It seems like just yesterday that I was spending my days with a shovel and a brush and no worries other than the occasional competition from local scavengers to worry about as I scouted out the crumbling edifices of a long-gone age. Perhaps it’s just because I’m missing the quiet time after spending the past few months assisting the Captain with his misfit brigade of do-gooders. I never considered myself “First Mate” material, and my clan would back me up on this if you could get them to admit I existed. That’s what happens when you tell tradition to take a flying leap and decide to live your own life, though. Maybe the captain thought that was important… or maybe he’s just insane; either way, I’ve got a crew that I’m responsible for now as we do our best to help those in need (for a negotiable fee), and I’m looking forward to the end of a long shift and a very tall beer.
“Kenari ma’am, we’ve got an incoming message on the comm!”
So much for shore leave.
I close my eyes and rub my forhead as I consider for just a moment how easy it would be to ignore that flashing red light. “I know I’m going to regret this… but go ahead and answer it,” I mutter.
“You’ve got to help us… Starbase 54 is under attack by pirates! Please, some of us managed to get away on ships, but they are holding the women and children! Help us, please!”
“Transmission was delivered by x-boat, ma’am… looks like it originated from a mining facility on Knorbes,” states the comms officer.
“I know the boss has no love of these pirates… but Knorbes… that’s a uranium mining facility, isn’t it?” I ponder to myself before striding back to my chair and pressing a button on the arm. “Zeb, Dayn, Ulfbert and Arlo, I need to see you guys in the conference room to discuss a potentially lucrative proposition…”
I nod at the crew as they make their way into the situation room and settle down at their seats. “Glad you could join us, gentleman. It seems we’ve got a situation brewing on Starbase 54 with some habitual pirate attacks. This could not only be a good chance for us to make a dent in the pirate activity in this area…” I place my hands on the conference room table and lean forward as I grin. “…but it could also be quite profitable for us considering what they’re mining there.”
The screen behind me flashes to life with the details and schematics of Starbase 54 as it transmits to the consoles in front of each of the crew.
“Ah… uranium…” says Zebadiah knowingly after he deftly slips a skillsoft chip into the back of his neck.
“Exactly, doctor; this is a high-profile resource that we don’t want to fall into the wrong hands. Would there be any potential dangers of radiation if we entered the starbase?”
Zebadiah scans his screen for a moment and looks up. “From the information provided, it looks like the refining of the plutonium is done off-site, so the danger of radiation should be minimal at best. As long as the pirates don’t have nukes, that is.”
“Excellent. Do we have any more information regarding the area?” I ask the others. “I know that system isn’t too high tech… but there’s no telling what these pirates have managed to cobble together. I figure we can still outgun anything they’ve got, though. “
“Other than that they’re Solomni, I’m afraid there isn’t much available, sir,” replies one of the crew.
“Great,” I huff as I pace in a small circle with my hands on my hips. “If there’s one thing I don’t like, it’s going into a fight with no recon.”
“One thing…” I hear someone whisper… I’ll bet it’s that Aslan gunner again…but thankfully for them my mind is occupied with more important things; like keeping my crew alive while we make a profit.
“Allright… so unless there are any other objections, let’s get this ship ready for jump into the system, and we’ll see if we can get some long range sensor scans of the area before we move in. Who knows how outdated the intel will be from that x-boat by the time we get there. I just hope there’ll be enough grateful mine operators alive to make this worthwhile…”
The crew exits the room with a chorus of “Yes sirs” and I sigh. “Kenari, guys… my name is Kenari; enough with this ‘Sir’ stuff,” I mutter as they walk by. Why did I agree to this outfit again?
“Yes ma’am,” says Zebadiah as he leaves.