Colonist Diaries for Chapter:
3. Fight For Flight.

Fight For Flight

Posted in 3. Fight For Flight by The Historian

The size of The Mayflower boggles the mind. No ship this large has ever been built before. While there are 175 of us, we’ll get lost in a floating city like this.Alas, the United Nations World Government, the “goonies” as we’ve taken to calling them, had more surprises for us.

I’m too old for war but many of the colonists were armed and willing. They broke into groups to fight the goonie forces and retake The Mayflower. Whilst I’ve recorded another chapter of our struggle, I think the colonists will tell their own stories far better.

All I can think about is leaving Earth and the world government fascism behind. I hope we win…

The Greenhouse

Posted in 3. Fight For Flight by Jack Seaworth

We had just made it to the Mayflower when the alarms went off. Goonie troopers had boarded the Mayflower. Stubborn bastards. It would be so much easier to let us go. But that would be a challenge to their absolute authority. A challenge that could not go unpunished less others took heart from it.

We split into eight groups of five colonists and split for different areas of the ship to repel the assault. I took a quick look at the 3D map of the Greenhouse area. There was a short, 30 meter corridor that opened up to the green house. If they wanted to proceed to the main cabin they would have to traverse that section. We only had handguns, so shots above 50 meters were out. Plus I am sure that they would not make the same mistake that the provincials made and would bring AP k-weapons this time. The only option was to trap them in the corridor.

Dave took 2 other colonists and set up a linear ambush at the near end of the corridor behind some short structural walls. I grabbed a colonist that seem to be able to handle her side of business and set up on the far side. This was a crappy position. If the goonies didn’t enter the corridor, we would be cut off from the rest of the cabin. If they saw us in the green house before the shooting started we were on our own. Not you brightest Jack. Oh well, adapt, improvise and overcome.

My companion seemed to detect the same problems I did and pointed to a second story superstructure on the far side of the hall. A difficult 40 to 50 yard shot to the hall, but the high ground. Hell, I’m too old to be climbing like a monkey so I let her get up there on her own and quickly took cover behind some raised beds off to one side.

We could hear them approaching. I just hoped that these people were seasoned enough to let them enter the corridor before springing the ambush. No such luck. One of the colonists on the end of the corridor opened fire as soon as he saw the six uniformed goonies walk in the green house. I couldn’t fire from here and hope to get the upper hand. Luckily my companion on the upper deck kept her cool and waited. The goonies, initially disoriented by the gunfire tried to take cover behind some planters. They were not as green as the provincials of earlier, but were not exactly colonial marine material.

The leader of the goonies began demanding that we surrender and submit to UNWG arrest. His demand was met with a hail of fire. I could tell by his face that he did not fully understand his precarious position. Been in charge for a long time without any resistance from your sheeple has that effect. He motioned his men to move closer to the corridor and use the walls as cover. Dumb move. They where now completely devoid from cover from my side.

I looked up to my companion and saw her taking aim at the Lieutenant in charge. He gave the order for his men to fire and my companion hit him with 3 rounds from behind. He was dead before he hit the ground. In the confusion, his men got tunnel vision and completely missed that the fire was coming from behind them. Three goonies had fallen by the time that one of them realized that we were behind him. He tried to back into the corridor for protection and walked right into the fire from the far side of the corridor. There were only two goonies left. They were not firing at all and although I could partially see them from my position they were out of range. I looked up and my companion just shrugged her shoulders perplexed at what they were doing.

I decide to take a chance. I yelled out: “You are surrounded and out gunned” “You can not possibly win this” “If you want to survive, drop your guns where you are and lay on your bellies” “There is no need to die”

They seemed to be talking to each other, arguing about what to do next. Then they did the dumbest thing they could have done. They stood up and started to charge the sound of my voice. Damn. I was really hoping they would do the smart thing. I didn’t get a chance to open fire. My companion opened fire from her perch as soon as they started to charge and downed one, while the other fell to fire from the corridor, now at his back. There was no need for them to commit suicide like that. I guess that once you have been programmed for blind obedience, you can’t do anything else.

I called out to Dave and told him to join me in the green house. He was unhurt, but one of the others had taken a shoulder blast. He was still behind cover. I told him to secure the injured man while my companion and I cleared the rest of the approach. We proceeded down the corridor where we ran into one of the colonist groups. They had cleared to that point. I left that group securing the green house and sent Dave to the infirmary with the injuries from both groups. The speakers blared asking for SITREPS. I grabbed my communicator and informed the captain of the injuries and the goonie casualties. By his count that covered every goonie either dead or captured.

We proceeded to the main hall to join the rest of the colonists and prepare for departure. Blood had been spilled, we had to run now, no choice. Small boarding parties had been so far easy to repel. A UNWG war craft would not.

Will They Not Just Give Up!

Posted in 3. Fight For Flight by Andrew Stuart

Riding the lift down to the tunnel levels, I was struggling to get close to Thompson and fit the new gear into the field jacket.

Reaching Him I asked “You have any experience at this kind of stuff”?

“No” He replied “The will and the means Yes but, training and experience NO”

“Honest at least. Here look at the 3D for the cryo banks. There are essentially two entrances; the front and back doors if you will. The back door here is the closest and easiest to defend. If you were to get there first and hole up at this junction; you could hold off all twenty goons much less the five or less you are going see.”

“I think you are right, they sure could not be behind us. Where are you going?”

“Right here”, I said pointing at the front door complex. “It’s also where the power, air and network enter the facility. I think that will be the main push and where we need me and Marina.” “Hold your end is all we can ask! As a matter of fact, let me try something!”

Raising my voice where I could be heard over the low babble; “Anybody here got any military or police background?” Two middle aged persons raised their hands “Cop” said the female, “Grunt” said the male.

“Well Thompson, there’s your two Fire Team Leaders. You get the 1-step training program as a Squad Leader. Take one extra person from my group so you are balanced. After all I have the Blonde Lady.”

I came back to our group and showed them the 3D. “Here’s where we are going. First we have to run to this intersection here. If we can fort up there we can not be flanked. Then we can send the action team up to the actual entrance.” “Any questions?”

“Yeah, who is the action team?” Spoke up one slightly quavering voice. At least one was going to decide today, Sheep or Sheepdog!

I gestured at Mariana and said “Us”.

Sotto Voice from Mariana, “It’s hunting time, Shooter.” “Damn straight, Spotter”

I was surprised that our group kept up so well. Prejudice Andy, anybody who willingly came on this little jaunt was not a couch potato. One guy even asked on the trot, “Why won’t they just let us leave, look how much they are wasting trying to stop us from just leaving?”

“Because, if we make it someone else has hope they can do it too. The first thing a dictatorship has got to overcome is your arms. The second is your hope.”

“Well, then Damn Them Sir!”

“With any kind of luck we will do just that. But, if any of them surrender; The Code of Honor applies. They live!”

“Do they necessarily have to be in 100% condition?”

“Don’t remember that being mentioned!”

We pulled up at the choke point intersection. “Ok, you with the questions. You are now in charge. You hold both legs of a T-intersection, the only way they can flank us is to come up the long leg. Stop them!”

Spotter and I drug the sub-voc microphones up on our necks and tightened them up. “Test up” from somewhere down in her throat. “5 by” from down in mine.

We moved towards the entrance complex only to freeze as the sound of gunfire erupted from at least three places in the corridors. “Well, sneaky is out Spotter.”

“Never thought we would get here fast enough anyway Shooter”

As we moved down our respective sides of the corridor, we heard gunfire behind us; a short vicious explosion of sound from multiple hand guns. “Sounds like the back door stays closed Shooter.” “Yeah, I just hope it did not cost them too much!”

Suddenly in my ear, “Blacksuits four in all, two on either side.”

I merely looked over and pantomimed pulled down the fast reactions lenses as I grated in my throat “Line Marines and a Pursuit Cruiser only carries four.” I motioned with my left hand with the Flashbang, and watched as her hand and arm pumped in time with mine. One, two, three, four and release.

Two seconds later the world went white. Had it not been for the fast reacts we would have been as blind as our targets.

Lunging around the corner I picked up the two on my side and gave them two fast head shots. Swing towards the other side I acquired the standing one just in time to see him disappear in a hammer I could never have heard.

Waiting the 90 seconds it took for our earpieces to relax, we began to hear the 1MC hollering for SITREPS. I opened up my wristcomp and reported. “Stuart here Capt. Cryo secured.” Staring at the faces of Thompson and question man coming out of the cryo section and our back track.

“Now, can we finally get out of this system.”

Looking at Thompson, “How many did you get?”

“Two, both in mottled suits!”

“Question Guy, how many?”

“One, mottled suit”

“Damn that makes seven here and all their Fleets.” Into the wristcomp, “Capt., Stuart here, any chance we can go for one of the docked Cruisers. They gotta be stocked for outer patrol, cause they sure did not beat us here from Earth.” “To All, if it’s a go any takers?”

To Be Continued

Marty & Bartlett Combined Post

Posted in 3. Fight For Flight by William Bartlett


     We had been under Zero G since we locked to the axial docking tube on the Mayflower. I was feeling just a bit queasy when the announcement came informing us that UNWG forces were already on board.

     I had no idea at the time why I was chosen to lead a squad to secure the Stores section of the Mayflower. But I was sure glad for the talk all of us colonists had been engaged in over the last couple of days concerning what might await us when we did reach the ship. I at least was beginning to get a feel for the quality of the group as a whole. Though I didn’t think my actions in the Lancer defense marked me as a leader, I was mentally prepared for resistance when we found that the Goonies had gotten there first..

     I was happy enough, happiness being very relative, that Marty was leading the other squad. I need to back up a bit. If this diary entry is disoriented so was I.

     Marty wasn’t so much selected, but demanded to go onto the Mayflower. My group of five all had weapons of one kind or another, four hand guns and a .22 cal. single shot rifle. Marty said she was going armed or not and got her way.


     I am not usually the leader type. Either I go it alone or I go along until I have a good reason not to. However, I seemed to have had more experience in dealing with the ugly side than many of the folks, who had crowded aboard the Mayflower, so I spoke up at the gathering just after the alarm. Somehow all the anger at years of oppression at the hands and weapons of the so-called world government just boiled to the front. “I don’t care what it takes,” I heard myself snarl, “I will not give up this easily after all I have already given up to get here. If we can’t outfight them, we’ll outsmart ‘em. Anybody who isn’t afraid to die, just follow me.”


     We were the last two groups to exit the Lancer as we had the shortest distance to cover. We took a sled like vehicle, (just set it moving outwards and centrifugal force does the rest), from the ship’s dock and felt our weight returning as we got further from the axis of rotation. After agreeing on a rendezvous spot we split up and each led our squads towards the Goonie forces in the Storage Area. I had lots of worries and hers must have been worse though you wouldn’t have known it from watching her as we set out ahead.


     I found myself at the head of a small group as we jogged toward the storage area. Beneath the bravado, I was damned scared. It was bad enough leaving home for the unknown, but I had never imagined actual combat, especially combat armed with nothing more than our wits, what we could scavenge in this strange place, and what Uncle Alfa had built into my PDA. Still, these creeps were sent by the folks who killed my brother and broke my father. It would feel good to fight back for once.

     I sensed someone trotting just a little behind me, almost too close on my left, as if they were trying to stay close enough to attack me. Whoever it was matched me stride for stride, so our boots thumped the strange rock and metal of the passage in echoing unison.

     I stole a glance as we ran along a fairly smooth section of the rocky tunnels. Beside me was the most eerily handsome child I had ever seen. Perhaps sixteen, maybe younger, the kid had golden skin like a beachcomber in full summer, a halo of feathery ringlets of just a shade darker bronze, with gleaming sun streaks, and almost unnatural ice blue eyes. He was slender and long legged, almost pretty except for an innate toughness that just radiated from his lean form. He grinned cheekily and winked when he caught me looking at him. Then he ratcheted up the pace a notch and sailed on by me with ease.

     “Hold up there,” I called to him. “You have any idea where you’re going? If not, wait up while I check the comp.”

     With an impudent grin he replied. “Me granddad ‘s a miner. Born here I was. Tunnels ‘re like me backyard.” And he ran on through the semi darkness. I followed as best I could with shadowy strangers all around me.


     The Goonies were heavily armed and prepared for the assault. We had an advantage in having downloaded diagrams of all the tunnel excavations made after the Mayflower had stopped being used as a mining asteroid. We also had tracking data on Goonie locations relayed by the Mayflowers comp system. But the Goonies must have had some of that information also. They had sent their forces to four critical areas of the ship, that couldn‘t be coincidental.

     It took about 20 minutes from the time we left the Lancer till we got to the rendezvous just outside of the Stores section. I sent a guard out ahead and waited for Marty‘s group to catch up. She was only a couple of minutes behind.


     Just ahead of our main group was a woman I had noticed in the lounge, back when I was having that delicious beer and thinking we were safe at last. Warm rose patches on each strong, wide cheekbone highlighted her smooth mahogany face. Dark eyes shrouded emotions behind thick lashed, slanted lids. Delicate sable hair floated over her shoulders as she ran effortlessly through the dimness. I was startled to see such beauty in such a sinister place.

     She turned to cock a questioning eyebrow in my direction when she felt my regard. It was then I saw the twisted, red disfigurement that scarred her otherwise perfect countenance from her eyebrow, and across the edge of her sculptured nose and the hollow plane of her cheek to end at the top of her gently curved lip. It gave her the appearance of wearing a slight sneer as if permanently bored with the world. I almost tripped on the uneven floor of the tunnel as I realized who she was. Sinopa, the fox, in her native Blackfoot tongue. It had been rumored for years that she led a really successful resistance group based in northern Manitoba, but nothing had ever been proved. Hers was a face that had graced every tabloid on the planet. What the heck was she doing here?


     Ships stores consisted of multiple tunnels, each about 25 feet in diameter. Some had been bored by mining machinery following mineral veins, others added afterwards in setting up the asteroid as a Colony Ship. The larger mining passages made many gradual twists and turns. After the mining ended Hamilton had smaller cross connectors added and blasts set off between a few of the adjacent tunnels making some larger storage areas.

     As we entered into the Stores Section Marty directed us by keeping track of the Goonies location being relayed to her PDA. We passed by rack after rack of container storage, many empty, some stocked with provisions of all types. Most had identifying labels on the outsides. There were also rooms with larger machinery and crates of all sizes.


     I almost ran up the back of the blond youth as he stopped dead in one of the wider spots in the tunnel.

   “Lookie what we got here.” He grinned again, and gestured. All around us on racks that reached from rocky floor to darkened ceiling were supplies of all sorts. This then was the storage area we had been sent to save. Most of the perishable stuff was encased in special plastic vacuum containers about 5 gallons in size with a valve for removing the air. There was everything from a ridiculous number of barrels of pickles, which boded ill for our diet should we ever reach our destination, to sterile water and bread flour. In another tunnel we saw supplies of HI Pressure Oxygen and coils of assorted hose and tubing that must have served the miners when the place was being excavated.


     When we were several hundred yards and a couple of cross corridors away from the UN squad we halted to figure out what to do next.

     Joe Fortson, one of the colonists in my squad suggested we set up an ambush and use Marty’s people to lure the UNWG forces into the target zone. Hand guns against armor, massively superior fire power, and who knows what else. Didn’t seem like a winning combination.

     “I wish we had some explosives to set at the ambush site“ I said, “But with their sensors they’d probably detect them anyway and stay clear. It looks iffy but I don’t see anything we can do but try to set it up in a cross tunnel and hope it works.”

     Then Marty looked up from her PDA and said, “Bill, I have an Idea”…….


     Bill suggested that the cross tunnel would be the right spot for an ambush if we could figure out how to make one work. Something about all that oxygen and flour tickled the back of my mind. I remembered dad telling how his cousin was killed back in Wichita when six million bushels of grain burned after an explosion of nothing more alarming than flour dust. That disastrous blast had taken out half a mile of grain elevators in one gigantic bang.

     We huddled in frantic parlay and then Bill and his band went off to try and delay the Goonies till we were ready for them. Soon a rough plan of sorts emerged. We would make a big boom with the flour and oxygen and blow the whole bunch of them to Hell. We had everything we needed except an ignition device. I slid apart the layers of my specially built PDA and lifted out the tiny firestarter my uncle had invented. All that was needed to produce a very satisfying spark was a turn of a tiny ratchet wheel.


     Leaving one armed guard with Marty; Joe, myself, and two others from my squad crept towards the Goonies position. We had to let them spot us from far enough away that we had a chance to get under cover before being shot at. We also needed to keep up the game for at least 10 minutes in order to give Marty time for her preparations. Without the maps of the tunnel system it would have been hopeless.

     We took turns, each of us being the target and then laying down covering fire, dodging from tunnel to tunnel but keeping away from Marty and her people. If the Goonies had just made a full scale charge their body armor and superior weapons would have easily carried the day. As it was the were just too cautious going slowly and sending mobile sensors on little wheeled vehicles before them. A little wheeled sensor vehicle equaled a target that couldn‘t shoot back and we got  two of them which probably made the Goonies think we were better armed than we were.


     The boy, who called himself Kaye, was a whiz at connecting the oxygen piping to the valves on the flour containers. He used three of them spaced about 10 yards apart connecting each to a separate oxygen cylinder. It kinda reminded me of Kip recharging Pee Wee’s tank in Heinlein’s “Have Spacesuit, Will Travel“. Then he rigged them to be triggered by a single pressure handle hidden in a dark alcove concealed by a chunk of rock that protruded from the wall at the end of the cross tunnel. He set the firestarter in the center of the whole affair and said he would hide in the alcove and trigger the blast at my command. Now we just needed Bill’s group to lead them in there and hold them still for a moment.

     The woman I suspected was Sinopa said quietly, “When they come down this corridor, I will stand just there,” she pointed to a spot between the sets of flour containers we had rigged. “They will stop to look at me, as men tend to; I will leap over there,” she pointed again to another side passage with a sealable pressure door, “and duck inside. On your command, Kaye will push the trigger. They should be right among the containers.”


     “I hope she got it done in time.” I thought, As we turned and made a mad dash down the agreed upon ambush corridor. I saw stuff against the walls in several places so just maybe….. We hit the far end of the tunnel and ducked around the corner just as the Goonies reached the entrance. Sprawling on the floor I saw Marty looking intently at her comp screen. She glanced my way and gave a thumbs up.

     A second later Marty beckoned me over to watch. She had a remote camera hooked into her PDA so I had a front row seat for the finale.

     The Goonie squad, all five of them, were a quarter of the way down the 200 yard tunnel. Their sensor platform was out in front. When it reached a point a little over half way down the tunnel it had pointed at a side entrance then continued towards us. I saw a female figure step out of the side passage, briefly freezing the Goonie force, who instead of firing ran towards her. She popped off to the side again and out of view.

      Just as the UNWG guys reach the place where she had been standing Marty yelled “NOW!” into the PDA.

     The scene was obscured by a fine white mist for just a moment and then an incredibly large explosive noise was followed by an equally impressive fireball rounding our end of the passage. Luckily for those of us standing or crouching outside of the tunnel mouth there was nothing worse than ringing ears and singed hair.

     I signaled to Joe and we went back in to see the results. Marty was right behind. As Joe and I took off towards the downed Goonies Marty ducked into a small alcove near our end. I found out later she was looking after Kaye.

     A quick inspection showed us that all the UNWG forces were thoroughly dead. Sinopa, the gal who had been the distraction came out from a pressure door sealed room none the worse for wear. We gathered up all Goonie weapons and got back to Marty. She was kneeling over an unconscious kid who I gathered was a real hero of the affair.

     “Marty”, I said, seeing her concern, “One of the others can look after the boy. How about letting Captain Monroe know how we stand and see if there are any other groups that need help.”


     I was amazed at how well the coordinated effort between Bill’s group and the people with me went. Sinopa, if indeed was she, was the perfect lure, looking all mysterious and unlikely like a beautiful ghost in the tunnel. I am going to see that Kaye is patched up as best as possible and keep him with me if I can. I am wondering if there is anything he can’t do. I think that after we radio the captain and apprise him of the situation we might take a look at what stores are left down here. An inventory might prove helpful.

After the Battle:

     After the battle for the Mayflower was over Marty and I compared notes for an after action report. We both entered it verbatim into our personal logs. So except for those things that can’t be set into writing that’s exactly how it happened.

Will They Not Just Give Up! Part II

Posted in 3. Fight For Flight by Andrew Stuart

Into the wristcomp, “Capt., Stuart here, any chance we can go for one of the docked Cruisers. They gotta be stocked for outer patrol, cause they sure did not beat us here from Earth.” “To All, if it’s a go any takers?”

The first reply was “what are you talking about”. Cursing myself for the fact that I sent the first question only to the Capt., I resent “to all, these ships are stocked for outer system patrol. Let’s take one and it’s supplies”.

From the Capt. “Could make the difference!”

Garbled reply from someone “I’m in”.

“Tim, you are in the network, get us a position on their bording points”.

From Tim “Working on it”.

“Well, Shooter, maybe hunting season ain’t over!”

“With any kind of luck Spotter!”

Then clearly from Bartlett, “I am in, get us a location!”

“Tim is working on it, stand by!”

“Spotter, strip off those two usable Black Suits.  Maybe sneaky ain’t out yet!”

“Bet we going back in the jungle, Shooter!”

“Like I said, with any kind of luck!”

To Be Continued

Offload Now!

Posted in 3. Fight For Flight by Hanna Parker

     Oh no! They were waiting for us. The UNWG forces. Now what to do? Their presence made us even more determined to risk everything for our freedom. Capt Monroe sent four teams out to defend the Mayflower. You could tell immediately who would commit to “fight or flight”. The majority rallied, but some were squeamish. There was mayhem onboard. Jules Jr raced to Captain Monroe, “What if those 2 cruisers attack the Lancer? What’s the plan?”

     Captain Monroe already had the mike in his hand, and signaled for JJ to remain. Then came the announcement: “Okay everybody, stay calm. We have to evacuate the Lancer and remove all its supplies and food. Grab your bags. Hurry. Dump everything inside the Mayflower. Hurry! We could be attacked before we can lock her into the docking bay.”

     Anxious but acting quickly, I said a quick prayer as we transferred our baggage into the Mayflower. Glenda and Steven organized other teams, and concentrated on emptying the Lancer. She sent Linda and the girls to the dispensary via a tunnel transporter. Jules and I helped offload the remaining baggage, for the defense teams and several colonists who never made it on board. Then we formed bucket brigades and retrieved anything not nailed down… from berths, bar, control room, etc.

     As miscellaneous items were hastily passed forward from the berths, a tote bag burst open. An unusual array spilled out: various sized clear bags labeled spices, sugar, brewer’s yeast, gemstones, and a strange-looking 12” oval sealed container. I quickly scooped them into a laundry bag: if someone thought these items were important enough to bring along, I’d better salvage them.

     JJ hurriedly gave each section a final glance. He grabbed the last bottles from the bar (can’t forget the gin and McPherson Scotch!) and reported to the captain “All clear.” Then we ran into the Mayflower.

     Captain Monroe and his crew stayed aboard in order to defend the Lancer if she were attacked, and be ready to dock her inside the Mayflower if we were successful in our defense.

     It was eerie. The tunnel’s uneven rocky sides had amber lighting that intensified as we approached. I never liked motion-sensor illumination because I never trust the shadows. Just then we heard that the Mayflower was secured though there was still a Goonie ship parked somewhere out on the surface. Andy Stuart put out a call for help in capturing that ship and Junior took off. Maybe he could reach Andy in time to assist.

     Jules and I got on a transporter and swooshed down a side tunnel.  We thanked God for our survival thus far, and asked Him to watch over Andy and the others trying to capture the Goonie cruiser.

Robot Wars!

Posted in 3. Fight For Flight by Tim Watson

The bastards were waiting for us.

Like trap door spiders waiting for a snack. I hate spiders.

We had to dock and unload fast, and try to figure out how to fight them.

Turns out there were only about two dozen or so troops, and we had more than enough folks to handle them.

I hopped onto a security terminal at the boarding gate, and started trying to find out what was up. Luckily it was a Western European made system, so figuring it out wasn’t too bad. Plus it was for Security, so it was made for idiots, sorta like the ones for fast food franchises. Just punch the pretty pictures, reading was only for bosses. The ones from Eastern Europe and mainland Asia are a pain. Those folks think weird. I entered “English” into the config options and started poking around. Literally.

Andy asked if I had any clue where the goonies were coming from, so I checked it out. The security settings weren’t very secure. No passwords or anything, all open. But that was to my advantage. I found the security tracker and looked for groups of people.

They were spread out into four groups right where Captain Monroe had reported. But there was only one ship other than the Lancer. It was at the docking port at the opposite pole, so not right near us which was a lucky break for the moment. It would give us time to plan, but also for them to get away if anyone was left on board.

I passed that on and started to work on the robot problem.

First, the security cameras showed me there were two of them, they were small, looked like mining robots, not security bots, so the goonies probably just decided to use them to beef up their forces. They looked local, and old, not shiny, new and UNWG funded. I remembered reading that these type were used to prospect small caverns and to build small ‘rooms’ for living quarters, and generally grind and pulverize rock in places that the larger main mining machines were too big for, or too expensive to use until it was known to be worthwhile.

They were also remote controlled. That much was clear. They were also tough enough to withstand being buried in rocks, rubble, dust. Mining is a tough environment, bullets probably would not work well against them. But they had operators and communications, and those could be vulnerable. Since the goonies were on the move, they were not controlling them from the regular control room, and a mobile team would not be doing it, you need a console or helmet, and the controls in your hands. That makes walking hard, assaulting an asteroid impossible, which left only the ship. On the other end of the stinking asteroid. Nuts.

OK, if you can not stop one end, stop the other. I would need a team, but I needed some information. I called the control room and they verified that yes, they used RF repeaters for communications throughout the asteroid, that they looked like 6 inch wide poker chips with a dozen antennas sticking out all around them. They worked off the power grid, but had a backup battery good for up to 24 hours in case of failure. I looked around and saw one by hatch and went over to examine it.

It was snapped into a mounting bracket mounted to the ceiling and popped right off, with an on/off switch on the bracket side. It was made to be easily replaced. So all we had to do was pop them off, and turn them off.

Believe it or not, this took all of maybe 5 minutes. Felt like 5 hours.

So I shouted out: “I need volunteers with more brains than muscles! If you know electronics, wiring, networks or even better, robots or anything like that, so much the better”.

Nine folks came over, one network guy named Subbu, two electricians, (a married couple of all things, isn’t spending all day and night with your spouse overkill?), and the rest geeks like me. Seven men, three woman. So we had ten. But no robot techs. That would have to do.

I explained what I wanted to do, the network guy confirmed the repeaters were low power and generally had a 150 foot range, but in rock it would be line of sight as well, since RF does not go through rock, as a rule. So they would be positioned at intersections, mostly on the ceiling, since wall mounts required two to cover blind spots.

So the plan was made. I marked out the corridors parallel to the one the bots were using to head towards the computer room, as well as the computer room itself.

I set them up in teams and explained that we would create an RF zone of darkness around them.

I sent two three “man” teams to each parallel corridor, two should run as fast as they could down the parallel corridors. One person on each team in the parallel corridors should stop halfway down and start disabling repeaters, working towards the computer room, the other should go all the way to the end and disable them as they worked their way back, away from the computer room, the third would start at the rear, near where we were, and work toward the other two as they worked back. Once they were done, we should meet up in one of the intersections we designated, with a crossing corridor that ran between all three of the ones we were clearing

The teams in the bot corridor were to start, one at the computer room, and one behind the bots, and disable the repeaters as they worked their way towards the bots. They were two man teams. One person to be a lookout, to keep an eye and ear open for the bots. They should try to avoid being seen if possible, since we did not want to tip our hand, plus we were not absolutely sure the bots had nothing that could be used as a weapon.

The plan was to have the bots walk into RF darkness as they got closer to the computers, and eventually cut off all signals as we shut down the repeaters. Eventually, they should just shut down as they lost signal.

Once everyone understood the plan, we took off, I was one of the two disabling the bots corridor from the computer room back, that way I could check out the room briefly.

Just a locked door, not airtight since computers did not need air, and just strong enough to keep a human from breaking in, but not a mining bot. It would probably take them all of five minutes to get in.

We got busy. Since my partner was short, I did the disabling since I was tall enough to reach the low ceiling, she acted as lookout. We got about four repeaters in, when she heard them. They were far from quiet, so we kept going and got three more repeaters before we got too close. So we had blacked out the RF signal for about 500 feet from the computer room, since the repeaters were not that far apart.

We backtracked and ducked into the next side corridor and waited. The bots came grinding down the corridor. They certainly were not built for speed. They were traveling at about half walking speed. They each had two sets of tracks under a platform, like little bulldozers, and a low, triangular, “turret”, flat on the front and rear, with ugly looking apparatus on an armature sticking out of one face of the turret, but nothing that looked like it could be a projectile weapon. The turret looked like it could slide back and forth from the front to the back of the track platform, as well as turn. So it might be able to flail around if we approached it. There was a video camera on the front of each, but whoever was operating them didn’t bother to check the side corridors. Probably someone not used to this dragged into doing it by his superiors. I sent my partner back up a side corridor to get the others, and kept watching the bots. I saw service panels on the back of the turrets, so there was probably a way to disable them inside. If they got too close to the computer room, we could get up behind them, open the access doors and rip out whatever we could, hoping whoever was operating them could not react in time. But I had faith in the plan, they should stop any minute now.

And they did. Just before the next intersection they stopped. But why. That was the question. Was the RF cut off, or were they doing something else. I waited for the others.

They showed up about two minutes later and confirmed that they disabled all the repeaters they could find.

OK, so now the test. Subbu, (the network tech), and I went up quietly to the back of the bots. We examined the first one. The panel on the back was marked “Service”, and there was also an on/off toggle under a protective metal cover. Machines, gotta love ‘em. They all have off switches.

We flipped the switch on the first one we got to and then went for the next one, keeping an eye on the first one, but it did not move. The second one turned off, we opened the panels and checked it out. There was a main terminal for recharging, as well as a menu screen allowing access to various systems, like the RF transmitter. We shut everything off on each, as well as a complete shutdown, since the off switch seemed not to power the computer. Since the things heavy, probably close to half a ton even if they were fairly small, that was enough mass to make them difficult to move, but we managed to secure them by hanging them upside down from the ceiling with loops of cable we found nearby, by looping the cable around the platform where the treads and the armature on the turrets could not get to it. Even if they reactivated somehow, they would be unusable. We did not want to destroy them, they could be useful.

I did not want to reactivate any repeaters until we knew what was going on. I sent two of the folks out to report what had happened and later found out everyone was freaking out that so much of the RF network had gone black.

But we did it. We restored the RF network later after the station was secure, but last I heard, the bots were still hanging there.

Assault on Engineering

Posted in 3. Fight For Flight by Jack the Blade

When I learned that the UNWG had secured the Mayflower, I rallied as many of my crew as I could, and got even more volunteers from the civilians onboard. It looked pretty odd, seeing my crew with their burst-fire, SpecOps Battle Rifles alongside hunters and collectors with bolt-action and semi-auto hunting rifles.

We left the Lancer and boarded the Mayflower near the Engineering area. We made our way through the hollowed out caverns and reached the exhaust trenches near the area. Rallying near the front, we could see the UNWG infantry trying to dig in. I had our force split across the two bridges and charge their positions. Standard UNWG rifles are pretty poor weapons, their high recoil and poor accuracy are only offset by their cost in mass deployments. The other group broke through the enemy position first, and quickly flanked the group holding our bridge. Assuming that was it, from the early reports, the fool civilians started to celebrate. A quick recrimation and they were back on board, however.

We started towards the reactor, and it was obvious that they were defending the reactors themselves. This group was bigger than the force that held the bridges, but not by much. They opened up as soon as they saw us, but we met them head-on. A few civilians and one of my crew took some light hits, but we managed to eliminate the force holding the reactors. Emptying the corpses of anything of value, we found two UNWG officers, Black Lines. I had my crew strip them of their uniforms, any damage could be patched, and we might need them.

I reported into the captain that the reactors were secure. The only response I got was an open broadcast: ““Capt., Stuart here, any chance we can go for one of the docked Cruisers. They gotta be stocked for outer patrol, cause they sure did not beat us here from Earth. To All, if it’s a go any takers?”

My only response was “I’m in”. I looked at my militia, “If you’re wounded, get patched up and sit this one out. Otherwise, let’s go raiding!”

Bringing Home The Bacon

Posted in 3. Fight For Flight by Andrew Stuart

Joint Post by The Stuarts, William Bartlett, Hanna Parker and Jack the Blade.


When the message came in from Tim, it was disappointing really wanted a shot at two ships! But, one was going to have to do!

Flipped the Wrist Comp open, “Bartlett, one ship at the opposite spin axis from the Lancer. We will be moving that way with Mariana and one other as soon as we strip the two usable Fleet Marine suits we have!”

Turning to the tunnel, I saw the Mariana, Question Guy and Thompson had just finished stripping the suits off the two head shots. The two Mariana had hammered mostly did not have a back. “Thompson, think you can hold the fort here, we will leave you all of the energy weapons save two? Betcha the ex-grunt can show you how to use them!”

The reply was a couple of vicious looking grins and a reply of “No sweat,they can not have much left!”

“Question Guy, and by the way what is your name?”

“Dave, Dave Webber.”

“Well Dave, you ready to run with the Big Dogs?”


“Well then, grab one of those energy resistant suits and one of the 2GEV energy rifles and fall in behind Marina. We are going to be moving fast.”

“Ready up, Spotter?”

“Oh, it’s hunting time in the jungle Shooter”

“Bartlett, we are moving will hold one intersection away from the port!”


After we had taken the Stores Section Marty reported in and then gave me a com code that linked me to Andy & Mariana Stuart. Andy said he was going to try and take one of the UNWG Cruisers and invited me to come along.

I called over to Joe Fortson, who was some kind of ex-military, and we did a quick inventory of the equipment we had captured.

The Goonie squad sent to the Storage Area had been well armed. Two carried blast rifles and the other three slug throwers not unlike what I had used for hunting. Well with hunting outlawed we called it predator control. There were still a lot of black bear and wolves roaming the northern Michigan Forests on the logging property owned by the mill I worked at. Between them the had a dozen or so grenades split between EMP’s, Explosives, and Flash-bangs. The also carried a couple of larger explosive devices which Joe said were shaped charges punching man sized holes through metal or rock.

We each donned one of the dead Goonie suits, grabbed what we could carry and headed for the central axial tube of the Mayflower. Several of the others with us at stores wanted to come along but I had to tell them that Andy said his plan need two and only two more.


Mariana asked if we wanted to take the Axial Tube. “Nope we run the halls!” Pointing to an RF repeater right over our head I said “We want to be able to cut their link to the internal network, you know they have tried to sneak into that!”

“That’s going to get noticed!”

“I don’t think so” and showed her the visual net trace running one my hand held.

“Damn, who’s making that black hole and centered right on the computer core too?”

“My guess, that’s Tim’s war on the gooniebots; but, damn it’s great cover.”

“Dave, you ready to run again?”

Before He could answer a man ran up and introduced himself as Jules Parker Jr. “Sir, I am here to help if I may.” Looked to be somewhere in late thirty’s or early forty’s but, the thousand yard stare was not there. I didn’t want to discourage anybody who was willing to put it on the line, so I said “Names Andy, what do they call you?”

“JJ mostly” was the reply

“OK JJ, can you repeat exactly what you hear, no more no less?”

“Sure Andy, one of my skills is being a trained transcriber; if I can type it I can say it.”

“OK, keep up JJ you got a job and you free up a Shooter. I’ll fill you in when we get there.”

We started chugging down the corridors towards the spin axis docks. The transverse shafts slowed us down a little but not much. Finally we reached a point two intersections away from the dock.

Just then a message came in from Jack. “Moving!”

“Good, you and one more with 2GEV energy weapons, move fast!”

“Flame On.”

I reached up and pulled down the internal RF repeater, switched off and stuck in the “game pouch” pocket of my field jacket.

“OK JJ, there is a rogue repeater just up the road from here, that the goonies dropped in with an IP8V address of (looking at my hand held I read it off) mark its location. That’s their link into the interior network. When we knock it down and put this one in its place (read off its stored address), you lock into it and you become our human repeater. If we fail the others have to know!”

I watched his eyes grow big as he replied “OK, I can do that!”

“All right Troops here’s what we gonna do, Mariana get in to their system and verify our key cards are still good. If, they are not I’ll hack the system and make ‘em good. Then we wait to see what troops we get.”


The Mayflower rotated about its central axis at .75 RPM giving an apparent 1 gravity 5000 foot from the center. It wasn’t a perfect sphere being somewhat longer than it was wide. A lot of care had been given during excavation to take out just the right amount metal and rock at the right locations to keep her in balance. Unlike on earth, instead of falling when moving inwards, what it felt like you were doing was climbing upwards. Another factor was that you had to give up radial velocity when moving inwards. Near the surface, at the Mayflower’s equator, she was spinning at a bit more than 400 feet per second, 280 MPH. All of that velocity had to be shed by the time the axial shaft was reached.

The inward going passage contained an elevator like car riding on rails attached to the tunnel wall. While traveling in it you sat on a bench seat or stood with your head pointed towards the central shaft. To the center was up.

We were loaded, including our selves and suits, to better than 280 lbs but lost almost 6 of those for every hundred foot we traveled inwards. As we shed our radial velocity we felt a tenth of a gravity pressing us towards the wall of the tunnel in the “Spinward” direction. At first the weight was noticeable but as we approached the central axis it just seemed to evaporate. The trip took under 2 minutes. I seemed to be adjusting well as the gravity lessened and was even beginning to enjoy the sensation.

On the way in I asked Joe, “What branch were you in, and what was it you did in the Military anyway?”

He hesitated a bit then replied. “I was one of them.“

“One of Them?”

“Yeah, Fleet Marine, those guys in the tunnel. Joined 14 years ago, just in time for the First and Second Belt Wars.”

“Belt Wars?” In a puzzled tone of voice.

He looked at me and said “You probably heard about them, if you heard about them at all, as the asteroid miner labor disputes. Labor disputes my ass, they were a full fledged rebellion against the UNWG and not against the mine owners as the Vids spun it. We were sent in to suppress them. The First, in 41, was over pretty quickly, little loss on either side. By the time of the Second, in 44, the miners had learned a lot. It took 2 years and a lot of lives on both sides till it was over.

Near the end I had a charge blow up in my blast rifle. I came to in the hospital. Seemed to make a full recovery with no permanent nerve damage but the doc’s found out I now had a slightly irregular heart beat. Chickenshit medical board wouldn’t ok me for line duty. I got invalided out with a three quarters pension 5 years ago. Took me too long but I finally figured out I had been on the wrong side.”

“You must have been on Goonie Cruisers before?”

“A time or two.”

“I think I’ll give Andy a call and let him know.”

We reached the axial tube about halfway from the forward end it was just over a hundred feet in diameter. Open through the center but with pressure doors set 300 feet from either end. On the other side of the pressure door was docking space, roughly circular but greater in diameter then the axis, and a then a second double pressure door at the surface. The Goonies had managed to put the central shaft transports out of business but Joe said. “No problem, I’ll show you how it’s done. Just remember very little forward pressure and stay behind me.“

I caught on quickly and we made very good time. Just barely pushing off and gliding . We had to be careful not to go so fast that we couldn’t stop at the end.

When Joe and I reached the last entrance before the shafts end we saw a group of suited figures waiting for us. Two figures spun and pointed small but obviously lethal handguns at us.


Just as I finished speaking the transverse doors behind us opened, Mariana and I spin turned with the AMT’s springing into our hands! What we saw was two Line Marines, our trigger fingers were stopped by one of them being the damned reincarnation of Matthew Quigley and the other we knew had to be retired.

“Damn Mountain Man, you gotta be Bart, cause that jerk with you is damn sure Joe Fortson.”

Joe’s whitened face croaked out “Yeah, it’s me Reaper.”

“Oh Hell, drop the codenames. The name is Andy, glad to see you and how’s the ticker? You did get your retirement didn’t you?”

Bart asked, “You two know each other?”

“Only professionally”, in three part harmony.

Joe stared and said, “How did you know I was gonna get retired?”

“Well, a couple of us chameleon wearing jerks sorta convinced the Investigating Officer on old PC 137 that He should sorta forget that the evidence showed your blast gun misfire was probably operator induced. Shit, Mariana threatened to geld us all if we didn’t. But, we also saw the report classifying you as “Politically Unreliable” so I would be willing to bet there ain’t a damn thing wrong with your ticker.”

“So why are you out Andy?”

“Same as you, we refused to shoot rock miners who did not have a damn thing to do with the rebellion. Only we were still U. S. SOCOM so we had the right to opt out of amalgamation. Hell, we are probably the reason the UN finally clamped down on Spec Ops. Took the out and got married the next day.”

“You and Magic got married, Christ can I have the draft choice on your first born?”

“Shut up, let me brief you till Jack gets here with the extra energy guns we need.”

At that point Dave popped up with, “What’s the big difference between energy and kinetic weapons?”

I looked at Bart and Joe and said “One of your guys wanta explain I’m kinda busy?”

Fortson proceeded to do his best DI imitation:

“It’s like this. In vacuum use energy. In pressure it depends. Blast rifles shoot a charged particle beam. No problem in a vacuum it’s very very fast with little recoil. In an atmosphere the charge needs to be confined so it don’t bleed off. That means ionizing a path between the rifle and target. And that charge path takes time to form and sucks energy from the shot. The general issue is a 2GEV Particle/Plasma. The energy comes from magazine fed superconducting capacitors. They mass and size about 20% of the KE. round used in the Mod 2035 Ruger. They used to try and make blast rifles with multi-shot power packs. Too many failures occurred at the connectors and in the conductors between the pack and the plasma chamber.

The Ruger’s a 30 cal. capable of single fire or three shot bursts. It fires a saboted penetrator at 4500 fps or a 200 grain expander at 3200. Most of us set up the mag with 2 penetrators followed by 8 expanders.

Both got optics that can be used as stand alones or slaved to a helmet display. The Ruger will even guide you to fire from your center of mass so that recoil don’t result in spin. It’s got a laser designator that the penetrators can track to.

For capacity and punch against non screened targets use a blast rifle. For charge protected body armor use KE. In practice have em both.”
Just as Joe finished the transverse doors opened again and two people stepped out carrying Fleet Marine Energy Suits.  Recognizing the face I had seen in the airlock and the Bar on Lancer I said; “You must be Jack, who’s you partner?”  “He goes by Wirehead, says his real name is hot!”  “Who is here who’s name ain’t hot?”
Wirehead replied; “We ain’t outta here yet!”  “OK, you got a point.  This is Bart, Dave , Joe, Marina also known as Magic and I am Andy also known as Reaper.”  I watched Wiredheads face go a little white and knew I could trust him.  “OK you two, suit up with the Black Suits.  You are part of our diversion!”

Main Group

Just as the introductions finished, Mariana looked up and said; “Not only are our codes still good our CARD KEYS are still good. How damn dumb, lazy and stupid can they be?”

“Magic, never underestimate the stupidity of the UNWG”

“Bite me Reaper!”

Hearing the suppressed chuckles, I decided to start.

“OK all listen up frago! First, Jules; hike yourself back to the first place you can find that you can see both the ship repeater and the internal network and prepare to relay. If we win get a message to Dr. Van Vogt to get up here and pull the medical supplies. If we fail, run like hell screaming to high Heaven!”

“Mariana, get in your poor me, been captured mode. We are going to use the old Kanabar Muri trick. Everybody wearing a Black Suit make sure it shows some damage to cover the radio failure.”

As JJ, got out of hearing range I remarked “Anybody seen a look like that in years. That man has seen some pain but, no way he has ever looked someone square in the eye and pulled the trigger.”

Joe’s comment was succinct, “Damn Reaper, ain’t he and those like him why we are doing this?”

“Damn straight! Now what we are going to do is approach the elevator with four Black Suits escorting the second most wanted person on this vessel. The command crew will see Magic but, due to obvious suit damage not be able to contact you. This will cause them to release the safety locks SOP says must be in place.”

“Jack as soon as you are in the elevator hand this hand held to Mariana and HOLD THE DOOR! Joe as quick as Mariana confirms she is in the shipboard network, shoot out the repeater mounted here (showing him the 3-D). Then you and I sprint for the elevator, I will place this repeater in place of the shot out one. It will be keyed to talk internal but, not to the ship. That will kill their surveillance outside the hull.

Once inside we proceed to the 1st T-Intersection. There I will go left and the rest will go right. You will proceed past the mess area and crew sleeping facilities to the next T-intersection. Jack you will stop here, back to you in a moment!”

“Mariana you go left to DC/AUX, take it; Dave you will back her.”

“Bart you go right to Engineering Control, Take it! Joe, you will back him.”

“Jack, directly in your face, centered on the top of the T, is a double wide panel. This is the security override computer. If we take down DC and the Command Deck with it still up, it will blow up the ship! Two simultaneous energy shots to the upper right and lower left corners will drop the ASRS. It’s a safety built into the system. A control panel will then open, plug this hand held (handing him a hand held with interface cable attached) into the data port and press 1**. This will take down the interlocks and it will slide out in the maintenance position. Then, blow the damn thing up! Next press 99## on the handheld, which will flash a message to Mariana and I that we can go.  Wirehead if you can find and blow just the power supply, that will leave a whole buch of salvageable parts.  If not, smoke it all!”
” This is not my plan, in the old SOCOM we had a standing OPLAN to take a UN Cruiser. Five minutes, if we do it right; we have medicine, food and freedom. Any questions?”

Bartlett spoke up. “This is all zero grav. How about the 2 minute course in suit controls?”


In DI Mode

“Clench either hand into a fist, or on what you are holding, for 3 seconds and the suit aligns the up. We’re all pointed in the right direction. Do it now!. A green dot in the upper left of your visor will now be lit. If that dot is yellow you have less than 200 fps Delta V in your thrusters, red 50, black, you ain‘t goin nowhere. The suit will keep you upright and take out spin.”

“You wanna move, look in that direction and clench twice. You wanna stop, clench once. These suits ain’t nothin fancy one speed like a brisk walk. Easier than riding a bicycle and you can’t fall off.”

Dave asked. “Joe why didn’t you guys use the thrusters when you came up the axial shaft?”

“Savin DeltaV, savin DeltaV.”

To The Elevator

With any questions out of the way Mariana and I finished gearing up. She had already inverted her field jacket to the damaged side and opened up the Velcro tabs on the pants that looked oh so like tears.

Jack “Are you always this paranoid or have you used this gambit before.”

Mariana and I just grinned at each other and in unison, “yes”.

Dropping the mags from our cross draws, shucked out the up the spout round and pocketed it. We then inserted mags with a red stripe on them, visually cross checking each others. Then we cambered a round, dropped the mag and inserted a single round on the top; we screwed on the silencers.

“Well, everybody ready?” The reply was a round of silent nods.

“OK, face shields on and energized; Bart, start the parade.”

Bartlett stepped out into the axial tube and looked towards one of the smaller access doors leading into the docking bay. His thrusters kicked in and the rest followed. As we neared the lock it sensed our approach and opened automatically.

The cavernous room was mostly empty with a few small shuttles parked on the outer rim. We continued upwards to the docking tube where the Goonie cruiser was moored, elevator shaft attached.

Flipping up their shields and tapping for the glaze, they started a pretty credible imitation of a shaken squad returning with enough to save their tails. Approaching the elevator, Jack had the native smarts to face the repeater and point at his ear with a negating motion. Bart at the same time grabbed Marina by the shoulders and turned her to face the repeater.

Immediately the elevator doors sprang open and the group filed in. Jack and his companion seemingly accidentally left one foot in front of each door.

Just as the doors were attempting to close for the second time we heard “IN”.

Give the ex-Jarhead his due, Joe’s energy blast smoked that repeater before the carrier wave from Mariana’s message dropped. Immediately we were sprinting for the doors. I stopped and removed the smoking hulk of the rogue repeater and slapped up our salvaged ship repeater.

Keying my mike, “JJ, you up?”

“5×5 Andy”

“OK, we are in the elevator. Worst thing that can happen is this baby blows up!’ Then the elevator doors closed.

“Move back people” as Mariana knelt directly in front of the doors and I moved to stand directly over her.

As the elevator slowed we deep breathed 3 times and locked our eyes open. As the doors opened we saw a Black Suit Major starting to say something. He was interrupted by two PHHT-PHHT sounds, followed by the tinkling of four pieces of brass to the floor.

Moving out quickly we reached the first T. “First split folks, good luck and good hunting. And Dave, watch her backtrack!” “Jesus, sure!”

Turning left, I intentionally did not look back!

Main Group

With Mariana in the lead they moved rapidly down the hallway. At one time this much space would have seemed a luxury but, having seen the Mayflower!

Reaching the last T Mariana turned “Luck Jarhead.” From Joe “Luck Spook.”

To Jack “There it is, the key to the door to freedom. Blow it open!”

To Dave, “On me, let’s go”

Without another word they split into their task groups.

As Told by Jack the Blade

Looking at the panel Jack told Wirehead; “I got the upper right, you take the lower left.”  “Right Boss.”  “OK, 3,2,1,SHOOT.”  The pefectly sychronized shots dropped the shields in a flare of brilliance.  Moving swiftly Jack popped the interface cable in and pressed the command sequence.  The computer panel moved out into the maintenance posistion.  “Damn Boss, the power supply is isolated as hell.”  “Bust it then!”  Wirehead quickly slapped a C-12 quarter block on the power supply, popped in a detenator and jumped back.  “Fire in the hole!”  “Clear, shoot it!”  Thumbing the detonator, the decks rang and shook with the force of the explosion.

“Gut shot, Boss.  That thing is dead and salvageable!  I don’t think you need to send a signal!  Every security interlock on this tub just died.”  As he spoke they could hear the sounds of gunfire from two directions.  Jack said “Really, you think you know where the Arms Room is on this tub?”  The only reply was a grin and a pointing motion.

As Told By Mariana

Making it to my door went a lot easier than I had planned. This was fine with me.

As I stood in front of the door, I double-checked to make certain the safety was in the OFF position on my weapon.

I pulled out my card and handed it to Dave. “If Jack doesn’t get it done swipe the card into the card reader and stand back.”

As we waited suddenly the deck shook to a large explosion. The alert lights on the door went out and we heard the electromagnetic locks relax

Kicking open the door, I said, “Knock. Knock.”

As the door opened, I recognized the man standing opposite me. Before he could respond, I put two holes between his eyes. As he was falling I grinned and said, “Tag. You’re it.”

Once he was lying on his back, I walked over, smiled and stated, “I bet you, I would live long enough to watch you die, bastard.”

I took one step closer and fired one round into his crotch. There was still a huge smile on my face.

Next, I turned and began turning off every switch I could find.

In a manner of a few moments later, my mission was accomplished.


Entry into the cruiser went as planed. The suit really did do all the work We split from the others saw no one else till Joe and I paused outside of the pressure door at Engineering Control. He looked at me expectantly.

“Well Joe, how would you go about this?”

“They’ll be two maybe three guys inside. One at the reactor station on the right, one at auxiliary flight control on the left. Could be another but don’t think so. Be in suits but not battle armor. No reason for the door to be locked out. Up above, always, down below we wanna get out if things go wrong

Why don’t we just grab the Rugs, no point in blowing somthin we could use later, and wait for Jack to get the overrides. We hear the word or alarms go off I pop the hatch and take the guy at the reactor you take the guy at flight.” He looked at me expectantly.

“That’s just how I’d do it Joe.” I paused for effect, ”And remember no prisoners, and no chance to warn anyone else.”


Joe tapped my Ruger’s sight and a crosshair image about the size of a quarter appeared in front of my eyes showing the ceiling where it was pointed. I flicked off the safety and the crosshairs turned red. Wasn’t long till we heard the alarms go off. Joe pressed the lock control and the door slid open. He launched inwards pointing right. I followed swinging left. It’s a lot easier for a right handed guy to swing left.

I saw a suited figure strapped in a seat partially obscured by a control station and view screen. He must have been checking the alarm status and was beginning to look my way when the crosshairs moved to his chest. I heard Joe’s three round burst just before I squeezed the trigger.

My first penetrator crashed through the view screen hitting slightly lower than I had intended but close enough. Two more out of reflex and it seemed really quiet. There were no others in the room.

Joe turned looked me in the eyes and said, “We done Good.”

As Told by Andrew

I was moving fast, I had two control points to pass before Jack blew security.

We had to get this done, there were enough medications in this sick bay to pattern growth replicators for 20 years. As well as goodly supplies of the anti-agathic drugs the Blue Helmets still claimed did not exist. Here was my one chance to never have to be the Reaper again. If we could get this done, it would be as good a shooting the one bastard I really wanted to.

Grabbing the still valid (how stupid were they) Pilots keycard, I blew past both checkpoints barely slowing down.

Arriving at the Command Deck door, I reached up and opened the access door to the communications status indicators caught my breath and waited.

I felt the deck rock, and then the triple security links went down. In what seemed to me like a heartbeat the DC Slave Override links went down. Mere seconds later Engineering went cold and the EMag locks released with a sigh.

Hi booting the door I blew in to Command Deck to the Co-Pilot swinging up with a Zap gun. Head shot him and swung to the Capt., to see the sight of my life.

With his seat swing 90% right, boots crossed on the center console, Zap gun at his feet and hands clasped behind his head sat Ashcroft William Andrews IV, my damn cousin.

“What in hades are you doing here Ash?”

“Looking for a way outa here I think.”

“No, in space you dumbass. The only reason you stayed UNWG should keep you on the Ground.”

“Oh, Mom died last month Andy. I could not even go to the funeral; I was back in re-qual the next day the Bastards.”

“So why are you setting here like this?”

“I saw the surveillance right before you people blew it up. Mariana without you around, I think not. If you were here, there were too many of them still breathing! Remember I was your taxi driver for eight years. So I caught a whiff of old OPLAN 3160 and sat tight”

Shaking my head I keyed my inter-ship mike. “JJ, you up?”

“Go Andy!”

“Relay to the good Doctor, come raid the closet. Ship apparently new to station, should be fully stocked. BREAK; Relay to the Capt., could you communicate with me soonest. We may or may not have a problem. I for sure have a headache. Ash, if you smile, I swear I will shoot you; Kin or no Kin!”

“Ok, Andy I got a peace prize for you. Mariana’s Ex is my Damage Control Officer and he’s sure got no place to run this time!”

It was my turn to go white in the face; I had sent Magic in after the one man in the system I really wanted to shoot.

“Ash, I sent Magic to take DC/AUX!”

“What’s she carrying?”

“Grandma’s old Randalls.”

“Damn Andy, I hope there’s a big enough piece left to identify. At least you guy’s aren’t leaving any unfinished business behind.”

“Ash, I just hope we are out of this damn business. I sorta want to retire Magic and The Reaper!”

Find Me a Bar

Posted in 3. Fight For Flight by Andrew Stuart

Mariana entered the door just as I finished my message to the Captain.

“Ash, what the hell are you doing here”

“Near as I can tell, brining you some target practice.  By the way, hope there is enough left to ID.”

“His fingerprints are still in one piece!”

At this point I had to interrupt “Mariana, take Ash to his quarters to pick up his belongings.  Ash, if you have any civies; get into them.  We need you out of that damn uniform as fast as possible.”

Flipping open the wrist comp  “Bartlett and Jack,  securing down the Command Deck.  If the Captain wants to scrounge this tub or tie it down and scrounge it later it’s his call.  I am going to try to find the repeater the Goonies took down and get this tub back on the internal net.  Then, I am gonna find a bar!  Stuart Out!”

While Mariana took Ash to pack, I went back to the docking bay.  Stepping over the Black Suit Major I took time to look at him.  “Damn Fred, what idiot made you an Officer?  No answer, Too Bad So Sad!  Look at it this way, you finally found your Peters Plateau”    Moving on, I began to search the storage lockers in the bay.    Four lockers in I found what I wanted, the internal repeater they had taken down.  Over the wristcomp, “Mariana, found the repeater.  I am going to remount it.  Will keep you apprised, keep Ash on a leash.”

The reply, “Like the Hound Dog he is!  No problem.  Find me a damn Bar!”

Moving in to the elevator I went down the shaft we had ascended so short a time before.  Thinking to myself it’s finally over, I hope!  When the elevator stopped I stepped out to be passed by Dr. Van Vogt and several non-shooter colonists rushing upwards.  At least Medical Bay’s supplies were not going to go to waste.  Proceeding down the corridor I eventually reached JJ standing not 10 feet from where I had removed the repeater.

“Hi, Guy!  Any problems?”  “Nope lots of traffic going back and forth but, nothing that I couldn’t handle!”

“Great, let me get this up and see if it fixes the link!  Mounting the misplaced repeater, I watched as the status lights went through the reboot then the network reorder.  As the Comm. Light settled into a steady blink I keyed the wristcomp, “Bridge, Stuart here.  You should now have direct Comms to the captured ship.  Be advised, Dr. Van Vogt already onboard.”  “Stuart, Bridge here.  Comms confirmed, the Dr. in charge of recovery operations!”  “Bridge, Stuart Roger I am retiring at best speed.  Bringing my problem with me, will assume responsibility.”  “Bridge, Aye!”

“BREAK,  Anybody know where there is a functioning Bar?”

Something Is Not Quite Right

Posted in 3. Fight For Flight by William Bartlett

As I took another slow look around auxiliary control I had a nagging feeling that I was missing something and there were still a few things to do before leaving the Cruiser. Then it came back to me.

“Joe”, I said. “Grab these bodies and put them someplace where they won’t leak all over everything, then go up to Officer Country and ransack all the living quarters for data files, documents, or anything else that looks interesting. Some how they knew just where to send the troopers on the Mayflower. There must have been a spy in Hamilton’s organization at one time. Lets try to find out who it was and see if he‘s still with us.”

“Gotcha Bart”

I went over to the Flight Control Station and began figuring out how to access ships central databases when a woman, Janie Cantarubia, I had met and talked with, whenever I got the chance aboard the Mayflower, entered, or should I say floated, into the compartment. Janie was in her late 20’s or early 30’s, tall, dark haired and good looking. But more to the point she was one of the few single women in our group. She had worked for the Central States Power Consortium doing reactor system security and control.

“Hey Bart“, she said, while looking at the damaged engineering control station. “Anything I can do?”

“Hi Janie. I’m trying to download all of the ships systems and central storage, whatever I can get a hold of. If we don’t take this Cruiser with us there might be some thing of interest to get at later. How about seeing if you can get something out of that.”   I said, pointing back to engineering.

“Sure thing”, she replied, “The main screen’s gone but there’s power and the secondary displays look active.”

I had just started a data dump from the main ship system when I heard Janie say.

“Bart something’s wrong here. The drive is down, that‘s good, but ships power is at 5% and climbing. No way can we be using that much energy. It just got to 6%. I am trying to kill it but nothing I do from here makes any difference. She‘s dumping heat into the reaction mass but that cant keep up.”

“How long do we have?”

“I don’t know Bart, but if the output keeps rising, minutes at best.”

“Where can we go to stop it.”

“The physical plant has to be on the lowermost deck just above the drive bulkhead.”

“Ok Janie, Follow me.”

“I could keep working at it from here.” she said

“Come on Janie,” I said, “When I get there someone’s got to show me what to do.” I grabbed the Ruger and headed out the door, Janie holding on right behind.

Into the corridor than Bam! I started to spin, the suit stopped me from turning almost immediately The bullet had hit just off center of the body armor.  I looked ahead and saw a guy with a gun.  “Damn! What the fug. I shouted “It’s me Bartlett, cut it out or you’re history.” Pointing the Rug in his direction got his attention. “The Cruiser is secured, out of the way.”

Janie and I sped on down and into the lower engineering spaces. The room was empty, a control station against the wall and a lot of colored conduits leading into a grey bulkhead.

“What now?” I asked.

Janie had reached the control station and I waited while she tried to make it respond.

“No Go Bart. It won’t do anything and power is at 11%. We’re running out of time.”

“So.. What next?”

“Blow the control leads.” She pointed to a conduit run, “The safeties have to kick in and shut the thing down.”

I aimed the Ruger and shot off the rest of the mag. No change. Loaded another and the two penetrators burst through the metal tubing. Sparks and arcs then darkness. A second later dim lighting came on.

“That’ll do it.” Janie looked at me and smiled.

I looked at her and said, “Can I buy you a drink?”


Bar’s Open!

Posted in 3. Fight For Flight by Hanna Parker

     Jules said, “The troops are going to be mighty thirsty after this and need a place to wind down.  Let’s be ready for them.”  Unsure I called the bridge “Bridge Parker, may I enquire as to the ship’s status?”  “Parker Bridge, you may rest assured that the Mayflower is at normal security; combat operations are over!”   I checked with Glenda and found out that the Lounge was located at Deck 3, B19 cross 22.   She said that it was secured, and okay to retrieve the Lancer’s and pillaged bar stock.  We’d give them a heroes welcome.  Glasses ready, bring on the Guiness, G&T, and even McPherson’s. “Parker, To All, Bar’s open at Deck3 B19 cross 22!” 

     Slowly the warriors returned.  Each with their own story.

Stand Down Warrior, Stand Down

Posted in 3. Fight For Flight by Andrew Stuart

As Hanna’s message came in I was just starting to cut across the Network dead zone on my way to the Lancer dock. I was just starting to turn out of the area when I saw the robots hanging from the ceiling from chains and come-a-longs. “Damn theres gotta be a good story over that!” Exiting the dead zone I keyed the wristcomp, “Mariana Andy; hear the location of the bar” “Heard it and moving, Ash believe it or not might have just brought the price of a ticket. Show you when we get there! Mariana Out!”

Got to the correct corridor to see everyone’s luggage lined neatly up along the corridor walls. Digging up our rucks and cases, I pulled case 1 and the compact cleaning kit from my ruck. I quietly sat cleaning and stowing everything but the AMT. Just as I finished shucking the AMT in the sleeve rig Mariana showed up with Ash and his ruck and carry bag, plus a shipboard container! “You are not gonna believe what Hound Dog has in here!” Opening it she displayed 6 1.75 lt. bottles of Gentleman Jack Aged Reserve. Reaching into the carrier I grabbed two, “Ash, you are now forgiven. Why don’t you take those other 4 into the Bar and make some friends fast. You are sure to need them.” “Damn Cuz, that ain’t never been my problem” As he headed for the Bar door; Mariana growled under her breath, “Now as long as no one has a Daughter or a girl friend he’ll make it.” Mariana quickly cleaned her weapons and stowed the Randall’s back in the case. We ditched the silencers and the sub-sonic rounds; closing the case she looked at me and asked, “Can we really finally Stand Down?”

I had to stare at my boots for a moment as it was finally hitting me. “One more thing to do then, really we can finally Stand Down.” Hoisting the 2 bottles, “let’s find some ice and glasses and get it done!”

Moving into the Bar we saw Hanna and yelled “Glasses and Ice please, we bought our own.” Laughing she sat down 2 glasses with ice and we poured 2 drinks. Being my turn, the toast went up “To absent foes.” “May they find a seat at Fiddlers Green!” “And a cold beer close to hand.” We drained the glasses spun them and sat them mouth down. “Hanna, we hate to be a pain; but, could we get two more glasses?”

Hanna came over with 2 more glasses and a quizzical look. “Memorials, my Lady. Not to be used again this day!” Smiling she walked away. To Marianas ‘what now?’ look I said, “Have a couple of stiff ones and wait for Bart. Meanwhile, smile and answer questions!”

I Meet Ash

Posted in 3. Fight For Flight by William Bartlett

Janie Cantarubia and I walked into the Mayflower’s Lounge; it was already starting to fill up. People looked our way but I don’t think they were looking at me.  I glanced around and spotted Andy and Mariana sitting at a large table with a few others who had been in on the Cruiser action, and one guy I couldn’t remember ever seeing before.

We walked on over and the first thing Andy said was, “Good to see ya Bart, let me introduce you to my cousin Ash here. Ash was the Captain of the Cruiser we just captured.”

I launched myself across the table yelling, “You Sonofabitch!”, glasses and bottles flying everywhere. I had him by the collar and had gotten in one good punch when three or four of the others pinned my arms and wrestled us apart.

“That Bastard tried to kill us all and you sit drinking with him!”, I exclaimed while trying to break free.

“Hey, hey. I was doing my best not to kill anyone.“ Ash said, wiping blood from a badly cut lip.

Still struggling, but slowly cooling down, Janie explained about the power plant being set to explode. I could see the confusion showing in Ash’s face and said, “Ok let me go but I want some answers and they better be the right ones.”

“Political Officer. It had to be the Political Officer, I didn’t know a thing about it.”

Ash’s tone of consternated bewilderment was so convincing I almost believed him.

“Let’s get this table together and get Bart and Janie a drink”, Mariana said, “Then I think Ash has got some explaining to do.”

The Million Dollar Question

Posted in 3. Fight For Flight by Andrew Stuart

Flipping the table back upright and setting up a chair; I stuffed Ash into the chair. “All right cuz, the man has a point! Start talking and begin with when did an over crewed Pursuit Cruiser get a damn Political Officer? You better talk fast cause somebody is gonna pay for wasting that perfectly good booze, you do not want it to be you!”

From behind me came Fortson’s voice; “I don’t think that’s necessary; ‘Nice damn catch Magic’.” Turning I saw Mariana with a bottle in either hand; she said “Aw Hell, I couldn’t let Bart be guilty of alcohol abuse.” Turning back to Ash “Start talking now!”

As Told by Ashcroft William Andrews IV

I was just getting ready to ask for some ice for my lip, when for some reason I had the smarts to look up. Bartlett I knew did not like me at the moment but, I was not prepared for the other two faces. My childhood friend and cousin was gone. In his place was the blank cold eyes of the man they called The Reaper; just past his shoulder were the ice cold all seeing eyes of the woman called Magic. One thought came immediately to my mind “Come to Jesus, Ash.”

“Well, it all started when they decided to have Investigating Officers on all units. Sort of a backlash after the Squadron IO on old PC 137 had a nervous break down. Right after old U. S. SOCOM got absorbed they changed the title to Political Officer. Kept giving them more and more authority, they control all communications on and off the ship now instead of the Pilot. All computer systems are under their administration, including private ones. Hell, the internal locator will not even show their position to Damage Control Rescue console.”

“We got this current jerk just before departure burn from Lunar Orbit. What you really should worry about is that we boosted 5 days before you guys left HOR dock. The assault crews were practicing the attack plans from day 1, 4 days before you guys. Hell that was the only way we beat the Lancer here; damn but that ship is fast! Anyway, the plan came right from the top. You people scare the hell out of the UNWG, Hamilton most of all.”

Bartlett snorted “Yeah well, they took care of that part!”

I simply replied “Think so, according to the classified traffic they could not find the body.”

Main Group

Looking at Bartlett I said “Bill I believe him, never seen him this scared and He just can not lie worth a damn! But, think about what he said; we were penetrated and Hamilton anticipated their every move! Right down to a T, He beat em every turn they took. But, sit down and have a drink before you try to answer the million dollar question. If he was not in that shuttle, where the hell is he?”

It was the first and I think the last time I ever saw Bill speechless!

The Million and Two Dollar Question

Posted in 3. Fight For Flight by Hanna Parker

After the scuffle ended at Andy’s table, I asked the guy they called Bart what he’d like to drink.  “McPherson’s” he replied.  Then Mariana said, “Hanna, this is Janie, and she’s thirsty!”  What a beauty.  I whispered to Janie, “What’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this with that ol’ reprobate?”  I fetched their drinks, and waited for her story.

Janie said, “What do you mean, ‘reprobate’? He’s not quite that bad.”

All Aboard For Alchibah

Posted in 3. Fight For Flight by The Reporter

All Aboard For Alchibah
By The Reporter

TITAN DRY DOCKS - 12.2.52 — The Mayflower is safely in the hands of the colonists, following the brave and necessary efforts of many against the UNWG goons who had boarded in advance to wait in ambush. Their numbers were too limited for confrontation with armed and determined people refusing to be cowed.Alarming though it may be that the UNWG lay in wait, unexpectedly familiar with the Mayflower and our plans, their meddling had a silver lining: capture of one of their cruisers by a daring group of colonists. That supplements the Mayflower’s food, medical and other supplies. It also provides potential insight as to what the UNWG knew and how they knew it, subject to the data being analyzed fully.

Barring further surprises, the Mayflower should soon be on its way. A new world awaits.

Colony: Alchibah is a science fiction blog novel.
Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Probably.

All Contents (written or photo/artwork) not attributed to other sources is
Copyright (C) 2006 - 2011 by Jeff Soyer. All rights reserved.