An Inheritance of Stars

A Gathering of Forces

Captain Ivan Korsogan looked out over his mismatched crew. With the exception of the Doctor who was in the Deacon’s laboratory, and Hienrick who’s membership in the crew had always seemed…convenient; everybody was gathered on the Cobra’s bridge. Ivan doubted that anyone had ever commanded such a crew of misfits. Their ship AI was the ghost of an asteroid miner, His engineers were comprised of two girls, barely out of their teens, and a mutant with rubber skin. His security officer was a con -man, and his security forces included a strudel eating merc, an alien pirate, a feathered mute, and an assortment of gang-bangers. Yet somehow, Ivan felt pride in his crew.

Taking a swig of home-made vodka from his flask, Ivan passed it down. “Ok guys, look sharp. We’re cutting it right on the edge here. If we pull this off, we get a big payoff, and maybe stop some bad people from getting their hands on the Wild Card Virus. If we fuck up, we’ll probably end up dead or worse. I shouldn’t have to remind you, but in two hours the auction takes place in the Deacon’s Catina. Our auction is up first, so with luck I can get the payment from the stealth drive transferred before everything goes to crap.” Looking serious he continued. “The auction for the stash of Creche Tech is second. Depending on what Heinrick does; shit could start to go wrong about here. Hopefully he’s enough of a professional to either win the bid, or to go after the gear later; our best bet is if the auction process for the Virus.” Holding up his hand, Ivan stopped the protests of his crew. “Listen; if we stop the auction before we can get access, then it could disappear. If we can get it during or immediately after the bidding ends, we have a chance of grabbing it and blasting our way out.”

Freddy raised an eyebrow. “When I wanted to rescue Richard last night, you said an assault would be stupid and suicidal; especially with the ship locked in the repair dock. What makes it different now?”

Ivan smiled a horrible smile. “Because now we’ll be able to play to our strength…the ability to capitalize on chaos.”

“Thats a stupid plan Ivan.” Stated Gnat. “There are bad people here Ivan, people that wont likely take loosing the auction well, let alone being robbed as well.”

“Thats right!” Laughed Ivan. “Look at them all. They represent governments, pirates, mercenaries, corporations and killers. And they’ve all agreed to bring an honor guard.”

“Of elite troops.” Snapped DC. “We’re gonna get our asses shot off.”

Ivan raised a finger. “Not so; I mean of course they are elite, but each group has only brought 10. The rest are on their ships, and unable to act lest their commanders be killed.”

Garry stood up. “If I can say something. I think the Captain is right. The threat of the Deacon’s combat droids is supposed to keep everyone on their best behavior. But when shit goes wrong, its gonna be chaos. There will be something like 6 or more sides in the fight. As long as we can act fast, and be the one’s to start it, then we might just pull it off in the confusion. If not we can always blow the place right?”

Hulik looked up. We can blow our ship no problem. It might even be able to take out the hulk as well; although its mass is so big I’d bet on it just taking heavy damage. With more time I might be able to guarantee it, but with two hours to work, I’d say just go nuts with your grenades, and don’t worry about venting yourself by accident. I can always blow our ship if we have to, but I’d rather keep Murphy alive to get us out of here when the time comes."

Ivan nodded. “We’ll split into two groups. The first group goes to the auction. We’ll get the payment for the stealth drive, and then steal or destroy the virus, and fight our way back to the ship. If we can we’ll rescue the Doctor as well, this will likely be our only chance. Team two, you’ll guard the ship; We’re a small enough crew that I suspect the Deacon will try to kill us to keep the vessel as salvage. In fact, I suspect he would have acted by now save for the other bidders being present. Team two, you’ll also be responsible for breaking or blowing the clamps holding us into dry dock. Try not to damage our ship, the past 2 days of work have been good for her. All the same, if we’re locked in dry-dock when it’s time to go; it wont matter if we’ve succeeded or not.” Ivan looked over his crew once more. “Get yourselves ready for a fight. Arm up with whatever weapons and armor you can find on-board. I’m expecting that we’ll all see action soon. Just remember, no matter what happens, its been an honor to work with each and every one of you. Now good luck and good hunting.”

As the crew dispersed to their tasks, Ivan felt just a little bit of optimism. The odds were slim, and his crew didn’t like their options. However this was the kind of shit-storm they excelled at surviving. If he had to go into a situation like this, there went many others he would trust at his back.

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