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Part of USS Heracles (Archive): Blood Oath and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

Blood Oath – Act One – Part One

Delta Quadrant - Somewhere
MD - Nov - Dec 2400
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A Warehouse somewhere in the Delta Quadrant

A shuttlecraft hovers above the ground, with a man peering out the cockpit window. Rain pelted against the glass, obscuring his view of a building illuminated by the shuttle’s exterior lights.

“This could be the score of a century,” he says, his voice slightly slurred as he speaks to his female companion.

The woman squints through the raindrops on the window of the building. Her entire attention was drawn to its exterior. She turns to face him with a grin on her lips, “You bet your ass it will be,” she says, “Put us down and let’s get this payday,” her voice as slurred as his.

As the shuttle touches down, the previously lit-up building goes dark as the shuttle’s lights disengage. The man and woman approach the door quietly. A single red light indicates that the door is locked.

“Did you bring the scanner with you?” the man inquired

“Of course, I did; how else do you think we’re getting into the warehouse?”

She pulls the scanner from the duffle bag she had dropped next to her feet when they came to a halt at the door. Standing up, she activates the device and pulls the lock’s bottom open. She starts tapping on the scanner’s display after inserting a cable into the open receptacle inside the lock.

“Com’on,” the man says, his voice trembling with impatience.

The woman glared at the display, clearly annoyed by her counterpart’s tone.

“You must be patient, Herry,” she said as the screen cycled through the lock programs and coding.

“Don’t tell me to be patient, Jones,” Herry said, “you told me you could crack this lock in less than a minute.”

Jones raised her head from the scanner, irritation visible in her red-hued eyes, bloodshot from the drink they had consumed an hour before. ”I’d like to see you try if you think you can do better,” she said, holding the scanner out for Herry.

“Just hurry the fuck up,” Herry said to Jones, looking at the scanner.

The red light turned green, and the sound of the lock disengaging was heard. Jones grinned and yanked the cable from the lock as Herry yanked open the door, narrowly missing Jones.

“Asshole,” Jones said as she followed him in with her duffle bag.

As they moved through the warehouse, it was pitch black. Jones warned Herry to be careful because she had put on a pair of night vision glasses when the door closed, encasing them in complete darkness. She could see almost everything, including Herry’s steps.

“You know it would be nice if I could see as well,” Herry grumbled.

“Not my fault you busted your pair at the bar,” Jones retorted, grabbing the back of his jacket to prevent him from running into a wall.

“What the fuck, Jones?” he exclaimed as he came to a halt by his jacket.

“Wall,” was all she said.

Herry extended his hand and smacked it against the wall in front of him. Jones let go of his jacket and looked at the wall. She reached up and tapped the side of the glasses, cycling through the views. A door appeared in front of Herry as she peered through a violet hue.

“Step to the left,” she instructed, waiting for Herry to comply.

She reached out and touched the door outline after Herry moved, looking for anything that might indicate what she was seeing. Her feather-light touch suddenly scraped over a faint impression near where the latch should have been. Pressing down on the area the door slid in slightly and then to the left. She reached out and grabbed Herry.

“All right, let’s go.”

Herry nodded, placing his hand on her shoulder and following her deeper into the darkness. The door slid back into place as soon as they cleared the threshold, and the room was suddenly flooded with light.

Jones ripped off the glass and turned her head away, temporarily blinded by the sudden brightness. Herry covers his eyes with his arm and groans in pain from the sudden brightness.

“A heads-up next time would be appreciated.”

“How the fuck was I supposed to know?” Jones asked, blinking again.

Herry lowered his arm and looked around the room, saying, “Just an expression.”

There was only a cargo container in the center of the room. He smiled as he looked over at Jones, who had recovered. ‘Payday’, he lipped out and took a step toward the container. Jones reached out and grabbed his arm, pulling him back. He looked at her with a puzzled expression on his face.

“Use your brain, moron,” she said as she put the glasses back on and cycled through the different views. She moved over to inspect the beams of light coming from each side of the room as she did so. “Good thing I stopped you, because otherwise whoever set up this security would have been notified of our presence,” she said, zooming in on the device embedded in the wall.

She knelt next to the wall and pulled out the scanner once more. She examined the data displayed to her as she scanned the device. She wasn’t sure if she could disable the light beam, but she needed to know where the device’s power source was. As the data was being displayed she looked about the room, cycling through the different views that her glasses provided when a soft beep came from the scanner. She looked down at the scanner, changed the view to the correct cycle, and looked around the room again.

“A false panel is about three meters from the floor to your left. I think I see a power source there,” she said, returning the glasses to their normal cycle.

Herry moved his gaze to where she had indicated and pressed his hand against the wall. A section of the wall slid in and out of the way to reveal a power bank and several circuit banks. He looked back at her, “Which one?”

Jones took a step forward and shrugged. “I’m not sure. “I didn’t see anything that indicated which one,” she said as she examined each of the circuits, looking for clues as to which one was linked to the security device.

She reaches in and yanks one of the banks of circuits with a shrug. As the bank is removed, sparks fly from its housing, showering Jones and Herry.

He narrows his eyes as he looks at her. “Well?” he asks.

Jones examines the security device before turning around with a shit-eating grin on her face.

“I guess it’s my lucky day,” she says as she approaches the container. She then returns his gaze. “You’re up.”

Herry nods and removes the cover from the number pad on the container before connecting a clamp to a red and a white wire. He lowers his gaze to the scanner in his hand. Data streamed onto its display as it hacked into the device’s encrypted system. A soft beep from the scanner was followed by a second beep from the container’s lock a moment later. Herry reached up and spun the lock’s mechanical portion, causing the container’s door to slide open.

They both stood in the container’s opening and looked inside. A single-cylinder containment device was embedded into the floor, and a shard of some kind was floating in a single red beam of light inside its semi-transparent sides. They exchanged glances, and Herry shrugged, unsure what to do next.

Jones sighed and advanced into the container. A loud thud was heard as her foot landed on the floor inside. She flinched at the sound and returned her gaze to Herry. He was shaking his head as he looked at her, trying to keep a smirk from appearing on his face.

‘Fuck you.’ Jones lipped out as she returned her attention to the shard.

Her eyes lit up as she moved, and she froze in mid-step. She then reached up and flipped the glasses, cycling through their perspective. She thought to herself, ‘What an idiot.’ Fortunately, no detectable security measures were present inside the container. She exhaled deeply and moved forward slowly. Her gaze was fixed on the shard as if it had hypnotized her.

Herry stood there watching Jones move around inside the container. As he focused on her, his fingers twitched on their own. He swallowed hard, trying to moisten his parched throat. Because he was so focused on her movement, he never blinked.

Jones came to a halt in front of the containment cylinder and nodded to Herry. Herry noticed the nod and made his way through the container to her.

“What is it?” he asked, looking at the shard.

“I’m not sure,” she said, looking at the blood-red crystalline shard floating in the red beam of light. She carefully removed it from the beam of light, which quickly faded away. The shard was in her palm, and she looked up at Herry, who had a sour look in his eyes.

“What the fuck, is this it?” he wondered, scanning the container for a hidden door or panel.

Jones completely ignored him, her gaze fixed on the shard in the center of her hand. Herry charged up to her and shoved her hard. As a result, she snapped out of the trance she was in. Her eyes narrowed as she became enraged. “What the fuck was that for?” she asked Herry, oblivious to his temper.

Herry walked out of the container, his hands in his hair. Jones shrugged and followed him, pocketing the shard in the process.

Comments

Manage
  • The vague tension at the beginning, you could almost taste it! Two thieves thinking they are on the catch of the year only the find something they didn't expect. You did great keeping the reader drawn into the story and what they were up to. I wonder how they end up after this little heist.

    November 1, 2022
  • I appreciate your choice to begin the mission in media res. You captured my attention from the start, diving into a caper I knew nothing about, with characters I don't recognize or remember. That hardly seemed to matter with such well-drawn characters as Jones and Herry. I could hear their voices clearly in my mind (and I think I could smell them too). Drunken thieves! What a delightful idea! There's little I enjoy as much as an irreverent heist. I really laughed at the notion of the night visions goggles being broken at the bar. And yet for all the giggle, giggle, you drew me in with the mystique of the unusual red shard. I wooooooonder what that can be.

    November 2, 2022
  • I have to say that is a very interesting start to an adventure and not at all what I expected. I love to see new and adventurous ideas. I firmly believe that not every adventure needs to start with the lines "Captain's Log..." and fade directly into Star Trek mode 101. This had mystery and surprise. I am genuinely excited to see where you take this and how this plays out from here.

    November 12, 2022