An Inheritance of Stars

I can't belive its not it r&r

Freddy sealed the hatch behind the two departing crew members. He didn’t much care about the mercenary Thena, he’d only just met her a couple days ago. But Faust had been his traveling companion and brother in arms for several months now. It was almost sad to see him go. However he would also make sure that Thena kept her mouth shut about anything she might have seen on the ship.

The Minnow had touched down less than an hour ago on a repair facility known as Berks Scrapyard which was situated on a large planetoid being mined on the outer rim of the Inequity system. Despite some objection, Captain Ivan had insisted on putting down for a refit and resupply before moving forward further on the current objectives. Since the owner Berk apparently owed Ivan somehow, they had been allowed to land, and given a double hanger bay for their ships. It was also surprisingly private which led Freddy to believe that it was quite a favor.

Once Faust and Thena were gone, the Captain began his brief. “Ok guys, Berk here owes me big time; don’t worry about why for. The important thing is that we’ve got 1 maybe 2 weeks where nobody’s gonna bother us. We’ve also got access to a full machine shop of parts and tools we can work with. I also suspect that it wont be hard to get some weapons for those fighters if we need them as well. Those of you not working on the ship while we’re here can put in shifts on guarding the hanger, keeping tabs on Berk and his boys, and also making sure we’re geared up with whatever we’re gonna need for our next few missions. The way I see it, we’ve got a stealth fighter to get to our client on New Haven. If he is alive, I suspect he’ll pay extra for a ship that can get him off station. If not we keep it for ourselves. Of course it also might be a good idea to go after this as well.” The captain held up a data disk. “It seems that a joint effort from our comms, security, and medical officers has successfully located the research vessel which unleashed the Wild Card virus on the mining hab, and the city. If we can find a cure, or at least a vaccine, it should make our stealth delivery that much safer…and be worth a pretty penny as well.”

The looked about at the thoughtful faces of his crew (+3). “I have one other suggestion, and this one is a crew decision rather than a captain one.” He waited for acknowledgment from everyone before continuing. “We’ve currently got two stealth ships, and a contract to turn in only one. The second ship; do we finish outfitting it as a stealth fighter? Sell the stealth generator tech? Or; and this is my suggestion, do we attempt to remove it from the fighter, and put it onto the Minnow instead. We can still outfit and keep/sell the prowler, however I think the benefit to a cloak capable Minnow goes beyond just our current mission set. Think about it for now. Before rack out give me your answer.”

An Alien Perspective

Admiral Aunrai of the Gray exploratory fleet looked at his command display, then back to his first officer Shalel. “Are these reports correct? Is there no further action we can take to prevent contact?”

“At this time no. It seems that one of the Human deep space pilots survived an intervention event several months ago. Apparently he drifted until his life support was almost out before being recovered…by the very vessel we strove to conceal from them.” Shalel bowed his head before his commanding officer.

“Then contact has already been made; nothing can be accomplished through hindsight, so we must plan forward. What is the likelihood of a negative culture reaction? Will they welcome what is about to find them, or will they fight?” Changing the readout on his display, Aunrai paused in contemplation before speaking again. “If we can encourage the humans to resist, then ta mutual alliance might finally be enough to turn the tide on the main front.”

Shalel added some calculations to the Admiral’s display, “The humans have ever been hesitant towards other races. In this case, it seems unlikely we’ll be successful in convincing them to side with us. They barley tolerate us as trade allies.”

Aunrai raised his hand for silence. “According to this data, we still have some time before the humans become aware of the nature of the strange ship on their long range scans. Lets use this time to apply what influence we can, and ready the fleet.”

This time his first officer looked truly confused. “Fleet Sir? we have six ships. They’re all present and accounted for. The humans are well aware of our strength and location. What tactical difference can we have on the situation?”

Aunrai smiled, his painted teeth gleaming faintly in the dim lighting of the command bridge. “We’re an exploratory fleet. Many of our lightly armed merchant and exploration vessels have better defenses than the humans realize. Also many of them have escort ships, Just one or two so as not to alarm the pink skins. Once you add our little diplomatic command group it adds up to a reasonable force.” He appreciated the stunned look on his second’s face. “Until now it want necessary for you to know. However in light of recent events some things have changed. I would take some time to gather all of our forces to a single staging area. However, I’m inclined to gather them up into smaller separate strike teams. We can gradually pull them together into a more cohesive force, however this will give us the best opportunity to react when the humans make contact this new race.”

A Secret Shared?

Xander finished his meal and returned to the crew quarters of the Minnow. Since coming out of Marwood’s 3 day quarantine, he needed some quiet and privacy; no easy task in a ship with almost double the intended number of crew.

Currently the Captain Korsogan was interviewing the mercenary girl they had rescued from the mining vessle; they were in the captain’s cabin with the door open half way. Donny and Garry were watching a holovid in the common area. Anita was in the engine room with the rat girl, and the Doctor was in his medlab.

Xander knew that Faust was in the crew quarters where he normally worked on his gear; but the man was quiet, and wouldn’t bother him. As the door slid open, Xander heard the man exclaim “I got it!” before a glowing holo of the expanse winked out. Xander turned up the lights until he could see Faust. “I came in here for some quiet, sorry to intrude.” A long moment of silence passed before Xander spoke again. “I don’t want to get into your business here; I didn’t see much of that map you’ve got, but I maybe recognize part of it. The people who live there don’t like strangers, what you’ve got is dangerous.”

Faust seemed to consider him for a long moment, then held up a small but intricately designed data cube and did something which Xander couldn’t see. Moments later, a glowing holo representation of the sector appeared in the air between the two men. Xander didnt understand most of the information presented, but he pointed towards a small highlighted area. Faust did something else, and the view changed and he spoke. “Don’t ask questions. Just tell me what you think you know. Then maybe we’ll talk.”

Out of Sight Out of Mind

The asteroid was large, maybe 5-6km in diameter. It had obviously been tumbling about in the warp for some time, as it had accumulated a large cloud of interstellar debris which trailed along like the wake of a massive water vessel. When the asteroid emerged from the warp a little over a year ago, it was deep within the Unbeholden Reaches; far from any ships or sensor scans.

In July the asteroid drifted, unnoticed and unremarked, without direction until it came upon the system of Neveah. Here it accidentally wandered close enough to be caught by the fringes of the solar system, and dragged inward.

Last week, the asteroid entered the orbit of Neveah’s single inhabited world on an inevitable collision course. If there had been anyone watching, they might have seen a half dozen objects detach from the bulk of the asteroid, and move away under their own power; ignoring the soon to be burning world below.

This morning, before dawn…


…it was fortunate for the inhabitants of Neveah that the majority of the impact fell upon a vast wasteland which was mostly uninhabited. However the force of the meteor strike was enough to shift the planetary orbit by 1.2%, which combined with the climate shift caused by the impact, would nearly double the length and ferocity of winters to come within the next 200 years.

Special Report - Crisis on New Haven


Attention Inequity System residents. This is Ian Galixton coming to you from IGN with a special news report.

As of 1200 yesterday, the orbital city of New Haven closed its docking bays and declared a state of emergency and quarantine. We don’t have many details as of yet, however the Planetary Governor, and the Arbiters have declared a Restricted Zone within 10km of the station. Be Warned, as of the transmission time of this broadcast, all attempts to enter this quarantined area will be met with deadly force!

At this time we have no details of the nature of the quarantine, however our scans of the city are running without pause. Also the Governor has denied rumors that his son may have been present on New Haven. Keep your comms tuned to IGN, and listen for immediate updates and further breaking news about the Crisis of New Haven.

This is Ian Galixtonsigning off; remember to stay classy out there.
“there, are we done? how was that last line, I was kinda going for a call sign or something. What do you mean lame!?, bullshit it wasn’t that awkward. And hey! where’s my recaff?? somebody get me my caff!…ok and somebody look into this virus thing; I heard people’s faces are melting off or something, and I don’t want to be anywhere near this system if any of it got out before they closed the doors…what?…what do you mean we’re still on?”


Transmission ends.

Goin on a Bug Hunt


Lt. Sole of the Soul Release Mercenary group looked across the cargo hold at his gathered men, they were hardened by battle, and tempered by experience; and right now they were assembling their kit and unpacking their power armor with the practiced assurance of field veterans, for that is what they were. They had followed him in disobeying the suicidal orders of a superior officer, and even in “removing” him from his command after he had ordered their families imprisoned for their disobedience. Now they followed him out of loyalty. They followed him for profit, and they followed him because they had nothing else left.

They had left New Haven without a hitch three days ago, and now they orbited the system world of Inequity. Tomorrow they would start their decent to the surface in order to fulfill their contract. “Listen up men,” not a one of the troopers stopped what he was doing, but Sole knew that he had their full attention. “Tomorrow we descend to the surface. The local Magistrate has discovered a nest of Spiderlings located near an settlement. Apparently this nest is a rather large one, so they’ve hired us to take care of it. Seems mighty smart of them to pay us and our power armor rather than go at it with some flamers and a can of bug-off.” Some of the men chucked at this last part, by the Lt. continued as if not hearing. “Now bearing in mind that these are smart civilian folk who’re paying our meal ticket, were gonna go out of our way to make sure none of them get eaten by bugs. Are we clear?!” Sole didn’t need the huh-ra to know that those bugs were in big trouble.

Heads Up

Gnat signed and rubbed her temples trying to ease her headache. Finally she got up from her control station, and exited the cockpit moving towards the rear of the Minnow. The ship was crowded these past few days, what with the Cockroach Crew catching a ride now as well and Gnat wrinkled her nose as she passed DC and Xander relined on a crew couch watching an entertainment flick on the main display.

DC patted the couch at his side, “comon over here cutie; you can watch with us. it’s a horror flick you’ll love it.” DC looked momentary confused as Gnat walked past without a word and entered the crew quarters. He turned to Xander, “is she playing hard to get?”

Xander, having seen the look on Gnat’s face as DC had flirted. “Dude; as your life-sworn bodyguard, I’m telling you Don’t.”

As the door to the crew quarters hissed shut behind her, Gnat signed again. “Do Hulik’s new friend’s give you a head ache too?” asked Hienrick; he was sitting on his upper bunk tinkering with something in his helmet.

“Yes, but that’s why I’m here.” Gnat continued on, ignoring Hienrick’s raised eyebrow. “3 hours ago the ship received a message for you. It was pretty degraded and scrambled, I think it passed through some jamming of some kind. Anyway, sorry for reading your message, what little of it there is left.” Gnat tossed a data slate across the room, easily compensating for the slightly low gravity of the ship. “Here you go; for what it’s worth, your girlfriend sounds like she’s in trouble.”

The Sample

Richard examined the piece of glass under his microscope. Damn it he’d been over it a hundred times already. Most of what had remained on the piece of glass had been just a support solution. Of the actual sample contained within the vial… It was a virus. That was confirmed. But, of the entire sample, only so little had survived. Maybe there would be more on the rag, mixed with contaminants, or Garry’s gloves, maybe the body if it wasn’t incinerated by LEOs. On the glass itself, only a single active viral body survived.

“Bloody hell that’s not much to go on… Can’t even take a sample for myself to study with that…” He muttered as he gazed at the virus. It sat there, doing nothing. Just being… alone.

“Course… that’s barely anything to work with… I wonder how much we’ll get for this tiny thing?” He stopped for a moment and sat up straight.

“Huh. We already have the cash from the suitcase… That’s more then enough… Hells, we essentially failed the mission and destroyed the sample, with barely any left. We were to retrieve the whole vial. Instead we have one single viral body. I’d be surprised if we ever got a job from this guy again.” He looked around the room. All his equipment, well, what he could shove in the tiny room… he’d have to talk to the captain about having a proper sized area to work in, the room currently being wasted by “security” would do wonders for lab size. But that was irrelevant right now. He pulled out a petri-dish, placed it in the Haz-labs decontamination tray, then added a sealed bottle of Agar, and a small sealed sample of prepared bacterial host-cells. He ran the decontamination sequence, and taking control of the inside of the Haz-lab again, began his work saving what remained of the sample. Well, not that there was much to it. A swab of agar spread across the petridish, a dash of bacterial host-cells on top of that, and a careful transmission of the viral sample on last. He checked it under the microscope, the viral body was already burrowing into one of the host cells.

“Excellent. Give it time. A few hours, a day, we should have enough new viral bodies to actually turn in for our reward.” He placed the petri-dish in the tiny incubator, “well maybe its a good thing there’s so little sample. I sure couldn’t fit any more then the one dish in that…” And then meticulously cleaned the haz-labs interior. Not really necessary since there had been so little sample, but better safe then sorry, and when dealing with hazardous bio-materials, procedure had to be king.

Lastly, he opened his personal medical folder and jotted down Do not use X9 Brand stimulants, negative effect on attitude, morals, and decision making. With that, he went to stretch out in the surgery room. It wasn’t that late yet, but better to get some sleep whenever possible. That cyborg would likely be calling in for some patching up in an hour or two.

A late lunch

As Detective Carter sat down at the cramped table of the diner, his stomach gave out and audible growl. “Someone sounds happy to see me.” The speaker was an attractive woman, if you considered leather and guns attractive (which Carter did), however as he had to frequently remind himself, she was one of the more dangerous people he had ever met.

He placed an order on the menu console before speaking “I haven’t eaten anything yet today. This mess in the recycling system has had me busy since I started my shift this morning. That’s actually why I wanted to talk to you.”

“What, I’m hurt, an upstanding lawman such as yourself didn’t want to see me for other reasons?” Her tone and the curl of her eyebrow suggesting that she wasn’t referring to her multiple arrest warrants or the cash bounty on her head.

Carter’s grin didn’t reach his eyes, he had known her for 3 years now on and off, and he usually found her banter refreshing. “Not this time. From what I can tell, early this morning, anywhere between 4-6 separate groups had a shootout over some kind of drug or weapons deal. If it was just a gang war, nobody would care, however this one has some strange bits that have Upper Management concerned, and they’re riding me hard already.” Carter ignored the questioning look on her face and continued. “I’ve already been able to determine that the Top Hat and Broom Boys gangs, were involved, along with some heavily armed cyborg mercenaries, the Cockroach Crew, some corporate goons, an unknown group of mercs, and possibly a Creche assassin team.”

The woman across the table looked at him with undisguised skepticism. “Carter, I know that I told you about them, but they are a single organization within the entire expanse. You cant possibly think that they’re involved in a gang war in New Haven.”

“Normally I’d say you’re right, and this is definitely more along your lines of expertise anyway, but in the investigation of the battle site, we found a vibrosword, and corresponding marks on a catwalk that it was used in the fight. I don’t know why they’re involved, but I need help if I’m gonna look into this without earning an early retirement.

“And you figured that a former assassin turned bounty hunter would be your best bet huh…” The woman known to him only as Spade thought for a moment. “Ok I’m in, if it is the Creche, you’ll need me if you’re going to live through this. Even if they went involved, they likely wont take kindly to an investigation.”

“Thanks Spade, with you watching my back I’m feeling better about my odds already. If you can look into the pro side of things, I’ll see what I can find out about these unknown mercs. They seem to have stayed off camera, and left little evidence. Although one of them has a sense of humor, and sent a maintenance report downplaying the shootout.”

“Whats so unusual about that?”

“Well if any maintenance reports had ever been received from that station it would be less unusual. However add that to the fact that it was properly worded as opposed to the rantings of a bored gang-banger tells me that someone with actual engineering experience was in that control room, and also likely responsible for the Station wide computer hacks that took place. If Upper Management finds the SOB responsible, they’ll likely give him a job or space him.”

Spade laughed softly, “its funny that you know something was wrong because an engineer was in the control room.” As she spoke, the waitress arrived with Carter’s food. Spade noted the hungry look in his, “on that note, its time for me to go. I’ll be in touch if I find anything.”

As she stood-up and left the table Carter spoke around a mouthful of food “be careful Spade.”


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