Clair Dock, Tjakiri
Personal Log: Well I installed that FSD. Wasn't too bad. There was a small challenge interfacing the thing with the power plant,but some creative engineering solved the problem.. Damn, this ship is ugly. I've taken to calling it "Swamp Donkey." I'm told it will get the job done, but I have serious reservations about its ability to handle combat if the need should arise.
Stryker wiped his hands on an old dirty rag, removing the last remnants of grease The newly installed Frame Shift Drive blinked its ready status. With a flick of the wrist he initiated the start up protocol. The device whirred to life and Stryker smirked as he set off to don his EVA suit.
He returned to the ship, and felt the firm landing strut before making his way up the gangplank to the interior. It felt a bit strange to sit on a pilots seat off set to the left, he was used to a single chair which was centered. That made him think of his recent loss but he buried the emotion deep within his darkening psyche. He had work to do.
"Clair Dock Actual, this is DeLacy one one alpha niner requesting permission to depart."
The response was marred with static. "DeLacy one one alpha niner you are hereby granted permission to depart. Expect traffic along the flight corridor."
The Cobra's engines hummed to life as Stryker gave the ship some thrust. It lifted off the docking pad, rose easily and effortlessly slipped into the black. Stryker plotted his course to his mark: Ye'kuape; Twelve jumps away. Hopefully the intel was still good. The intended ship would be a Type 7.
Jump after jump gave Stryker time to reflect. Am I really ready to do this? Am I ready to live on the other side of...the law.
It was all very surreal. In a detached sort of way, he was excited, but also reserved.
The AI spoke, "Frame Shift Drive in four.....three.....two.....one.....engage." He sat back in the seat thinking about his life up to this point. It wasn't glamorous. It had been hard.... Star after star, jump after jump he made his way to the final location and began to think about and his current mission. The plan was to pull the mark out of super cruise, then disable the ship and transfer the goods. In this instance a small case of Azulian Water Crystals.
He remembered Marra's
words. She frightened him and her cold aloof demeanor added to that fear.
The star suddenly appeared in front of him.
Time to get to work...
He swung the little cobra around taking a wide orbital path. The Intel indicated that one Morris "Hacksaw" Cleaver would be the pilot and that he was scheduled to depart the station from the second moon of the second gas giant in the next 30 minutes or so. He made his approach.
"This is Bobko Hub, be advised that docking is by permission only, commander." A voice came over the coms.
Stryker had no intention of docking. He just needed to sit there until his target slipped through that mail slot.
Boredom. He knew that once things picked up, it would be fast. Not his kind of pace. He was more apt at methodically thinking through a problem than fast action knee jerk reactions that could get one killed. His thoughts were interrupted by the HUD. One new contact.
Stryker looked over. The computer started its scan. Confirmed, it was Hacksaw. He aligned the ship, keeping his distance.
"Frame shift surge detected." Came the cool voice of the computer. Here we go....
He watched the tail end of the type 7. The illuminating glow of his engines increasing gradually just before it vanished, leaving it's tell tale wake. The computer started its calculations "
"Analysis complete," it said, "engage Frame Shift Drive?"
"Yes." As he flipped the ship over to align with the star. The usual countdown, and woosh. His hands a bit shaky on the flight controls. His heart pounding like a deranged drum. He took a deep steadying breath. "Keep calm...."
He pulled the ship up and out of the star's path, and realigned with the seven. His finger hovered over the trigger. He knew that once he engaged the interdiction, there was no going back. With a slow deep breath he squeezed the trigger. Immediately the tether connected with the other ship. His own gave a loud groaning creek and a rattling shudder as the cosmic waltz began. Each ship giving and taking. Each ship spinning, and yawing to make the other submit. Stryker kept an eye on the gauge. It took skill, more than he was use to. His indicator slowly raised as his stomach turned with all the twists and flips. Then suddenly, with a final gut wrenching spin both ships were ripped out of super cruise.
The con kicked over. "Hey! I'm hauling grains and food stuff here! Nothing of value. You should know I'm contacting system authority!" The man’s voice was shaky and panicked. Stryker worked quickly. He flipped a switch and his ship’s communication sent a feed-back signal. Using an old fashioned, yet heavily modified oscilloscope, he monitored the seven's emissions bandwidth, and turning the tuning pots he tuned the frequency emitted by his ship into a reciprocal frequency, matching the amplitude.
No you’re not. I just -jammed- your signal. With raspberries.
"This is an act of aggression!" Hacksaw yelled into his com, unaware that it would never be received, by Stryker, or anyone else for that matter as he flipped his large bird over. The heavy back end swinging around. Stryker matched the movement, flipping his more agile ship and sweeping over the top side. He engaged the beam lasers. The seven's shields didn't last long. "Here! Take it!" Hacksaw yelled again into his dead com. The cargo hatch opened and canister after canister dribbled out of the hold. Stryker ignored them as they bounced off his ship. He continued to align his targeting sights with the other’s power plant. Hacksaw didn't make it easy, but his vessel was more sluggish.
Stryker saw his multicannon's ammunition strike the intended target, the area on the hull flashing like those old ground fireworks. He smiled. The seven's power plant was dwindling until the running lights, the canopy and the thrusters went dead.
Satisfied that the ship was no longer powered, Stryker flipped his vessel over, bringing the nose directly in line with the nose of the other. He started to flash his flood lights. Old Morris code. He doubted the man knew it, and shrugged.
Many Thanks to Mikalus for his edits and suggestions. Check out more of his amazing works here!
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