Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Blood and Scrap Revised Part 1.

With a shuddering whoosh the freighter Seraphim's airlock sealed with Coromaur's Outpost. A faint crackle in the ship's speakers preceded a weary female voice. "Alright Zener, I got you as far as Coromaur's Outpost. Ol' Bea has to stop and rest her weary bones and resupply. If your still for Glorien you might find another berth, best of luck to you." Bea had been a kindly soul, as far as Terrans go. Zener recalled her explaining she was a staunch supporter of the Endless Dawn movement, and therefore wanted to help Zener.

As Zener rose to stand up the cargo crates beneath him groaned, with a puzzled glance he wondered why, they were rated to withstand an estimated weight range that should of been sufficient for his own specification. With a shrug he walked over to the freighter's cargo hatch and hit the open command sequence. The sight that met his optic sensors was almost overwhelming to the young Zener. Having worked in an isolated terminal, spending virtually all his life performing Data regulation on the New Republics Nodes he had little experience interacting with, well, anyone. And here before him was a bustling crowd of people, all moving through the Outpost's Dock terminal. The sound of that many feet reverberating off the steel mesh flooring disoriented him.  He marveled at the built in illuminators that shined down from above causing his dull chrome exterior to shimmer and his blue traces to almost glow.

There was so much commotion Zener wasn't sure where to go. He'd wanted to get to Glorien as fast as possible, it was the only safe haven for a Type II. With no job and Purgist Party propaganda blaming him and other Type II's for recent Node corruptions all over the New Republic, leaving seemed his only option. Spotting a public terminal Zener approached it with nervous care. He carefully input his destination criteria and began checking Outpost records for any available ship bound for Glorien, or anything within a few light-hours. His servos almost stuttered as a gruff voice greeted him from behind.

"Name's Virgil, couldn't help but notice you were looking for passage someplace." A puff of smoke escaped Virgil's somewhat toothless mouth. With a pause he craned his neck around Zener and hooted. "Glorien huh, well that is a trip, but it will cost you tin-bits."

Perplexed Zener asked, "Cost, I will gladly pay for the space occupied and any fuel necessary for the voyage. How much do you estimate the expense will be?" Virgil rubbed at a scraggly patch of stubble that was scattered across his chin. "For a nice thing like yourself tin-bits, I figure 150. Regals mind you, I don't take trace-cred crap, hard coin only." Zener calculated the projected figure and figured that seemed reasonable, but with current fuel prices a little low. Virgil was actually surprised when Zener placed in his hand 200 Regals. "This seems more appropriate, fuel rates are on the rise."

"That they are," Virgil added. "That they are." And with a smile and a nod he led Zener to his ship, the Acheron. As it's airlock hissed close, Zener found himself maglocked to the floor. "There seems to be a malfunction in your vessel's systems Virgil," said Zener, already trying to troubleshoot any possible causes he could think of. One look at Virgil, left him confused further, as he held a Riot Cannon. Zener immediately recognized it, a standard issue crowd control weapon used by officials when dealing with rioting mobs and violent criminal gangs, but he was neither, did Virgil mean to try and use it to somehow short out whatever had restricted his movement?

A single inquiry managed to escape Zener, "I don't understand."

"I never expected you to." And Zener's systems crashed into emergency standby.

To be continued.