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Beyond the Rift

Rude awakening
"I paid how much for this service?"

The fat trader Domonique was immersed in it’s antimatter sphere. It’s destination was the star port White Heart in orbit around the planet Flammarion. Flammarion resides in the Spinward Marches, specifically district 268. After refueling at the desert world Enos, the Dominque spun up her drives and slipped into the stream expecting to arrive at Flammarion within the week.

That is when the trouble began. The trouble did not begin in the engine area, nor the cryogenic passenger pods down below. It began on the second floor where the 1st class passengers resided. Obviously they weren’t frozen. They paid more to enjoy the food and entertainment that Borderline Shipping LLC had to offer. That in itself was not much to speak of. The trouble was that some of these passengers slipped of to unobserved areas and fitted into neatly looking jumpsuits with strange markings on them. Each one met at a disclosed location and was promptly handed a slug style weapon. They then headed to separate areas of the ship and proceeded to commandeer the vessel.

Apparently the job did not go well. Shots were fired, blood was shed, airlock occupants purged. One stray bullet made it’s way through thin plating and ruptured some coolant lines. These coolant lines fed the lower berth’s freezer chambers. The leak was rather gradual to the point that before any real alarms were detected, the central processor decided to pre-release the inhabitants of the freezer. This is where our players awoke and started their adventure.

Aiden, Gabriel and Max fell out of their respective freezer tubes. Normally there would be a Purser nearby to hand them a towell and a vomit bucket (They paid extra for that service). They looked at each other in bewilderment. Then they heard the shots fired in the upper deck.

Their military trained instincts kicked in immediately. Gabriel and Max new the routine, they had been in the trenches together many times. The first task was to retrieve their weapons. That was not hard, they new which storage crates were theirs. Each one had marked their crate on the outside just in case they had to ditch on some planet, an old but worthwhile trick. Gabriel looked down the row of crates and went slightly wide eyed when they saw Max pull out a energy weapon. He forgot that Max still had that when they mustered out. The odds just went in their favor.

Jack and Zap were in the upper deck enjoying a plate of government issued cheese when one of the pirates barged in and fired a warning shot to proclaim his seriousness. They both wished they had their stored weapons and realized that at the moment they could do nothing.

Below, Gabriel and Aiden stalked the hallway to the airlock and the bridge. It was dark and Gabriel could not get a clear visual with his handheld sensors. Meanwhile, in the back hangar, Max heard a sliding noise and swung around to see a pirated gliding down the ladder from the upper deck. He fired off a shot from his weapon. Blue intense energy ripped out of the barrel and caught the pirate in the shoulder. The pirate lurched behind a row of crates and fired a hasty shot back, it missed.

Upstairs the two pirates that had Jack and Zap covered looked at each when they heard the blast of gunfire downstairs. One of them motioned to the other to stand guard and he would take a look see below. Zap’s incessant verbal harrassment towards the remaining pirate took it’s affect, after all, that’s one of Zap’s most notable qualities. The pirate swiftly spun on his heels and used the butt of his pistol against Zap’s forehead.

Gabriel looked in slight astonishment as Adrien moved ahead of him down the dark hallway. He did not look like the military type, but non the less he was gutsy. When Aiden approached the corner, things happened too fast. Gabriel saw through his sensor goggles a thermal form leaping out from around the corner and grapple with Aiden. Aiden tried to get the upper hand but failed in dramatic fashion. Gabriel confirmed that Aiden was not military stock.

With Zap’s body slowly sliding down the bulkhead wall, Jack used the distraction to make his move. With a parrying hand and a shuffle, he deftly knocked the pistol out of the hand of the pirate. The gun landed and slid over to Zap. With one hand discovering the growing lump on his forehead and the other picking up the newly aquired pistol, Zack suddenly smiled.

Max new he connected with his opponent, but did not know how badly. He calculated an approximate location behind the crates and launched a grenade. The explosion was deafening, reinforcing the training on why grenades should not be used in airtight quarters.

Gabriel’s ears suddenly pulsed with a sharp pain as the concussion concentrated down the narrow hallway. He did not falter, he had problems of his own. The grappling continued in front of him which left him little opportunity to shoot the pirate without hitting his captive. Aiden tried one last attempt to break free. With his last effort, he twisted his frame while trying to bring his hands under the asailent’s grip. It failed. Aiden, now totally exausted, resigned himself to his doom and relaxed. The pirate used this opportunity to rearrange his grapple and drag his captive backwards towards the bridge entrance. Gabriel saw his opportunity and the risk at the same time.

Max rounded the corner of the crates to see what was left of his opponent. Not much. Clanging was heard at the ladder again. Max ran for cover and positioned himself for an advantaged shot at the base of the ladder.

Zap successfully tied up his opponent and started down the upper deck hallway to see what Jack was up to. Jack had made a way to the ladder and was peering down at the pirate below. At the next moment his eyes saw the pirate hit with a beam of blue light and slump to the floor. He surmised that the other passengers below had thawed out.

Gabriel squeezed the trigger of his pistol. The pirate’s arms went limp around Aidens shoulders as his head lobbed backwards. Aiden rotated and let the dead pirate slide off his back. He shot a glance at Gabriel and with mixed expression thanked him. Aiden picked up the pirates weapon and they both approached the bridge door. Gabriel motioned to Aiden that he was ready to open the iris. With a moitioned count of three, the iris opened to reveal the cockpit and one lonely figure at the helm. He had headphones on and was talking to someone. Both Aiden and Gabriel overheard something about a rendezvous with another ship within the hour. Aiden swiftly slipped up behind the pirate and ended his life with a single shot.

With one pirate tied up, Gabriel set about getting a fix on their location. They were a jump away from Flammarion. Relieved, he started taking assesment of the ships controls. Max and the rest of the group started working the jump drive calculations and prepped to spin up the drives. The amount of time to prep was more than Gabriel wanted. Sensors detected another ship off the port side coming at a high rate of speed. Estimated time of arrival was 10 minutes. Gabriel pushed the manuever thrust to their max. He managed to lengthen the time by doing this.

A critical moment came where there was just once chance to jump without failure before becoming overtaken. With fingers crossed and dexterity, the jump drive hummed into action and the Dominique disappeared into the stream, leaving the other ship behind.

End of Chapter One.

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