Cassandra: A little help here?
Who: Cassandra, Le Souteneur, and a bunch of mercs.
Where: Shuttle hangar bay
When: Just after Jay initiated the self destruct
Jay nodded, and let go of Cassandras arm, who began to walk toward Le Soutener,
who still had a gun trained on Jay. Once the pad was in his hand, he lowered it
so as to place him thumb print on the scanner. Jay climbed into the Phoenix and
the hatch began to close.
"Auto destruct sequence initiated " Hollys voice boomed over the speakers
"Abandon ship repeat, auto destruct sequence intitiated ."
"Oops " Jay said, through the still closing hatch "Silly me., " The Phoenix
began to move down the runway, toward the waiting hangar bay doors.
Cass narrowed her eyes as she watched the Phoenix accelerate away down the
"Damn it Jay" she hissed, her fingers moving over her handheld "You were meant
to help; not just run away and leave me to my doom!"
"Jones!" Le Souteneur snapped "Do someting!"
"Already on it"
Cass held off from executing the command to close the hangar doors, waiting long
enough to give the captain a chance of escaping before she finally triggered it
The massive bulkheads ground closed quickly enough to force Jay to bank hard,
and corkscrew the Phoenix out through the rapidly diminishing gap between the
doors; only just making out into space after he had clipped one of the doors and
torn an engine nacelle from the fuselage
From Cass' viewpoint before the bay doors finally boomed closed, the wildly
careening Phoenix didn't look like it would respond to the flight controls let
alone make planet fall, but Jay was a resourceful kind of guy, so she figured
she needn't worry unduly
Besides, if all else failed there was always the chance he could be picked up
"Alright dudes" Holly intoned "Fifteen minutes until self destruct. You might
want to hustle on down to an escape pod"
"Merde" Le Souteneur screamed "'Ee got away!"
"Uh, yeah!" Cass replied sarcastically "But who smegging cares? We're going to
be trace elements blowing on the solar wind in quarter of an hour!"
Le Souteneur snarled like an animal and hauled his pistol out to point it at
Cass, shaking with unsteady fury
"Unless you can do someting about zat, Ah'm keeling you where you stand you
"Alright! Alright!" Cass snapped "I can stop it, but you'll probably want to
consider evacuating as well in case this doesn't go to plan"
Le Souteneur narrowed his eyes
"Oh, non" he chuckled "We all stay! Ah'm not leavin' zis sheep when Ah'm so
close to eet bein' mine"
Cass scowled and shrugged; she hadn't really expected that particular ploy to
work, but had considered it worthwhile trying
"Right" she snapped after a moment's contemplative silence "I need to do three
things in around thirteen minutes, and there's no chance I can do them all, so
we're going to have to split up and go to the drive room, the main reactor, and
the computer core."
"You" she continued, pointing at Le Souteneur "You go to the bridge. I need
someone with a modicum of intelligence to issue the retraction commands from the
helm once I finish in the computorium; Holly's got your prints, so it has got to
be you anyway. As for everyone else, I need all hands in the reactor room
resetting Kinetically Neutralised Octagonal Batteries; there are about a hundred
of them and they look like this..."
Cass glanced down at her handheld, her fingers moving over the display, pulling
up a schematic of the K.N.O.B's general location and what they looked like to
show to the assembled mercenaries
"They come in all kinds of sizes" she continued "The big ones can be a little
unstable, so be sure to treat them gently... You wouldn't want one blowing up in
Le Souteneur laughed
"Oh you sink you've got eet all sought out eh?"
"I've no idea what you're on about" Cass glared at the man "I'm trying to save
my... I mean: all our lives"
"Okay, okay" Le Souteneur smiled "'Ave it your way, but Ah know what you're
sinking, and an Ah don' trust you one beet; but ze way Ah see it, Ah don't 'ave
any choice: so we'll do it your way for now, but you get to go wit' an escort
an' zey kill you if you even sink about crossin' me"
Cass pursed her lips, glaring at the man
"Kaufmann, Fox" Le Souteneur beckoned a couple of the heavily armed thugs in
their party "You two make sure she don' go gettin' us into trouble..."
"Whatever" Cass snapped and turned to walk away "We need to go"
The group split up and went their separate ways, Cass trailing the two
mercenaries behind her as she hurried down towards the computorium, their
weapons trained on her back
Before long she was striding down the computer core's main access corridor,
talking via the handhelds comms link to the other teams
"Alright dudes. Five minutes to self destruct" Holly intoned helpfully
"Yeah yeah" Cass muttered to herself before raising her voice to address the
team in the reactor core "How's it going with your K.N.O.B's guys?"
"Not too bad" the man on the screen shouted above the sound of short circuiting
K.N.O.B's "We're holding our own down here, but we could do with some extra help
to really get on top of them all"
"Yeah, okay, I know you've got your hands full but just hang on in there; it's
essential that you get the K.N.O.B's excited up to at least 85% charge so you
can blow back the Frontzman-Erheart Lift Capacitor Housing, but only after I've
got my hands on Holly's Native Application Driver's and disabled them"
"Philippe: We're going to have to move quickly once I complete the process here,
so stand by - I'm about to enter the computorium"
"Yeah, right. Ah don' trust you Jones, so let's get zis charade over wit'"
"Four minutes to self destruct"
The blast doors shielding Holly's inner sanctum hissed open, allowing Cass to
stride into the vast dimly lit room - the only light source in the area a single
harsh beam of white light lancing down from the ceiling to illuminate Holly's
chrome toaster casing at the bottom of the core's pit
"Holly?" Cass asked above the sound of her small party's echoing footfalls "Lock
the ship down and then execute protocol twenty three please"
The point defence cannons deployed with an echoing boom in under a second;
barely giving the mercenaries chance to bring their weapons to bear on Cass,
before a vicious barrage of energy vaporised large and vital chunks of them
Ignoring Le Souteneur's howls of fury, Cass strode on leaving the two smoking
corpses in her wake as she picked her way through the smouldering craters
pock-marking the floor to finally arrive at the safety barrier surrounding the
"Now, Holly: The drive room K.N.O.B's should be excited enough by now. Blow them
Screams and explosions sounded briefly through the handheld's speakers along
with Le Souteneur's venemous curses
"You are so dead you smegging beech!"
Cass curled her lip and cut him off; the vile man was locked out of harm's way
for the time being, so she'd see to him later
"Three minutes to self destruct"
"Hmm? Oh, right. Knock that crap off will you Holly?"
"Oh, alright" Holly replied peevishly "...I was enjoying that"
"I know; thanks anyway Hol"
Resting on the safety rail around the edge of the pit, Cass closed her eyes and
took a deep breath, ignoring the tang of ozone and scorched flesh at the back of
"What do you suppose I should I do now, Hol?"
"Dunno. Whatever you like I suppose; it's what you normally do..."
"... It's just that once I get Le Souteneur out of the way, there'll only be me
on board here... in charge; and it's a big galaxy..."
"Huh, you'll have to find him first!"
"I said: You'll have to find him first. Le Souteneur, I mean... He's just broken
out of the Drive Room and I'm not reading him anywhere, so I suppose he must
have gotten into the service shafts or something"
"Aw, shit" Cass sighed and opened her eyes as wide as her black eye afforded
"I'm going to have to deal with him before he catches up with me and kills me"
"Right..." she continued after a moment's thought "I want a personal force field
generator, a bunch of kill-bots as guards, and a genetic sample from Le
Souteneur; there should be something in the drive room that I can work with.
I'll get a tailored doom virus brewed for him and then feed that into the vent
system; should do the trick"
"I'm afraid I can't do that Cass" Holly smiled, savouring the opportunity to get
all HAL-9000 with her
"This is a mining ship remember? We don't generally pack military grade force
fields or kill bots... I can do you a few skutters with laser pistols if you
"Aw, smegging hell" Cass moaned "I wouldn't even trust them to wave a knockwurst
around let alone a laser pistol, which leaves me safe enough in here with the
defence cannons, but very few other places"
Holly stayed quiet; probably reasoning that saying nothing was the best option
if he didn't have anything helpful to say
"Okay, maybe next time..." Cass blew out a resigned sigh "Call Jay up and tell
him I've cancelled the destruct and neutralised most of the insurgents for him,
I just need a hand with the ringleader..."
How bad is the damage to the Phoenix?
Will Katrina mind you rescuing Cassandra? - Would you even want to?
What do you fancy doing?