This is a bit of a departure for me and will be filed under random stuff It’s the opening of a story I’ve had kicking around my head for several years now and as I have a forum to put and an audience to get feedback from I decided to finally pull the trigger. I’m looking for all feedback positive and negative ill even accept advice on punctuation to show how seriously I’m taking this 🙂
He had been known as Jase for so long now he barely remembered his name was really Jake but his employer couldn’t pronounce a hard K so Jase was now all he answered too. 15 years now he had kept his employer safe in a universe with very little law no order and no safety but what you ensured with strength of arms.
He hadn’t liked the sound of this deal from the very beginning but his concerns had fallen on deaf ears not that his employer had what he would call ears lacking discernible lobes that matched the featureless nature of the rest of his head. His employer was called Saleve a merchant trader with little that Jase had ever seen in the way of morals but he paid well and Jases’s family, trapped on the desolate waste lands that was all that was left of Earth, needed the resources his employment bought and sent back to them.
Early in the 22nd Century the American continents both North and South united first economically and then politically The same occurred in Europe and with a shared value system unification quickly spread Africa desperate for the investment fell behind this plan and with the technological might combined with the mostly untapped natural resources of the continent prosperity quickly spread. Mankind ever the explorer sets his eyes once more on the Stars and in 2156 the first man left the solar system.
This proved not to be the boon mankind had hoped for, this first ship drew the eyes of the Denone an expansionist race. Observing the low (in their eyes) Technology they tracked back communications signals and seeing the abundant resources of the Earth in 2162 they struck. With their technological advantages the conquest was swift and brutal.
Mankind showing the tenacity and ingenuity that had seen them come to dominance was not to be repressed for long. For all their technology the Denone were physically no match for Mankind even an adolescent human was more than a match for them in a straight fight.
The Human resistance found ever more ingenious ways to exploit this and the war became increasingly desperate in the final stages. Mankind used the nuclear weapons that they’d been unable to deploy in time at the outbreak of hostilities due to the rapid destruction of the command and control structure. The Denone deployed fearsome biological weaponry causing the infected to become rabid unthinking monsters, stressing the resistance who were forced to fight there own. Finally it came down to a war of attrition and the Denone were a long way from resupply.
Victory finally came for Mankind in the autumn of 2177. Celebration was short lived though the Denone had stripped the Earth of natural resources the conflict had left huge tracts of Earth uninhabitable radioactive wastelands and left very little uncontaminated water. Bands of cannablistic savages left over from the Denone’s biological weaponry rampaged amok. The resistance lacking a common enemy fractured into hundreds of separate warbands.
This is when Jases’s employers race The Vivanty made contact. Although early meeting were fraught with distrust and more than once ended in violence the Vivanty brought water and food and eventually cordial relationships were the established. The Vivanty introduced themselves as inter system traders and began explaining the way the larger galaxy worked. Earth was unique in that intelligent life had evolved on a higher gravity world than anywhere else in the galaxy, it had also developed on a relatively harsh planet. No where else had the extremes of temperature and environment with the abundance of natural predators that mankind had overcome and still developed sentience. Although technologically backwards physically we were the most dangerous species in the galaxy.
With no other marketable resources and desperate for the basics of life, mankind took to the stars as mercenaries for hire. Warbands became armies to the highest bidders and individuals became bodyguards and enforcers. They quickly established a reputation for excellence in this field and more and more races flocked to buy their services.
That was past and now Jase had a job to do. Saleve’s cargo hold was full of personal weaponry, Jase hated arms deals Beings buying guns almost always already had guns and we’re usually itching to give them a try. Adding to Jases’s un-ease was the fact the buyer was unknown to him and had refused to board Saleve’s ship to do the deal or conduct it at one of the established trading post and had insisted on meeting at an abandoned asteroid mining complex in an uninhabited system on the galactic fringe. A recce was a must but doing so was going to be hazardous to say the least there would be no atmosphere outside the mining complex and any stealthy approach would require navigating the densest part of the asteroids field.
One redeeming characteristic of Saleve’ in Jases’s eyes at least’ was he never spared any expense when it came to his own safety. Jases’s vacuum suit was a custom made piece heavily up armoured but including servo assistance at all articulations, it was light and provided no limitations to manouvrability. It had magnetic clamping and inbuilt retro rockets for zero gravity maneuvering all controlled by an expensive neural up link that Saleve had paid to have installed in Jases’s head early in there relationship. Jase suited up and ran the necessary pressure and systems checks, Satisfied all was optimal he made his way down to the hanger bay.
Walking on to the flight deck a rare and involuntary smile spread across his face as he caught sight of the sleek grey craft that would be his insertion vehicle. Even sat on the hanger floor it looked like it was moving at incredible speeds. Although incapable of inter system travel it was fast,agile and packed a punch way above its weight. Jase would never admit it but he loved this ship, when they were alone in the void he would talk to her he called Natalie after a fast girl who broke his heart as a teenager.
Catching sight of the maintenance chief Jase broke his loving gaze and diverted over. Webol was a Taldenian, covered in a shimmering blue grey fur moving on four legs and with six arms and incredibly dexterous fingers. The Taldenian were a species with innate mechanical skill and we’re prized as engineers across the galaxy. Webol was also one of the few beings aboard ship Jase counted as a friend his cheerful disposition and dry sense of humour made him difficult to dislike.
“How’s my girl doing, She ready to fly”
Webol made the grating noise that Jase had come to know as laughter. Taldenian’s had great difficulties understanding human anthropomorphic tendencies towards inanimate objects but it amused Webol immensely whenever Jase referred to the craft as She.
“I’ve overhauled the engines since your last expedition and It completed a full shakedown run yesterday all systems in the green, fully fuelled and you have priority clearance for departure. Try not to break it too badly this time I’ve got enough to do without more jobs”
Webol emitted the grating laugh once more. Jase smiled again
“I’ll try but no promises allright”
Webol was still laughing as Jase boarded. Jase secured himself into the G harness the seat was almost horizontal but there were few places that he felt more comfortable. Webol had been absolutely right the ship was fully prepared the engines already humming with restrained potential. He brought the engines up to 50% power but zero thrust and engaged the magnetic repulsion lifts to gently rise off the deck. Carefully he lowered the nose generating forward momentum.
The craft cleared the deck and entered the launch dock. Jase keyed the comms into life
” Banshee Prime requesting departure clearance”
“Flight command confirming departure clearance please hold for Launch bay seal”
The whole ship shuddered as Blast doors slammed down sealing the launch bay from the hanger deck warning lights flashed the whole launch bay illuminated red as atmosphere drained clear. The external doors opened to the void Flight commands voice comes through the speakers in Jases’s helmet.
“Banshee Prime cleared to depart. Good hunting”
With this final permission Jase brought power to optimal flight level and engaged thrust. Pinned back into his harness by the forces of inertia Natalie shot from launch pad eager as ever to explore the void.