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Space Pirates Episode 3

This entry is part of a series of entries "The Android Gospels"
The Space Pirates of Angerdean’s ‘Haunted Treasure Trove’
(From the Space Opera serial “Androids’ do indeed Dream about Heaven, Hell, Dragons and other things”)



Prologue

I


Perkis Perrypus, lead engineer of the Dogbanewright Mines, a major Verillium Refinery and Mining station, found amongst one of the asteroid belts owned by the Queststar Consortium, was deeply concerned about the disturbing reports coming from his supervisors, on level 49. They reported that six miners were found dead and mutilated, while twenty others went missing. There were also reports of strange sounds and sightings coming from the mine pits. The miners were in a panic, and they stopped any further incursions into those problem areas. The supervisors requested permission to abandon the level. Perrypus didn’t want a mutiny on his hands so he complied. He ordered them back to ground level for debriefing, what choice, did he have, and besides, good humans and worker androids were hard to find. He ordered a squad of Security Bots and an investigative team made up of 3.6 mid level droids down to level 49. He needed to get to the bottom of this, and fast, if not his bosses would have his head. He hoped it was some mad droid or human manic causing this chaos, that he could handle, an alien presence of unknown origin could cause all types of problems…

For the past eighteen months, Captain Zachariah P. Zestabar’s fleet of Space Raiders was causing havoc amongst the asteroid mines of the Outworlds. The Pirates’ precision raids were strategically brilliant, giving fits to those who had to defend against it and their superior weaponry were no match for the inadequate defense capabilities of the Mining Stations. The space lanes too, were no longer safe, as vital shipments of ore, minerals and other natural resources to the Jeweled Worlds were hijacked as well, leaving those worlds deprived of materiel’s that were vital to their economies and infrastructure. The Governors of the Outworlds pleaded, no demanded, that the Federation deploy a squad of Battlestars, and a few divisions of Ground Troops to protect the mines and space lanes. The situation was dire, the pirates needed to be crushed and order needed to be restored.

The Solaris Federation, the Consortium that governed the Jeweled Worlds and served as Overlords to the Outworlds, could only send token war fleets to guard the space lanes and mines against this piracy. They were needed to police their own worlds. Their worlds were in a state of turmoil. Many of the local governments were rising against the stranglehold that the Solaris Federation had on free trade, commerce and governance. It appeared that a new group of very effective leaders took control of the local governments and were acting in concert with each other. They formed a Political and Military action group of their own which was slowly weakening the iron grip that held the Solaris Federation together. They called themselves the Angerobota Republic, a growing power and threat that caught the federation by surprise. No Battlestars or divisions of ground troops would be sent to the Outlands, one Battle Cruiser and a small fleet of twelve Gunships is all they would receive. Their message was loud and clear, the out-worlds needed to fend for themselves.



II


Falana Q. Festerbuell, Captain Zestabar’s No. 2, was busy overseeing the shipbuilding operations on the twenty-one space stations and ports surrounding Paladin. She was quite content to stay behind running the day to day operations of the space facilities, and the shipping and building complexes on the ground, while her Captain was in space with a fleet of over a hundred ships, acquiring the vital resources that they needed by pirating, smuggling, and any other means that were necessary. She was quite proud that they were nearly completed on the construction of their first five Battlestars. Soon they would have a fleet equal to and even more formidable than that of the fleets that were under the control of the Solaris Federation. In the coming months the Cyhuriod Nation of Angerdean, which now controlled the Outworld Planet of Paladin, will makes it move to take control of the remaining twelve worlds that were outside the direct control of that nefarious Foundation. The Outworlds will soon be theirs.

Zachariah always said she was the brains to his brawn; he did all the heavy lifting while she engineered how it was to be done. For the past seventy five years their partnership worked out just fine, he getting all the glory while she reaped the rewards. They were lovers, friends, and partners, and with him being cyborg and she an enhanced human, Falana hoped it would last another seventy five. She was about to turn in for the night when her communication chip that was embedded deep in her ear canals gave her a chirp. It was her Captain.

Hey Fal, how’s it going. I know it’s past your bedtime but I need to update you on a few things that are happening out here” said the familiar voice that still sent little tickles through her heart. “We have a little situation concerning one of the mining stations. So far six of my scouting ships have disappeared into that rock. All of my surveillance droids have gone dead as well. Something strange is going on down there and it may pose a threat to us. I’m going down there myself to get to the bottom of this little mystery. If you don’t hear from me in twelve hours, send in the battle cruisers to rescue my cyborg ass.”


Falana’s stomach did a flip flop. She knew every little nuance and inflection of his voice, and it told her that he was concerned and a tiny bit afraid. Something bad was happening down there and he was jumping into the frying pan to find out what. She felt the tears welling up in her eyes as she said, “for God’s sake Zesty can’t you send in somebody else. Send in Drakle, he’s as fearless and stupid as you. Why risk your life when you have others to do that for you.” She knew his answer before he even said it.

She felt his weary smile as he said,
“It’s because if I can risk my crews lives, willy-nilly, they also need to know that I will risk mine as well. You know that, besides I feel there is big treasure down there. I can smell and taste it. I’m going dark in a few minutes; don’t forget to send in the cruisers if you don’t hear from me, and if you find me dead than blow this rock to dust. Be strong, my human tea cup, I’ll only allow you to kill this cyborg bastard, the universe loves incorrigible scoundrels. Love you to bits.” With those last words he clicked off. There would be no sleep for her this night…


III

“We’re going to have to go in cold; all communications on that mining site are out and our sensors are not picking up any biological or synthetic matter. Our previous scouting reports reported over nineteen hundred android and human miners and a few hundred clerical and supervisory personal. It seems like they all just vanished. Our last viable readings showed that all their transport and personnel ships are still docked. We’ve lost contact with our scout ships as well as our spy drones. Sir, I recommend that we cut and run. We lack vital pieces of information, and have you not said on many a pirate run, ‘an ill-informed pirate is a dead pirate’. Well I don’t want to be a dead pirate” Toby Botly, Captain Zestabar’s, communications officer looked his caption directly in the eye, saluted and waited for instructions.

Captain Zestabar saluted back and smiled. His communications officer was right, any sane and competent commander would either cut and run or wait for a large contingent of reinforcements as backup or just blow the stinking place up. But he wasn’t a sane and competent commander; he was a thieving and booty loving pirate. His No 2 was the sane and competent one while he was the swashbuckling adventurer and risk taker. If his three hundred years of living taught him anything it was always listen to your gut, and his gut told him that there was treasure down there. Besides he loved a good mystery. He switched on the comm system and addressed his entire crew.

“We’re going in cold. I know it’s foolhardy, bordering on stupidly, but I believe the risk is worth it. I know you’re all thinking what I’ve pounded into your brains for years about ‘an ill informed pirate is a dead pirate’ and for the most part that‘s true, but sometimes you just have to go against the grain, and that time is now. Lock and load all weapons, stay alert and may the gods have mercy on our souls or whatever their calling it these days…”




IV

iT was hungry and very, very, angry. These things were making holes in iTs home. They were stealing ITs food and killing iTs babies. iT allowed them the surface and a few stratums of the deep but they kept digging and digging. iT tried to communicate with them but they were stupid creatures. They ignored iTs pleas and kept on with their invasion. iT tried to stop them by scaring them and eating a few of them (they tasted really bad) and iT thought it worked as they left iTs strata domain. But they sent in an assassination squad. They poked and shot at anything that moved. They destroyed one of iTs nests. iT had no choice but to eat them as well. iT had enough, iT directed iTs children to eradicate all of them, those in the strata as well as all of those on the surface. iTs children ate and killed every last one of them. Many of iTs children got sick and some even died from eating the biologicals’, their meat was tainted, the synthetic and metal ones meat did no harm. In time iTs children would heal and grow new skins and the dead will feed iTs young. Their sacrifice was well worth it to get rid of those parasites. Things were getting back to normal when a small pack of them landed on the surface. iT needed to come up with a better plan, there seemed to be a lot of these bug like creatures in this part of the universe, maybe this time these little bugs will listen, if not iT will just have to kill them and find a new space habitat in a more quieter part of the galaxy…

V

Bradal Jonrod, one of the security chiefs, whispered to his buddy next to him and said, “This place gives me the creeps, and it’s so damn quiet. Something bad happened here. Look at all the blood. It was a massacre, no trace of a living thing, what or who killed all these people,” He felt uneasy, like something was watching them. He shook his head and barked a few orders, “I want every inch of the surface searched. We need to send in a few teams to search each level as well. If anything moves, shoot it and run. Whatever killed these miners is way more powerful and deadly than anything we have.”


Zestabar was flushed with excitement, and a tad alarmed by what he was seeing. Everything here was for the taking, all the mining equipment, tons of processed Verillium, and other processed ores, one hell of a booty. A treasure any pirate would be proud of. But what happened here was one hell of a mystery as well, and a very spooky one at that. No destruction of property just a lot of biological and synthetic blood. No bones, no guts, just blood. He found his scout ships but the pilots were gone. His surveillance bots were wiped clean. All the communication and holographic visual resources and non- sentient quantum computers were still functioning but all the information of the last few days was wiped clean as well. All the sentient mainframes were fried. Only the non- conscious robots were left intact. A pattern was taking shape. He decided to head back to the ship and have a face to face with his No 2 on the Vid link concerning his findings when he heard screaming and weapon fire coming from one of the Vid Links that were tapped into the entire complex. They were under attack.


Jonrod felt the earth underneath him give way. All around him the ground was shimmering and rippling, it reminded him of a desert mirage. He felt extreme heat and in seconds his body was covered in lava or a fire-rock like substance. His screams were deafening as his eyeballs popped out of his sockets and his body melted into fleshy goo. The rest of his squad panicked running in all directions. They shot their weapons randomly shooting anything that moved. Fifteen crewmen suffered the same fate as Jonrod. Five of the crewman were a little luckier and made it to the elevator shaft that would hopefully lead them back topside. Just as it started it ended. The ground solidified and the carnage stopped. But a low hum, a kind of buzzing sound, like what you would hear from a hive of bees, or a flock of humming birds, resonated throughout the entire complex.


The Captain stared in horror as he saw men and women that served under him, melt and burst apart before his eyes. He was sickened by the carnage and felt rage at this unknown enemy. He felt a prickle in his gut. Who or what was directing these attacks? The vidcam that he was watching was labeled level 49. It was the only vidcam running amongst the hundreds in the room. Someone or something wanted him to view the slaughter. Why? Too scare him? Warn him? He remembered reading one of the logs that was left intact about that level. It’s where all the weirdness started. And that damn humming sound, he realized, wasn’t just a hum, but a voice.

He finally realized what was happening. Something down deep in the mines on level 49 was trying to communicate with him. Whatever was down there was one powerful mother fucker. Part of him wanted to gather up his crew, get on the ship and blow this place into the pits of hell. But curiosity and sanity trumped his fear and need for revenge. He vidlinked his science officer, Felonious Feral, a 4.1 super android, “Mr Feral, gather a crew together and meet me at the entrance to the mines, this is a first contact situation. Also that humming is some kind of language, show me what you’re made of and have a rudimentary translation for me as quick as possible.”




VI

iT was quite old, as a matter of fact iT was very, very, old. iT started to remember things that iT had forgotten long, long ago. iT remembered that this cluster of galaxies was infested with parasites such as these. iT, no, She was becoming fully awake. For the past few millennia, She nested outside the bubble universe to recover from Her wounds. When She felt fit enough, She reentered normal space and burrowed through the galaxies until She reached the area She was in now. Once here, She went into a semi-conscious state to complete the healing process. The arrival of these parasitic creatures facilitated Her awakening. Like times of old they dug, killed maimed, and ate bits and pieces of Her body without any regard or concerns of what their actions were doing to the skin and marrow they were ripping apart and exploiting. But these creatures had evolved somewhat, they diversified and had potential to become more aware. She regretted the little show She put on for their leader, but it seemed to work. They were on their way to Her progeny’s nesting grounds. Hopefully they could come to some understanding…

VII

Commander Festerbuell, the Captain’s No 2 arrived in the mining stations orbit with three Battlecruisers and ten class three Starfighters. If she didn’t hear from the Captain in the next hour or so, she was going to send in the Starfighters for a search and destroy mission. The deadline passed well over ten hours ago, but her sensors picked up life signs of over two hundred signatures, about what a crew would hold for a starfighter and transporter ship. There was some type of force shield that covered the asteroid that blocked communication and most aerial surveillance. It was a type of shield she never encountered before. This made her reluctant to send ships down to the surface, they would be flying blind. But she had a pirate’s heart, and if she had to put a few pilots and their crews in harm’s way in order to retrieve her Captain and his crew, as well as finding out what the hell was going on, then so be it. She directed the pilots of five Starfighters to prepare their ships for mission takeoff. She also directed all the commanders of the Battlecruisers to load and lock their weapons on the Asteroid. If she found out that her Captain was dead or compromised in any way, she was going to blow that fucking asteroid to tiny little pieces.


“Stand down Commander!” said an all too familiar voice in her ear. “The situation has been clarified and the threat has been averted. I’m on my way to you now and I’ll explain everything face to face. You wouldn’t believe me if you didn’t look me square in the eyes to see if I was telling the truth or if I was mad as a loon,” said the somewhat bemused and bewildered voice of her Captain…




Epilogue

The Cyhuriod Nation of Angerdean just gained one powerful ally. As long as the Nation agreed to terra-form the asteroid to the Entity’s specifications, as well as agreeing to all of iTs other terms, than the Nation would be supplied with all the Verillium and other rare minerals that it needed. This freed up much of the Fleets time to concentrate less on pirating and more on warfare. Instead of spending resources and time in pirating isolated mining facilities from the out-land governments they could now concentrate on all out conquest of the remaining twelve Outland Nations. A new day was at hand.

As Zestabar and Falana lay exhausted in their bed from their lovemaking session, Falana let out a sigh, she still was coming to grips with the situation. Only Barabbas’s, Juliana, herself and of course Zestabar and the team that encountered the Entity were privy to iTs actual identity. It was mind boggling to say the least. If she hadn’t met and had that mindshare thing with iT, there was no way she would fully believe it. This thing, this shell of a god, came out of creation myths, legends and fairytales. iTs name, no, Her name kept racing through her head. Gaia, Gaia, Gaia, Holy Shit! Mother Nature Herself…





The End



Stay tuned for “Dancing Shadows Hidden in Mist and Storm”
Next entry in series The Pinky Confessions
Previous entry in series Gods and Goddesses'

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