his lips. Andy had to admit that this
endeavour had brought out the mercenary side of him.
A few robotic squeaks brought him back to the present. "What- Metal?"
Andy barked, his com once again announcing the open and close. 001
snapped back angrily. "Okay-okay! I believe you! I didn't say that
your sensors were faulty! I'm just saying that it would be pretty
weird for someone to store a hunk of metal with their tooth brush."
Andy peaked over the side of the crate and saw a 1 metre cubed wooden
crate inside. Pushing it aside he quickly realised that this was it.
Someone had just forgone their personal items for a wooden crate.
001 suddenly pipped up wildly. "Yeah I was thinking that too.
Whatever is in this crate is way too good for Jed. Alright
double-oh-one, take it back to the ship and stash it."
001 pushed the plastic crate over. His treads ran inside and quickly
took the wooden crate out with it. Although surreal in the robot's
jaws, the zero gravity was what really made it possibly. Andy's hand
dipped into one of his many suit's pockets before producing a
palm-sized circular sticker. He slapped it on the side of the crate.
"That should keep out prying eyes and sticky fingers." The cleaner
smirked at the radioactive materials sign on the side as the Skutter
"Guys, where are we?" Andy's head lifted at the unfamiliar voice that
perfoliate through his comms channel. Great, who was trying to page
him now? Squinting a tad he suddenly noticed a small robot perched
upon the top of the starbug.
The captain looked up from whatever he had his greasy face in and
turned to the robot. "This heres is a salvage mission." Returned Jed
in an irritated tone.
"Oh yeah? What about those blokes?" The robot replied cheekily. One of
it's small hands pointed out towards pointing a massive hole in the
side of the vessel. Andy squinted once more and soon noticed that a
large ship was staring inwards, along with a line of various
Apparently that was more than enough for Jed to find an excuse to
start shooting things again.
"Alright, everyone, get yer guns!" He barked through the comms hoarsely.
From the small robot arched lines of green beams, each and everyone
slamming into the sides of the ship and taking out a weapon.
Well Andy had a plan too. That was to get the hell out of here. "Move
it double oh!!" The cleaner yelled at the small robot, grav boots
Then the inevitable counterattack came.
Multiple rays tore through its flimsy cover and made even more holes
in the rust bucket. Fortunately for the crew the beams seemed to be
mostly missing them. Unfortunately for the recovery effort they seemed
to be hitting the crates.
One by one, the crates where vapoured into nothing. The Blue Dwarfers
to their credit were cluey enough to know not to stand next to a
lightening pole in a storm.
Within seconds the cargo count was soon reduced to nothing and it was
counting down to what 001 had
Andy's mercenary evaporated instantly. "Double-oh! Let go of the
crate- NOW!!" The cleaner could only pull a confused face as the
Skutter let off a negatory response before it continued to ride on.
Finally a dark red beam arched through ship and right towards the
Time seemed to slow as the area was bathed in the red plasma energy.
A moment earlier the Skutter was working at peak proficiently. The
beam then engulfed both the Skutter and the crate.
A moment later the crate was blow out of existence and the Skutter's
head was vaporised.
Andy could only stop and stare as the small robot's treads continued
to roll for a few seconds before it slowed to a halt.
Sometime late the ship had left with now of the Blue Dwarfers
suffering causalities. Which couldn't be said the same about the
attacking ship's side. Which now looked like the side of the moon, or
a pimply faced teenager before it finally pulled away.
Andy didn't notice.
The Cleaner walked over to the Skutter and pulled it up into his arms.
"Hey, hey you!" A dark-haired man yelled at the cleaner, shaking his
shoulders roughly. "C'mon Jed's given us the order to pull back to the
ship for new orders! Get up!" Andy allowed himself to be pulled up by
the dark man.
"Name's Phil, c'mon. Did you get hit?" The man answered the unspoken
question. "Uhhh no I " Andy spluttered uneasily as his left arm was
pulled over Phil's shoulder, right arm cradled the remains of his
second dead friend.
"Don't worry. You'll find your legs again after you sit down for a few
minutes." Phil stated soothingly as he led him back to the starbug.
Andy was pulled up onto the starbug's deck. The main area of the
starbug was utter chaos. Jed paced back and forth angrily, both
muttering and shouting explicatives.
A female voice was busy in the cockpit; apparently shouting back at
Jed in an equally aggressive tone.
The blue robot that he saw upon the top of the ship now held out its
massive weapon vertically like a spear. It was seemingly muttering
that if 'only had a few more seconds' that it would have brought down
the attacking ship.
Efof was seated in one of the chairs around the centre table. His
multiple arms stroked his chin deep in thought, so deep that he
apparently didn't notice the highly shaken cleaner as he was led by.
Phil led his past there and into the sleeping quarters. Finding a
suitable spot on one of the bunk beds, he held out Andy's arm and let
him down. "Here; sit down for a while. You'll be up before you know
it." Phil leaned over and gently removed Andy's helmet with a click
before setting it next to him. "I'll be out there with the rest of the
With that the black haired man pulled off his helmet and exited the
Andy sat there numbly and stared at the remains of his friend.
"Forgive yourself." The Cleaner stated sadly; easier said than done.
<Tag! Cargo's vapourised, what's our orders cap'n?>