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 Meanwhile in a Nearby Parallel Dimension

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Phlegm

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Number of posts : 751
Registration date : 2007-04-26

PostSubject: Meanwhile in a Nearby Parallel Dimension   Tue 1 Mar - 17:49:57

Meanwhile, in a Nearby Parallel DimensionÖ

Aboard the Maverick War Bastard we find Captain Omar Ibrahim El Shafai in confident command* together with Thud and Corbyn. We are cruising the Strophius System in our role as ardent supporters of the Sunbeam union** who have been engaged for the past few centuries in war with the despicable Rimaldi. Our mission: To recover Agent Sar DíTak who holds vital information. In fact weíve already done the hard, work, the afore mentioned agent is safely aboard and itís just for us to wend our gentle way homeÖ

*He knows the rules after all
**For Chryslerís sake


Except it never goes as smoothly as that does it? Letís be frank, when did one of these accounts ever read ĎWe achieved the mission quietly and efficiently with no problems or incidents and returned happily to base where we were rewarded with fabulous riches.í It just doesnít happen like that does it? Just once, just onceÖ

So todays little flies in the ointment are three Rimaldi cruisers who are currently closing on our position wishing to ensure that we make better acquaintance with the cold hard vacuum of space at first hand, oh and the extra juicy bluebottle that our trusty agent is sick. He has swelling fever, non-contagious,* but fatal in around two weeks. Not that we know this at the moment.

*There is some small print about that which I will not bother you with at this point. After all, what could possibly go wrong?

Still at least everything is working perfectly, oh wait, the spike drive is currently only operating at level one. So, we have a couple of nearby systems where we can get 007 here medical attention that might keep him alive long enough to report, or we can try and jump to our final destination trimming to save time at the risk of disappearing into the void.

We actually only discover his sickness as we approach the Itziar system after a weekís transit time and all our options have miniscule safety margins that mean itís touch and go whatever we decide. We arrive in the Dotta system to find the local amateur dramatic society have recently been filming a recreation of the aftermath scene at Wolf 359 from Star Trek the Next Generation following the Borg massacre of Starfleet.

For those of you with lives this means we emerged amongst a fleet of wrecked ships floating as far as the eye could see, some still gently glowing as internal fires raged. Debris both organic and not scattered in every direction. The airwaves burned with disaster beacons, but all of them automated. We need to fuel and we detected distantly the local exchange station still operating, however the captain decided with all these wrecks around it would be more prudent to take fuel cells from a suitable hulk.

With this in mind we executed a controlled collision with a crippled freighter which the Captain generously described as a docking manoeuvre.* Corbyn suited up to recover the fuel cells, Thud already encased in his anti-grenade** armour had no need to don a Vac suit but would provide support in case we came upon anything that needed blowing up.

*Rarely has the English language been so cruelly stretched.
**Thud showing unusual common sense on this point or perhaps just bitter experience.


The freighter was Rimaldi and several weak life signs were detected by their pre boarding scans. Our duo entered through an operational airlock and headed for engineering where they had detected one life form. The exit from our boarding area was depressurised and debris had to be rendered safe before opening the door as any loose material would fly out with the atmosphere as the exit opened.

This proved the case and they continued deeper into the ship, Corbyn using his telescopic pole to force doors and both men tethering themselves to hard points as a safety precaution. Corbyn at one point lost his footing and had to be pulled back into the ship by Thud. The Sunbeam Union had clearly carried out a lot of radical redesign wok on this vessel involving heavy weapons fire.

Meanwhile on the bridge the captain noted two Sunbeam patrol ships, but bearing in mind the covert nature of our mission and our current attachment to a Rimaldi ship he judged it best to stay schtum. After negotiating a long corridor with many holes and descending a service shaft, the away team approached engineering, where Corbyn glimpsed a blue skinned arm attached to someone or something moving about in there.

Back on the War Bastard our Captain advised that the blue skinned creature was likely to be a scavenger, possibly disinterested, possibly hostile. He also noted three small ships discretely attached to the hulk, all three with crews of up to three, and suddenly the missionís hazard rating was climbing.

Corbyn and Thud entered engineering, covering the doorways where at least one interloper was thought to be lurking. The Navigator checked the cells and then taking advantage of the lack of gravity tethered to a pair of them and left. Thud covering then noticed a small metallic cylinder tumbling unhurriedly through the vacuum towards him as he stood in the doorway, weapon raised.

Our heroes fled, Thud punching the door control and it slid shut before disappearing in a flash of heat and light. The grenadier grenaded! The blast flung them both down the corridor; as they picked themselves up a blue head poked round the corner and was vapourised by Corbynís vengeful laser pistol.

On the bridge Captain El Shafai opened fire on the limpet-like boarding pods to little effect and began, like them to undock so that his crew could exit via some of the ragged holes in the wreck rather than work their way back to the airlock. The enemy ships had laser weaponry of some type and began exchanging fire.

The crew now blew another surprised blueskin out of the ship as they made to exit themselves. They both pushed off for it even as the ship took the first damage from the fortunately light weaponry carried by the enemy vessels. Corbyn managed to cock up his approach and despite Thudís efforts crashed heavily into the ship before the pair managed to get into the airlock. Corbyn had been twice injured during the trip and was fortunate that his vac suit seal when broken had self-repaired.

Omarís gunnery now took out the first enemy vessel and part of it spun into a compatriot causing serious damage to it. Sadly four more ships now emerged from the far side of the hull and Omar punched it as Corbyn and Thud split up, Thud heading for the bridge, Corbyn for engineering where he could install the two precious power cells.

En route to the bridge, Thud didnít even have time to pull the pin on a grenade when a blueskin jumped him. Although not armed, wicked spikes on its arms quickly demonstrated that it meant business and they slugged it out. Corbyn, oblivious, arrived in engineering pushing his grav sled with the two cells aboard. He was taken by surprise therefore when a blueskin jumped him.

Omar was having some success meanwhile evading his pursuers: Our ship was faster and dodging wrecks and ship parts quicker than the larger enemy ships in particular that were clearly more cumbersome than the smaller limpet ships we had initially encountered.

Thud now smashed his opponentís face in with his monoblade and watched as its body melted away. Corbynís warning now came over the comms: ĎIntruder Alert! Engineering!í* Meanwhile on the bridge a third blueskin attacked Omar and Thud found the bridge sealed when he arrived. Fortunately Omar was able to shoot the blueskin point blank through the heart, or at least where its heart ought to have been.**

*Would have been useful if Thud had thought of that earlierÖ
**Judging by its reaction it probably was there


For the fifth time Corbynís warning cry came over the intercom, but this time it was cut off. On the bridge his horrified crewmates saw him fall on the security monitor before it was ominously cut off. Thud raced to engineering where he found the navigatorís body and one power cell. Omar hit the spike drive to finally escape the now distant pursuers, only to find power levels inadequate.

Thud engaged the power cell but it jammed as he tried to load it. Fortunately he spotted the other and although attacked by the intruder he recovered it after swiftly disposing of Corbynís attacker. Meanwhile Omar had let the ship drift dangerously into the gravity well of the planet and was struggling at the controls to avoid an involuntary re-entry and or burn up. As the War Bastard skimmed the atmosphere readouts showed massive damage to the settlements below, which were in as good a shape as the ruined fleets hanging in orbit.

Thud slapped on a Lazurus patch to stabilise Corbyn and then was able to engage the second power cell however, it didnít work. Back to the jammed one which on close inspection seemed a little well tainted, but this time it engaged and with pursuit again closing we made the jump.

Corbyn began slowly to recover over the next few days and was nearly healed when we emerged in the next system with the second power cell now dead too. Very fortunately there were gas giants in this system and we began the four day process of harvesting fuel. This however brought us to the cusp of Sarís life expectancy. Despite Corbynís efforts the fuelling process could not be hastened and even as we prepared to jump Sar DíTak expired, his parting gift a cloud of infectious spores blown up Thudís nose as he bent over the corpse of his patient.*

*Remember that small print earlier?

So Thud was infected and quarantined when we arrived at our destination. Thud made contact with a medical associate on Scarpey and he was able to secure medical supplies sent out to us by a drone ship. Corbyn accompanied his captain on a transport to meet our employers at our final destination, leaving Thud and the ship behind for a couple of months medical care in quarantine.

The information from Sar had been contained in a chip which Thud removed successfully post mortem and our employers recovered it and seemed to have no problem at all with the loss of Mr DíTak. We returned 270.000 credits richer safe in the knowledge that our ship would be repaired on our return for no charge and Thud should be healed.

Unfortunately on our return we were intercepted by guard ships who announced that there had been a serious outbreak of Swelling Fever that had so far claimed half the planetary population, still, we got a message from Thud who cheerily informed us that he had made a full recoveryÖ.

27.2.16
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