Each member of the team quickly gathered what gear they had been allowed to bring to the cabins and met each other in the hall.
"I couldn't get anyone on the intercom!" said Marcus as he slung his medkit/robcomkit on his back.
"We should find a cewman, see what's happened." suggested N'nami.
"Our weapons, should be a priority." Brock was rubbing his forehead where he had banged it on the bunk.
"Weapons were stowed by the Robo-steward when we boarded. Except what we smuggled past it." smiled Gorruck looking at the group as both he and Brock revealed military issue combat knives. "The cargo bays are closer we should see that our mission gear is safe first."
The party agreed to head to the cargo bays and see if there was anything to worry about. The ships artificial gravity was fluctuating slightly, this could just be side effects of a magnetic storm or even a rogue meteor strike. They would find out soon enough. The emergency lighting and venting made navigating the already cramped corridors difficult enough, but add in the failing gravity and you had a recipe for serious injury. Marcus pulled a small flashlight from a pocket and used it to scan ahead of the group as they moved.
"Who was that with Parker, I don't remember seeing him before!" hissed Marcus.
"I fear we may have pirates on board." Brock unsheaths his knife and looks at the Yazirian scout.
"I can take him before he notices us." Gorruck says as he swings himself up onto the ceiling scuttling along like a bug. The Yazirian then launches himself at the unsuspecting intruder using the failed gravity to his advantage.....
"Pa-Choom!" a shudder reverberates through the ship, sparks fly and gravity returns to normal. Dropping Gorruck loudly to the deck. "oof, aw frak!" bemoans the monkey-like alien as he looks up into a face even a Denebian slime-devil couldn't love. The scrape of magnetic boots sends shivers down the spines of the collected group as they see their friend at the mercy of the space pirate. Another shudder in the ship and the gravity goes out once again.
"Well, well, looks like Big Tiny has more friends to play with." the scar faced pirate turns and steps towards the prone yazirian raising his bloody boot in preparation to stomp!
Just then N'nami closes her eyes and concentrates on the pipes above the pirates head. Suddenly they break loose sending a blast of steam into the face of the attacker! "Everyone, go now!" urges the Yazirian Mentalist.
Using the failed gravity, Brock launches himself at the pirate. "G-rock, execute maneuver J-33!" The human commando zooms down the hall at waist height passing over the prone yazirian who gives the man a quick hand shake of sorts and uses his feet to add momentum to the humans assault! Brock is followed closely by Lynx who has enhanced his strength in anticipation of grappling the large human and Marcus who dives past the melee to see if he can aid Parker.
Big Tiny seems unfazed by Brock's attack and hurls him against the bulkhead. Lynx then delivers a couple of blows gaining the pirates attention. The pirate is slow but powerful and his blows are easily evaded, as Lynx gets him in a hold keeping him from using his fists. This opening allows Goro who has spent the last moments growing a third leg to administer three successive groin kicks to the pirate! "wham, wham, wham!"
Smiling evilly the pirate looks down at Goro, then at the armored cod-piece he wears. "Uh-oh!" pipes the little Dralasite. Big Tiny breaks the hold Lynx has on him and prepares to smash the Traka into the bulkhead. Just then Marcus delivers a bone-crushing blow to Big tiny's foot with a pipe wrench he found by Parker.
"AARRGGHH!!!" Lynx is released from the grip of the pirate as Brock delivers two jabs with his knife, this is followed by two open-hand blows from Gorruck that snap ribs!
With the intruder defeated, the party verifies that Parker is indeed beyond aid. The group collects itself and moves out for the Cargo-bays.Brock drags the body of Big Tiny along to use a s a shield. Heading quickly down the darkened corridors a second pirate takes the party by surprise as he grapples Lynx and places a vibroknife to the Traka's throat. "I'll kill your friend unless you do as I say!" he commands.
As one the rest of the group look at the pirate with fire in their eyes. "You might kill our friend, but we've already killed yours." says Brock as he drops the limp form of Big Tiny to the deck. N'nami concentrates on the weapon held to her teammates throat.
"Weren't you looking for a vibroknife?" purrs Gorruck.
"Yes, yes I was." Brock lunges forward as the vibroknife flies from the pirates grip into his hand.
The pirate pushes Lynx into the charging human causing them to become entangled as he bolts into the darkened ship corridors.
"Let him go, we need to get to the Cargo bay." urges N'nami.
Reaching the bay doors, the party discovers they have been sealed due to the emergency conditions. Goro steps forward and is able to bypass the security locks and get everyone inside safely. Entering the large spherical bay the party each grab a safety clip and latch themselves onto the handrail. The entire bay is a zero-g area and they make their way toward the central terminal unit. Goro tells everyone "I can access that terminal to get the manifest. I'll be able to locate our gear and use the cargo arm to bring it to us."
"Look Out!" yells Brock, alerting the party.
Two space pirates cling to the cargo nets in the upper sphere. One is aiming a gyrojet pistol at them, as the second launches himself at the group brandishing a shiny hand-axe in his left hand.
"Hey!" exclaims Marcus, "That bastard has my axe!"
N'nami, concentrates on the pistol and telekinetically rips from the pirates grip. She delivers the pistol into the hands of Marcus who then fires off three shots at the pirate wielding his stolen gear.
"Be careful with that in here!" yells Gorruck, "None of us want you holing the ship!"
As the gyrojet bullets rocket towards their target, Brock unlatches himself from the handrail and uses the body of Big tiny like a flying battering ram aimed at the Pirate with the axe! Two of three pistol rounds find their marks in the left and right arms of the axe-wielding pirate. Screaming in pain he loses the axe and spins wildly trailing a spray of blood globules. There is a great amount of zero-g acrobatic antics that ensue before the two pirates are finally finished off. The group is able to retrieve all their stowed non-weapon personal gear. They then make haste to get to the bridge of the Serena Dawn.
Rounding a turn in the corridor the party encounters three pirates, both parties are surprised and take a moment to size each other up. The pirates are armed with a pair of shock-gloves, a stun-whip and a club. "We need those weapons!" exclaims Brock.
"Right, look out!" Marcus fires off the gyrojet pistol, and the rounds explode harmlessly across the bulkhead over the pirates. Emboldened by the inept display the space-pirates attack. A vicious hand to hand battle ensues with the space pirates on the losing end. Lynx arms himself with the Shock-gloves to give himself a healthy boost in damaging foes with his martial arts. N'nami coils the whip on her belt and Goro is given the club.
"This should only take a minute, get ready." the Dralasite pulls out some wires and begins working.
The door hisses as it slides open revealing a scene of carnage on the bridge of the Serena Dawn. The bodies of two more crew lie bloody at the feet of four armed men, all with weapons aimed at the party. A tall human in a dark trench coat holds a pair of matching auto-pistols, "We've been watching you on the monitors, fools!" laughing evilly he pulls the triggers on both pistols spraying the party!
Flanked by three other pirates, one with a needler pistol, one with an elctro-stunner, and the last with a laser pistol, they join their leader in firing upon the group!
Gorruck and Brock take the brunt of the damage as they charge the leader who uses their own Crimson Tiger pistols upon them. Luckily, Goro had found a crate of military issue skeinsuits in the Cargo-bay and everyone was wearing one. N'nami is able to use her telekinesis to wrench the pistols from the pirate and return them to Gorruck and Brock. Lynx is able to knock out the Laser Pistol wielding pirate with a single blow. The Traka recognizes him as the one who threatened earlier to kill him with a vibrokinfe. The leader proves the toughest as he pulls out a Laser pistol of his own and blasts Gorruck with a shot that throws the yazirian across the room. Needles, gyrojets, lasers, and electo-blasts fly most missing and causing terrible damage to the bridge, but in moments the pirates are defeated and the leader sorely wounded and one other knocked out are all that remain.
"Goro, how bad is this?" asks Marcus pointing to the smoldering control panels.
The Dralasite looks about and slumps, "Oh no, the controls are fried. But that is not the worst, look what they set."
Tapping keys furiously on a blasted keyboard Goro yelps, "Not with the state of these controls, besides we're past the Failsafe time-out!"
"Everyone, this way!" Gorruck urges the party towards a hatchway marked Escape-Pod.
The pod only has room to seat six safely, but Brock insists on bringing the pirate leader along anyway. Just as they lock the safety harness a blast knocks something loose and the pod jettisons from the ship! Tumbling
"Something is wrong, this shouldn't be happening!" exclaims Goro, as a fire erupts from the onboard computer.
"I've got it!" yells Brock using the limp pirate leader to beat out the flames.
"Hold on everyone, her it comes!" Gorruck yells as the view port is filled by a large rocky outcropping.
The impact of the crash dazes the party for a few seconds, Gorruck and Brock are able to get everyone out as the internal fire worsens. Survival packs are pulled from the pod just before an explosion rocks the cool night air. As everyone is looked over by Marcus the group realizes that this may have been the fate of the prior expedition. As the sun rises the heat of the Volturnus day can be felt already. The team has reached their destination, just not quite how they expected. Will they find Commander Jameson and the others alive, where are the Pirates and what are they doing this far out in uncharted territory, what natural dangers may they encounter on this alien world?
Stay tuned for Star Frontiers Chapter 2: Deserts of Volturnus!