Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Logs of Captain Oni of the Kestrel Ship Eidolon: Day 4

Day 4: Today's jump landed us in an ion storm, which knocked out our engines. We rerouted power, but a jump will still take time.

In the meantime, we used our sublight drives  to head toward a couple of derelict ships nearby to search for salvage. Unfortunately, my assumption that the ships were abandoned proved incorrect: apparently there was a functioning teleporter on one of the ships.

The boarders seemed crazed. No doubt they had been drifting for some time. They appeared in the weapons room, surrounding Ens. Elizabeth. She fought bravely until Lt. Tach and I could arrive, but she was badly hurt; the savages had beaten and stabbed her, but she managed to evade capture. Truly, she is a formidable warrior.

Lt. Tach and I covered her as she escaped to the med bay. I had hoped that the automated surgeons would tend to her wounds fast enough to allow her rejoin the fray, but either I overestimated the robots in the med bay or I underestimated our foes: Lt. Tach and I were still outnumbered two-to-one, and our boarders were relentless. Worse, they had found our weapons locker.

Lt. Tach and I retreated, each of us clutching our most grievous laser wound. We met with Ens. Elizabeth at the med bay. The enemy did not pursue us, no doubt  too focused on trashing our weapons systems in their search for some way to defend themselves.

When the automated surgeons were done with Ens. Elizabeth she started to leave the room, but I ordered her to stay put. She intended to find the blast door controls, but I didn't want my crew to get separated again while enemies were on board.

I came to regret that decision once warning klaxons announced that there were intruders in the engine room. Having someone at the controls of the blast doors would have at least slowed our adversaries down--there were at least three blast doors between the weapons chamber and the engines. It turns out that perhaps I needed to learn to trust Ens. Elizabeth's judgment.

I led my crew on an assault on the engine room, and what I saw convinced me that the boarders must have lost their minds while drifting through this ion storm: if their goal was to take over our ship, surely they would have wanted to keep our engines intact? However, we found them taking things apart. They stopped long enough to fire at us with their new weapons, laughing maniacally. It was unnerving. I ordered a retreat.

This time a couple of them chased us through the ship as we headed once more for the med bay. We made it safely to our destination, and our pursuers realized their mistake: with the automated surgeons crawling over us, tending our wounds, we stood our ground and fought our opponents. We managed to kill one of them before he escaped, the the other left a trail of blood as he returned to his fellows.

There was now three of us and three of them, and we had the benefit of automated surgeons, and thankfully the surgeons did not recognize the intruders as crew members.

As we waited for the tiny robots to finish their work, the lights on the ship switched to a red hue; our air recycling system was offline.

Were our intruders determined to kill themselves along with us?

We were now on a time limit, and all of our aft systems were offline. As we prepared to leave the med bay one final time, the intruders burst into the room all at once. They were enraged and incoherent, seeing their dead ally on the floor.

That same insanity that made them dangerous and frightening before now made them predictable and ineffective. They seemed to forget they were carrying guns as they charged at us, allowing us to shoot them down one by one.

I hurried to the air purification system while Lt. Tach and Ens. Elizabeth cleaned up the med bay and dragged the bodies of our intruders to the air lock. We did our jobs quietly, with only the thunder of the ion storm outside and, eventually, the hum of the air purifiers as they worked overtime to replace our depleted oxygen supply.

When our engines were repaired and our FTL drives charged, I announced to the crew that we would be leaving the "safety" of the nebula. There were no objections.

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