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Part of USS Resolute: Chasing Shadows

2 – Unwelcome visitors

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The Resolute was not a large ship, which was why the pirate’s escape pods were being beamed directly into the shuttlebay. Leif and his security team stood waiting, armed to the teeth. He had no idea how the pirates were going to come out of those pods, but for his guess… they were going to come out swinging. So he’d broken out the heavy weaponry, a phase rifle held easily in his hands as he waited for the first of the pods to materialise on the deck.

They did, one after the other until there were twelve in three neat little lines.

“How many lifesigns to a pod?” he asked the transport technician by the door.

“Three to a pod, sir.”

A frown creased Leif’s brow. Three to a pod made thirty-six. He shot a glance at his team. They were all experienced and well trained, but there were only six of them. This could get hairy, fast.

“Computer, alert security detail beta to be on standby to deploy to the shuttlebay,” he ordered, just as the first of the escape pods started to open. The hiss of the hinges releasing one by one filled the air, and slowly the doors opened like flowers opening under the sun.

There was no movement. No-one climbed out of the escape pods. The skin on the back of Leif’s neck crawled in warning.

“Take cover!” He bellowed, a split second before the first shot rang out. A green bolt of energy sliced through the air, hitting the wall behind the crate he’d ducked behind. “Contact! Weapons fired! Return fire!”

His team responded slickly, all of them taking cover and returning fire as the pirates spilled from the escape pods.

Leif ducked out of cover to do the same, dropping two pirates as they climbed out of the pods. “Gunnar to the bridge. We have a slight situation in the shuttlebay. I’m not entirely sure these guys really needed a rescue.”

| Bridge

“Shots fired in the main shuttlebay,” Burton reported, having taken a position at the security console. “Bringing internal sensors online. There are thirty… one of them active. The security team are picking them off and keeping them contained, but there are too many of them.”

He looked up, catching Raan’s eyes. “They’re going to break through.”

Raan grunted. “Can we lock onto their signals and beam them directly to the brig.”

Burton’s lips compressed into a thin line. “Can only get ten of them in there. Sorry boss, we’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

“Get as many as you can in there,” Raan ordered, already turning for the door to the bridge. “And take the chair. I’m going to go down and give Gunnar a hand. Mason to Bennett,” he opened comms to the chief engineer as he walked off the bridge. “Grab a rifle. It got noisy in the shuttlebay and we have some unwelcome guests to deal with.”

“Aye, Gen… sir.” The reply came immediately. No questions asked. Raan known there wouldn’t be, not from Bennett. With Kovash it would have been twenty questions and a multiple choice quiz, but tell Bennett to grab a rifle or blow something up and he was there.

Raan stopped at a weapons locker en route, arming himself with quick and efficient movements. An ensign scuttled by, wide-eyed at the sight of the ship’s captain dressed for combat. A smile quirked his lips as he closed the locker and headed down the corridor.

He might wear a neatly pressed fleet uniform now, but back then he and his men, Bennett included, had spent months in trenches and on the front line. They’d fought with everything they had to hold the line against an enemy with no morals or scruples and one single aim; to wipe them out. His weapons had been his constant companions back then, and he still had them in a locked weapons trunk in his quarters. They were nothing compared the energy rifle he carried now, but they were still part of his history. They reminded him where he’d come from.

Bennett joined him at the corridor intersection between the turbolift and the shuttlebay. Like Raan, he was armed to the teeth. Raan’s eyebrow winged up at the spanner tucked into Bennett’s belt. “Expecting to do any repairs while we’re in there?”

“I might perform some cranial percussive maintenance.” The big engineer grinned and plucked the tool from his belt. Which was when Raan realised there was a weight welded to the other end, effectively turning the spanner into a crude but very effective hammer.

He blinked. “Carry on primus, carry on.”

“Aye general.”

They fell back into former roles as they sprinted for the shuttlebay, drawn by the sounds of a vicious fire-fight. They rounded the corner to find that Gunnar had pulled his team back to the shuttlebay doors, bottle-necking the pirate’s ingress and preventing them from gaining access to the rest of the ship. He caught sight of Raan and Bennett bearing down on them and looked surprised for a second.

Raan dropped into cover next to him, approval rolling through him that the security team had thought to drag some shuttle shielding out of the shuttlebay to give them cover as they kept the pirates contained.

“Talk to me, Gunnar,” Raan ordered. “What are we looking at?”

The chief security officer took a moment to fire back at two pirates trying to make a run for it before replying. “Total force of thirty-six. Ten got grabbed by a transporter, I assume the bridge and we’ve dropped six, so we have twenty left. And they’re tough bastard’s sir. Got some kind of adaptive body armour and their energy weaponry… it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Not even the experimental stuff Aniya looks at.”

Raan frowned. “Aniya?”

“Sorry, the ship’s armourer. She’s on security beta shift.”

“Can we talk about your love life later, big guy?” Bennett growled. “And let’s deal with these damn pirates.” 


  • I love that this story could only have been told aboard the Resolute: A whole crew of pirate prisoners in numbers that rival the security department complement should be insurmountable. But on this ship? Those poor pirate bastards have basically found themselves inside a haunted house, given how the entire crew of the Resolute are tactical-trained and battle-hardened. Every glimpse back we get of Raan's history is always welcome, I must say. And my absolute favourite line was: "With Kovash it would have been twenty questions and a multiple choice quiz, but tell Bennett to grab a rifle or blow something up and he was there." Ha! Paints the picture of their relationship so well.

    April 3, 2023
  • BLOW OUT THE SHUTTLEBAY DOORS, RAAN!! Hahaha! Who doesn't love a bit of pew pew pew in their mission? I am intrigued to see if the Resolute has bitten off more than they can chew. Was beaming that many on board a good idea? Will Mason need to rethink his decisions in future, or could he find another way to save his ship and defend his shuttle bay? I'm also enjoying how close the crew of the Resolute appear to one another as well and how, while under pressure, this can continue between them.

    April 8, 2023