Wombwood > Sotillo
Al Saygin was fully hacked into the ship and could use any door or onboard system that could be controlled wirelessly. He learned the moniker of the ship: Sotillo. A Seegson owned vessel.
"Hey Malloy, go do perimeter check around the cargo hold here. Don't go any deeper in without me, but let's see what we're walking into one section at a time. See if you can find a working comms panel."
Saygin continued to probe the ships log, trying to determine her course before arriving here at Sutter's.
Saygin discovered that the Sotillo came from Anchorpoint station, the closest point of civilization, approximately 8.51 parsecs away, which was predictable. But it seemed to have gone somewhere else along the way, slowing to sublight speed for less than 24 hours before returning to FTL headed toward Sutter’s World.
The APOLLO AI mainframe onboard was programmed to follow another ship which stopped at an undisclosed vector. Saygin would have to dig deeper to find out why.
'I'm not sure the AI is going to give up much info without a fight. No need to start one just yet.' thought Saygin. He decided to head in Malloy's direction and see if he had come across anything more useful than a secret pitstop in the literal middle of nowhere.
Saygin found Malloy poking at something in the back of one of the cargo holds. There was a metallic, cubic crate of some kind open there with a strange withered leathery object sagging on the inside.
Al Saygin leaned in close to get a better look at the leathery object. He had no idea what he was looking at. But then he saw something else. The pale remains of some scorpion looking creature he had never seen or heard of before.
The pale creature was bigger than his head and had a stab wound right in the center of it. Malloy had found the crate haphazardly wrapped with a cargo net but cracked open. He looked Saygin.
“What in the blue hell is that thing?”
Looking around, the two men also noticed a hole corroded into the metal floor.
"That's one hell of a bug. So... I'm guessing you never seen somethin like that before either." said Saygin.
“Nah… Never seen anything like it.” replied Malloy with a disgusted look.
Saygin gestured at the hole in the floor. "...and what could cause something like that? Melted metal like that has to be some kinda caustic acid. Did a backup battery pop off ya think?"
Malloy looked down and around the hole inspecting it before turning to the ceiling. He shook his head.
Saygin asked Malloy if he knew anyone back at the settlement that would want to pull the bug apart. He also started looking around for a box to carry it in.
"Sure, gotta be someone over in the medical and science hex that would drool over this thing." Malloy responded.
Saygin saw several options to choose from regarding shipping crates and spare boxes.
"Alright. Let's pack it up and get it back. Grab that crate with the tight lid over there and scoop up the bug. Drop it outside and then get back here so we can keep sweepin, lookin for more info on this bird."
Malloy did as his partner asked and took the crated down the ventral elevator to the ground.
After waiting for several minutes, Saygin didn't hear the the elevator come back up.
Saygin grumbled to himself as he realized Malloy was probably taking his sweet time on a smoke break, and went to recall the elevator so he could check on his partner.
As he looked down the open hatch, Saygin could see Malloy doing just as he expected. Taking a fucking smoke break. Malloy looked up and raised his hand with the cigarette and a look that signified he was almost done. But just as Malloy went for the button to call it back manually, Al Saygin saw a flash of dark and bony flesh take out Malloy from behind and vanish beyond his view. Nothing was left of Malloy on the elevator but a trail of blood.