I had just finished securing my personal carrier in the aft cargo bay when the shooting started. The small arms fire coming from the port docking point resonated thru the hull and announced to the world that any chance of a quiet departure was now gone.
I had no weapons on me. I had counted on been able to manufacture them on the ship’s 3 axis replicator and did not want to give anyone a reason to stop me en route here. The 3 axis replicator, at one time a toy exclusive to research labs and prototyping facilities, takes a digital 3d map, and using a laser, burns the parts from a thermal reactive plastic bath. If you have the exact specs of a product or part, you can have the replicator burn it for you in seconds. The replicator was standard equipment in all long range ships to reproduce replacement parts on the way. I had brought with me the digital specs of most small arms and known weapons in the planet.
No time to look for the maintenance deck, I had to improvise. As I turned the corner, I saw a local security squad on the other side of the airlock. Who trained these clowns? Shore uniforms and LTL side arms in a raiding party? The standard should be EVO suits. Morons. I hit the airlock close button and that got their attention.
“Freeze, high guard security” announced the pretty boy in charge of this gaggle.
Of course, he was on the other side of an airlock. And had no KE/AP weapons. Like I said, morons.
A simple twist of the evac valve separated the umbilical gateway and vented the air in the other side of the lock out to space. When the greenhorn realized what I was doing he tried to rush his people back in to gate. Too late. If he would have just ignored the sudden blood rush to his brain, the lack of air in his lungs and the joint pain from explosive decompression, maybe he could have pushed his men back to the station. As it was, panic set in, and before he could warn his people, the white of his eyes turned dark red and the content of his stomach sprayed all over the walls. I gave it about sixty seconds while I listened for further action. I could hear the rumbling of the sublight impulse engines announcing that we were on the way. I could hear no small arms fire or any other indication of additional boarding parties. I had no way to know what was going on in the rest of the ship, and needed information fast.
I hit the comms panel and identified myself to the pilot.
“Mr. Seaworth, nice to hear from you, any issues in your area?”
“Just a gaggle of goons that are no longer of any importance”
“Yeah, local security, no longer an issue, We still have a local ship giving chase, but we should loose them in a few”
The impact of the energy blasters on the shield rocked the hull.
“Persistent bastards aren’t they?” quipped the pilot over the comms.
“Can I be of any assistance?”
“Well now that you offer, there is a 100mm battery one deck above you, aft, if you wouldn’t mind operating that until we can get some distance from that tub”
How in the hell did this guy know I can operate one of those? I suspect that the invite to this shindig came after some background checking.
I ran the one level up and opened the drop hatch into a weapons con room. The on board systems looked to be an upgraded version of the old ship to ship short range KE system. Sitting behind the controls the system came to life automatically and the pilots face illuminated the forward comm screen.
“Mr. Seaworth, I see you are at the guns, you have full control, try to get that idiot to back off while I get some distance between us.”
“You don’t mind a little illegal destruction of UNWG property, do you?”
The pilot started laughing at my half joking statement. “Mr. Seaworht, we are already criminals. If the bastard wont back off, make him”. A man after my own heart.
The twin 100s came to life in complete silence. The 12 round volley caught the chase ship completely of guard. I could see direct hits in the command deck and the fore holding areas. Bastards were not expecting anyone to still have KE weapons. Their shields were only designed for energy blasts. After a few seconds it was obvious that they had completely lost any desire to continue the chase. Good news, they knew that we could bite back. Bad news, they would get in the wireless and tell everyone else. No way to slip quietly now.
The pilot came back to the screen.
“I see that he changed his mind”
“Yep, a little behavioral modification lesson goes a long way”
“If you wouldn’t mind joining the rest of the passengers in the fore lounge, I think we can take it from here, Mr. Seaworth”
“Son, the name is Jack”
“Well Jack, welcome aboard”