An Inheritance of Stars

The Personal Logs of Tesler

Timothaeus worked slowly with great care. The data core he was trying to unlock was almost as old as the Imperium itself – data retrieval would already be highly difficult, and he didn’t need to damage the frail equipment any further. With a persistent hiss of air jets that was almost distracting, Timothaeus’ servo-skull Horatio worked without pause; adjusting and calibrating the data connections and power regulation dials; if he was to be successful in this task, Timothaeus would need every bit of advantage that he could find. Taking even more care, he carefully threaded the last cable through its guides and into the damaged receptor of the data core. It worked! Timothaeus almost pumped his fist with exultation as his instruments showed that the device was not only accepting power, but bringing to come online. A grinding sound emanating from the core was almost enough to destroy his work before it had truly begun, however a reverent slap delivered promptly to the side of the machine (with care for its age) soon set the device working correctly, and streams of data began flowing across his view screen.

After some working to reduce the age related file corruption,Timothaeus was able to see that the recovered data core was gain almost barren of information, and even then only seemed to contain a number of recorded personal logs, and scrambled data. There was no evidence of ship data or information. “Must be in the ships cogitator core that we recovered” he thought to himself. Accessing the recorded logs, he received his first surprise; the date listed on the first entry seemed to have occurred in the area of 2-5 years after the ship had crashed onto the icy asteroid on which they had found it (based on extrapolations of data from the xenos device which had assisted the locating of the vessel). Justin pulled up the first accessible file…The display briefly went black before returning to a screen which showed a man in the tattered and dirty remnants of an generic engineer’s uniform, the date and time of the recording were obscured by the static of data corruption which edged the screen and occasionally ghosted across the picture. Heart pounding with excitement Timothaeus pressed the play button…

Adeptus mechanicus cogitator interface animation by borninmoradel d4wj95d

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Date/Time: Unknown; Approximation 3 years after system crash.

Location: Unknown

Personal Log Tesler, E.

Source: Video File With Audio

Length: 7 minutes, 12 seconds

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The file opened with a middle aged man, dressed in the dirty uniform of an engineer, sitting at a jury rigged board on the bridge of the Bountiful Harvest. The quality of the recording was surprisingly good considering the amount of time which had passed, and the amount of data corruption within the system. The initial words on the recording were not picked up by the audio; the man on the screen frowned then reached out of the view of the display to adjust something before his voice crackled to life.

“…test, test…Ok, I think I’ve got it now… This is 2nd Engineer Tesler of the Bountiful Harvest. Personal log, date unknown…approximately 2.5 years after the ship crashed into this asteroid field. I’m not sure if any of my other logs have been successfully entered, so I’m beginning this as log 1… “ Tesler took a moment to adjust his positioning, and took a bite from a ration bar which had previously been out of the image. “I’m not entirely sure what happened, however we were in the warp on-route to Footfall with a full load of plunder. Somewhere along the line, something happened, and we sustained massive damage. Unfortunately none of the computer files survived the crash, and due to being knocked unconscious I am unaware of if we were attacked or suffered an accident in route. When I woke up, I was apparently the only remaining crew member…that is to say, I was by myself on this ship; no bodies, no survivors, nobody…” After pausing for a slightly maniac laugh, Tesler continued. “2.5 years, and I haven’t found any trace or clue of the remaining crew except the Captain and his servitors on the bridge. Even with minimal remaining power, there should be enough food, air, and water for me to last another 20-30 years if I don’t lose my mind first.” At this point in the recording, Tesler put his head down onto his arms and began to cry. Almost 6 minutes later he raised his head. “Oh, and it seems I was right, I wasn’t able to complete a proper data recording until I spliced my own console together out of the mess.”

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Date/Time: Unknown; Approximation 8 years after system crash.

Location: Unknown

Personal Log Tesler, E.

Source: Video File With Audio

Length: 5 minutes, 48 seconds

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Tesler appeared on the screen, this time clad in fine robes that likely belonged to the Captain at some point. In his right hand he held a small sphere apparently made of glass, which seemed to move internally. He appeared excited as he spoke.

“I did it! I’ve figured out a way to maintain a power flow to the stasis pods.” His smile quickly faded as he continued. “Its not right whats been don’t to those people. We’ve rescued them, and should have helped them continue their journey; they were sent by the Emperor himself dammit! They don’t deserve to be used for profit, they’re not plunder.” Having worked himself up, Telser’s log continued along this rant for 4 minutes and 17 seconds before he continued.

“Anyway, like I was saying; since the Captain removed so many non-essential systems to make room for loot; the stasis pods chamber would have only maintained its power for another 10 years or so before going off-line. Needless to say, it would also have depleted all of the power available for my own use approximately 2 years before. It came down to a matter of life or death both for me and for the hundred odd souls in stasis.” Holding aloft the sphere victoriously, Telser shouted “well I’ve done it! I’ve figured it out and solved all my power needs.” He leaned towards the video pickup and held the sphere close enough that the monitor could display what was inside; a small image of a galaxy turning about its axis point. “This, this, this Sphere actually contains a micro-galaxy! Cant you believe it? I know it sounds crazy, but its true. I have no idea how it was done or when, but this little baby it real. The best part is its energy signature. I’m almost surprised that I can hold it in my hand without being cooked alive. Anyway, back to it. I’ve managed to build a basic mounting and collection system that should give me virtually UNLIMITED POWER.” Tesler cackled for a minute before looking back at the monitor and continuing. “My system is admittedly a crude affair, but that’s ok considering what I’ve had to work with. But I’ve done it. Now the stasis pods will have enough power to last them until the ship is found or destroyed by time. For me, I’ll have enough power to last until I’m rescued or run out of supplies. Depending on how I ration things, that might be almost another 20 years….by myself….oh my god…” Tesler lurched to his feat, and was noisily sick outside the view frame of the camera. The audio carried the sounds of Tesler leaving the room until only the image of the empty bridge remained on the screen.

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Date/Time: Unknown; Approximation 15 years after system crash.

Location: Unknown

Personal Log Tesler, E.

Source: Video File With Audio

Length: 2 minutes, 08 seconds

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Tesler appeared dirty and tired. He now had a patchy beard and wild hair. His clothing was a thick layering, a mismatch of items, garments, and tools. “Ok, ok, I know its been a long time since I did one of these, but I had figured whats the point? Anyway, I changed my mind. It’s important to tell you what I’m doing…if only for posterity’s sake. The point is that its been…” He looked over at the information on the monitor. “…About 15 years now since I crashed. It seems now that even if the ship did make a distress call, either nobody heard it, or else they couldn’t find us in the asteroid field and gave up. I thought about waiting to die, but then I remembered these recordings. I remembered the psykers in the stasis pods. When I put them under, I connected the neural input ports on the pods to the Power Sphere…the micro-galaxy. I put their minds in there, and if I’m right, maybe I can put myself in there to escape this slowly freezing tomb….I’ll let you know how it goes.”

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Date/Time: Unknown; Approximation 17 years after system crash.

Location: Unknown

Personal Log Tesler, E.

Source: Video Corrupt, Audio Only

Length: 1 minute, 24 seconds

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The screen is dark, punctuated only by the occasional scattering of static fuzz. However Tesler’s voice carries clearly through the recording. "It’s been so long, and I’m so lonely. Its been almost 20 years now I’ve been by myself. So far I’ve had no luck in my so called escape plan but since I’ve got noting else to do, I’ve kept at it anyway. I’ve moved my living space into the stasis chamber, if only for the proximity to other living beings…I’m ashamed to say that I’ve even relived my physical urges while looking at one of the more attractive ones.

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Date/Time: Unknown; Approximation 21 years after system crash.

Location: Unknown

Personal Log Tesler, E.

Source: Video File, Audio Data Corrupt

Length: 17 minutes, 51 seconds

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The log was accompanied only by this hiss of static drowning out any audible information. The video data is viewable, but occasionally washed out with static making lip reading impractical. Tesler apparently was quiet excited about something. He gestured wildly and pointed out peaks and valleys on a hand drawn graph. Other hand drawn pictures of the ships computer core, stasis pods, and the small sphere which Tesler had described in previous logs. This is one of the longer logs with Tesler talking and gesturing rapidly for a lengthy 18 minutes before ending the log and shutting off the recording.

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Date/Time: Unknown; Approximation 23 years after system crash.

Location: Unknown

Personal Log Tesler, E.

Source: Video file with Audio – Final log

Length: 3 minutes 40 seconds

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The view screen showed the empty bridge for almost a minute before Tesler struggled his way into view. His physical form and identity almost completely obscured by the bulky suit he was wearing. It was a layered mass of wires, computer components, and protruding antennas. “Ok, so one way or another this will probably be my last log. I’m down to about one more year of remaining supplies, and dammit I’ve spent most of my life aboard this wreck, I’m done! I’ve gone about as far as I can with my research into gaining access to, and surviving in the Sphere. All of my previous attempts to open a window or to shrink myself have failed, and I’m left with only one option. Its so simple that I cant believe it took me so long to see, but its also so dangerous that one way or the other, I doubt I’ll be coming back. Anyway, I’ve decided that this will be all the record I leave behind. I’ve already destroyed all of my research notes and information. Though the thought of eventual or potential rescue is nice, I don’t think that I want to subject that world with the evils of this one. I will go by myself, and have none follow. Goodbye my viewer….Let this be our final parting. Good luck to you in all your endeavors.” Tesler gave an awkward salute and then reached down and ended the recording.

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Timothaeus watched the screen for a moment after the last file had ended, then turned to another terminal and called up the after action report on the investigation and looting of the Bountiful Harvest. His scribe tines extended from his forearms and began to whir softly as they danced across the data terminal.

Four hours later Captain Jackie Dawm found him still hunched over this terminal. “Captain,” he said. “Did you know that no sign of habitation was found on the Harvest?” Though her face didn’t betray anything, Timothaeus knew from his time with her that the Captain would require further detail on his previous statement. “You see, these logs tell of an Engineer Tesler who apparently lived on board the ship for over 20 years before attempting an escape into that Sphere we found. On a brief side note, that item is an artifact which may bear further investigation. Returning to the topic, I’ve gone over our files extensively. Though there are numerous inconsistencies which could give doubt, it seems that there is no direct evidence of this person at all. Granted a great deal of time has passed, but I had hoped to find something. Even the chamber where we found the device…Scorch marks on the walls, but no sign whatsoever of experiments, or attempts at gaining entry to the artifact.”

The Captain looked at him, and this time did frown. “Gain entry to the sphere. That bauble? It’s not even the size of my palm. What are you on about?”

Timothaeus reached towards the console. “Perhaps if you’ve got a little while, I’ll show you from the beginning.”….The file opened with a middle aged man, dressed in the dirty uniform of an engineer, sitting at a jury rigged board on the bridge of the Bountiful Harvest…

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Baraban Mission Briefing

Watch Captain Brand strode into the briefing room and glanced at the Kill-team already assembled before him. “Alright Marines, your ship is waiting so I’ll keep this brief; the full mission details will be available for your study in transit to Baraban.” As the Captain spoke, a visual representation of the forested world of Baraban appeared in the air between the gathered men. “A few days ago we received a strange report from Baraban. The account describes a Hail of daggers that fell in the middle of a battle. The local Imperial Guard tried to send us a sample of one, but the box arrived empty. Of even more significance however is that when this report was revived, one of our Seers reported that a General Carasas located on that same world would have a significant impact on the outcome of that war. Since then we’ve been trying to see what other data we can correlate with this incident. We have found one pict of…interest.” The Captain turned an ornate cog on the command console, and a still pict replaced the planet on the screen. In it a fierce battle rages between Vespid and Imperial Guard, all darkened by a jagged, ominous shadow. He adjusted another dial causing the view to pan back. Despite the complete view of the landscape, no object existed in the pict which could cause such a shadow. Brand circled the image with his finger. “As you can see, there is clearly something abnormal about it. We also believe that the Tau have deployed command units in response, so keeping a low profile will ease your mission. If there is something dangerous we cant let it fall to the enemy.” Turning the dial once more, Brand nodded his head in response towards the team in front of him. “Here are your objectives. If there are no questions, I will withdraw to allow you to requisition your gear and prepare for your mission.” After a moment of silence, he turned and left the room. Behind him, the data remained on the console.

Baraban
Primary Objective: Investigate the reports of possible Xenos artifacts, and prevent them from falling into the hands of the enemy.
Secondary Objective: Bring back usefull information on the artifacts.
Secondary Objective: Rendezvous with General Carasas and evaluate his potential for influencing the outcome of the war on Baraban.
Tertiary Objective: Assist the war effort until mission extraction.

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The Hunters Miss

The raider vessels burned their engines hot in an attempt to gain weapons range on their target, but were unable to reach it before it jumped to warp. Turning about, as if they were beasts whose play had failed, they moved towards the ship which had been their bait. Energy blasted out from both raiders and smashed into the crippled transport. Even if there had been anyone left alive on-board there would have been nothing they could have done. Within minutes the attacking ships ruptured the power core of the stricken ship, causing an explosion which momentarily rivaled a small sun. With their anger sated, but not their hunger, the two hunters moved off seeking other prey within the Battleground.

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Pirates and xenos and orcs, oh my OR Choices...
“Alright boys, load ’em up!” Captain Jackie shouted. “Those orcs may arrive in force at any time! You, you, and you – take yer squads into the gunship from the Fell Hand, we’re not leaving the greenies anything space-capable!” Adopting a more normal tone, she spoke to Lady Ash. “Lady Ash, I regret the necessity, but I can’t leave your ship here. Whether or not we leave you here is entirely, of course, up to you.”

One elegant eyebrow, the elegance marred by the smear of blood, rose. “Well, I can’t say as I recommend this place as a vacation resort at the moment. Except maybe to the Space Marines – although it’s a little warm.” A cool voice echoed inside Jackie’s head.

Captain Jackie grinned. “Exactly so. I can, of course, leave you here awaiting rescue by your intrepid captain. Should you choose that option, I’d recommend NOT telling him what you saw until AFTER he fetches you. Captain Fell doesn’t strike me as the sentimental sort, although I’m sure he’d order an appropriate memorial out of some of the treasure – assuming he gets it.”

Lady Ash snorted. I doubt it. I suspect we, she waved her hand in the direction of her remaining crew, are merely a passing regret – regretted only because we didn’t succeed." Distaste tinged her mental “voice”.

“In that case, Lady, I offer you the opportunity to get the hell outta here at least. Swear to me that you will no longer aid Captain Fell, that you will not attempt to escape or sabotage our efforts, and that you will reveal nothing of what you have seen to anyone that was not inside the xenos building with us. In return, we will take you with us, and let you go at the nearest convenient major nexus. After, of course, we have dealt with the good Captain and salvaged the Bountiful Harvest.” Captain Jackie smiled.

“Of course.Captain Fell deserves no loyalty from me. However, as you know, betraying one’s employer does look bad on one’s resume. Regardless of petty facts such as prior cause.”

“Naturally. Simply because others behave without honor, does not mean that we must,”said Jackie piously.“I would never ask you to act directly against him, simply do not help him and do not hinder us. I would also appreciate you not attempting to communicate with anyone outside of my ship until such a time as we arrive at said major nexus. It would be taken as a poor return for our assistance and hospitality.”

It would be a poor return indeed. After your fortuitous assistance, I can see no proper action here except to agree to your generous terms. I don’t feel like pioneering a resort here unless something is done about these pesky animals.

“Good enough for now. We can discuss…things…in further detail when we’re on the Blackberry.”

Blackberry? Lady Ash’s thought was tinged with confusion.

“Yeah. The Blackberry. My ship,” Captain Jackie said truculently. “Got a problem with that?”

Not at all. Such an…unusual name.

“Everybody’s a critic. I like it. Let us begone. " Jackie bellowed again “Move it move it move it people, I want to lift in three minutes!” She dashed for the nearest gunship, Lady Ash and her tiny group swept along with the rush of crewmen.

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Next Day

Okay these damn orcs are tough. I really need a better gun, especially a better melee weapon. Being back on the ship I really need a beer or 6. Now that I’m all patched up I’m ready for more orc killing, ha. Now that we have Lady Ash as a captive, she better join our side or I throw her out of airlock. But that’s the captains choice. Because I would have never saved her ass from the orcs otherwise.
Well today will be the day to find out. “Get your weapons ready!”, I tell the soldiers or janitors Hannus refers them as.

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A Strategic Rethink

A low rumble could be felt through the deck plating as the massive ship engaged its powerful engines and began its ponderous acceleration curve away from the station, heading out to a safe distance before jumping into the warp. Once the sickening lurch out of real space had been accomplished, Captain Keel turned towards his passenger; one who rated high enough courtesy to be permitted on the bridge during a warp transition. “My intelligence states that they left the station almost 3 weeks ago. We’ll have to push the ship hard if we’re going to catch up in time.”

His passenger briefly turned her face towards his own before returning her gaze to the main data screen. “Your intelligence is incomplete Captain. Thought they did indeed depart, they were not headed where you think. My own sources tell me that they are on a detour of some sorts…a race to recover the remains of the treasure ship the Bountiful Harvest. If they’re successful you might need to rethink your strategy. However if they fail, you’ll lose your best chance of success. Either way, you shouldn’t need to worry about being late for the rendezvous.”

Keel snorted with amusement. “The Bountiful Harvest? That old ship’s tale has been floating around for centuries, and nobody’s ever found more than a hint of its location, or even proof that it ever existed at all. It seems to me that you need to find some informants who pay less attention to station gossip, and more to the facts.”

A small smile appeared on the woman’s face, a dangerous smile. “That may be Captain, but just remember what we’re trying to accomplish here. It harms nothing to be prepared for all eventualities. Besides, it’s going to make things much more interesting if that ship is rediscovered. Much more interesting indeed.” Noticing the Captain’s questioning glance, she added “Oh that ship is real Captain, you can count on that. The only question is which ship will be victorious.”

Keel didn’t like the knowing look in her eyes, and decided that there were some things he was better off not knowing. “Well if all is as you say, then perhaps I should use our time in the warp to come up with some alternate strategies. After all, it wouldn’t do well to be taken by surprise now would it.”

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And people think trade is boring...

Captain Jackie smiled wolfishly as she stared into the auspex, light glinting off the optical plastic. Surely the Fel Hand would be here soon, if not already waiting. Although, she was reasonably sure her beautiful, beautiful ship was faster than his wallowing tub. She stroked the frame of the auspex. Her ship…about to be tested.

She looked up, and glanced around the bridge. Everyone seemed to be in place, tending to their duties. The usual quiet hum had acquired an edge, as the ship and crew readied for action. This was certainly not in the original plans, but a) plans never survive contact with the enemy, and b) rules – well, Other People’s Rules, were only guidelines anyways. Besides….treasure! Shiny things! Meant for her and her ship, and some ruffian meant to attempt prevent it and scoop it for himself! Not to be borne for an instant. It would be an especially poor reward for the faithfulness of the family retainer Orst Drei, who had patiently guarded the secret of the Bountiful Harvest until he could make his delivery. He deserved to see what he had been keeping safe, and share in the rewards.

Hopefully, with some clever work and a little luck, perhaps there might be TWO ships to plunder the secrets of the Harvest…under her command, of course.

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A Goal in Mind

Patches O’Holahan cautiously moved through the dimly lit corridors of Port Wander’s lower decks. Here, all of the detritus of the upper station collected where it was recycled by the denizens of the decks. He had been interrogated for three days by that bitch and her pet astropath before they had gotten what they wanted, and dumped him naked into this hell hole. Of course his own Captain had left him marooned him without any attempt to recover his missing crewman. That had been almost a month ago. In the early days he had attempted to return to the upper decks. He had quickly learned that without credits or a valid ID (he had been left with neither) he had no way to get past the security patrols and code locked bulkheads. After several unsuccessful l attempts which had left him beaten, bruised, he had temporarily given up hope of getting topside, and possibly acquiring another berth on a ship. Now his focus and energy had focused to survival, that and planning revenge against those who had wronged him.

Moving like a shadow in the dimly flickering light he moved towards his prey. He had only discovered his target recently, and had spent the past days carefully stalking to old man. His victim was another of the inhabitants of the lower decks; he made his meager living selling fortunes and advice for food and protection from some of the larger gangs. Patches knew the man’s talent for fortune telling must be false, or otherwise not affect him; else his prey would have been more alert to what was coming next.

Leaping from the darkness, Patches struck. He used a scavenged piece of conduit piping to deliver a powerful blow to the side of the man’s head. The vibration from the impact cased the weapon to drop from Patches’ hands, but this didn’t ease the ferocity of his attack. Abandoning his weapon, Patches threw himself on top of the prone older man; clutching the head of his victim, he began pounding it against the hard metal deck plating. Each wet thud bringing Patches closer to his true goal – killing the witch who had delighted in the mental anguish he had caused Patches.

When he staggered away exhausted, the old fortune teller’s face was a bloody pulp, and his clothing was soaked in enough blood as to be unrecoverable. Patches didn’t care – he had rid the world of an evil, and he wanted to do it again. Taking up his club, he wearily made his way back to the corner he had taken to calling home. There he would be able to sleep, protected by the other members of his new gang. When he woke up, he would begin hunting his next target.

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my unimpressive results

It was interesting to have done this all by myself no longer under my masters watchful eye. this man, Patches O’Holahan had been successful at resisting my mind probe attempts. but i have all the time in the world to get the information i need from him and i have finally got it. He let the captain know all the important information he had torn from him.

as he returns to his quarters, he remembers the Lady Jaquelyn constant displeasure with his results, but she needs to understand this about ind probing: Is is a matter of time not of pure will. we were taught that the greatest minds will chip and crack as long as you constantly work at it. Lady Jaquelyn suggested using a rusty spoon to extract the information. But my tool was much more painful and like beating a man with phone-books, it leaves no mark.

Maybe i should let her know this and not assume she already knows?

“perhaps another time” he says quietly as he enters his quarters…

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Ambush

There was a brief sickening wrench as the transport ship dropped out of the warp and into real space. The ship itself was an ancient freight hauler which had long ago been converted to a serviceable bulk passenger transport. Despite the near 300 years the ship had been in operation, it had been well cared for, and was as reliable today as the day she had first left the docks. However careful repairs and regular maintenance were no match for the rigors of a long and difficult warp voyage.

Captain Tarfu sighed with relief as the arourglass canopy above the bridge finally showed stars instead of the nauseating colours and the associated madness of the warp. “Engineering, get me a status report,” called the Captain into the ships comms. “Sensors, let me know what’s out there. We may need some time to enact repairs, and I’d rather not have company while we take care of business.” Though the tension headache Tarfu associated with warp travel was fading, he had an unsettled feeling in the pit of his stomach; something telling him that they weren’t out of trouble yet. The voyage through the Maw to Port Wander normally only took about eighteen to twenty days. However this time, the shifting warp currents had fought the ship the entire way. They had already more than doubled the normal time, and had only make it to the halfway mark. Tarfu knew his ship, and knew that it would take several days of repairs and systems checks before the ship could resume her journey. Even if the warp currents cooperated from this point forward; the little ship had already sustained brutal punishment from its journey. Tarfu shuddered inwardly at the thought of what might happen if they resumed their course, and lost their geller field while in transit. There were obviously stories of ships which had lost their fields, but they were few and far between, as the event was usually considered a death sentence for both ship and crew.

The crackle of the ships comms snapped the Captain out of his reverie. He listened intently as his chief of engineering’s voice came onto his personal comm bead and updated him on their status. Paling slightly, he nodded his head. “What’s the eta on the repairs?” Listening for a moment more he nodded again. “Ok, take care of it, and keep me up to date on our progress.” Turning back to the bridge, Tarfu held his finger on the button which controlled the ships internal speaker system, and addressed both the crew and passengers. “This is your Captain speaking. As you may have noticed we’ve recently dropped back into real space. We will be pausing here for the next 72 hours to enact basic repairs and maintenance before resuming out voyage to Port Wander. I understand that this trip has taken longer than normal, and I thank you for your patience. Please have just a little more, as we’ll be back on our way shortly.” Releasing the button, Tarfu turned his attention back to the bridge crew. “Ok folks, engineering says that we came out at just the right time. We’ve still got all of our critical systems, but the geller field and warp drives need to undergo a full workup before we can transfer again. That means we can run if trouble finds us.” Gazing at the crew’s eyes, he could see that they understood the gravity of the situation. “Until we’re back up and running, I want everybody who’s not on repairs or critical duties to be at battle stations. We may not have much in the way of firepower, but let’s make sure we’re ready to use it if we have to.”

As if in response to his words the sensors operator cried out in alarm. “I’ve just picked up an energy discharge to our stern!” Before he could finish his sentence, the ship lurched violently, and damage alarms began screaming. Almost immediately they were struck again, and again. The hammer blows against the ship fell accurately and without mercy. In what seemed like the blink of an eye they tore away engines, weapons, communications, and sensors. Without having even a chance to react the beleaguered transport ship was helpless.

“What do we do Captain?” asked a blood soaked bridge technician. He held one arm awkwardly at his side but showed more confusion than pain.

Tarfu opened the bridge weapons locker and began arming himself. He looked at his crewman, but spoke to the entire bridge. “Now we prepare to receive boarders.”

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