Loose Ends

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Adventures of Kyle & Mad

Chapter 11: Loose Ends

Kyle Gigerdi’s log

Stardate 4163.4

“We’ve been traveling the Beta Quadrant Free Zone for two weeks now. After our unfortunate crash at that unknown world, we spent a week on a space yard getting the ship repaired and modified with additional shields and weaponry. We also bought some supplies. After that, we finally scored our first big cargo hauling gig, and managed to pay off our ship’s upkeep for the space yard.

I thought I knew space. I thought I had seen everything, but coming to the No Man’s Land certainly opened my eyes again. I find this place as alien as it is hostile. The only rules that exist here are the rules you make for yourself.”

Kyle ended his log with the touch of a button on the entertainment console located in the small crew compartment of their ship, the Hawk of the Galaxy. Den sat at the small couch near Kyle, and looked at a newspaper of some sort. “You know, there’s a bunch of cargo-hauling jobs available in the Hogland system” Den stated. “Where’s Hogland?” Kyle asked quietly. “It’s one of those rim systems, which nobody wants to go to. Apparently this job would include the delivering of manure to some outpost” Den replied. “Fortunately, we don’t have facilities to transport anything like that” Kyle said with a relieved tone of voice. “True, we’d need to find higher paying jobs anyway” Den agreed.

Den and Kyle arose from their positions and proceeded to walk back to the bridge. Mad was there studying the navigational computer’s stellar maps. “So, how’s the helm?” Den asked as Mad read the maps. “I’ve been looking at the stellar maps. There’s a bunch of systems that are rumoured to be rich in several minerals” he explained. “Quite possibly we could travel to these systems, and ask the mining establishments there if they’d need any minerals transported from one place to another” he continued. “Yeah, asking them straight on might actually bring us a job. Good thinking.” Den replied. “Alright, we’d better set course for the Jovo system, then” Mad said to himself as he changed seats to the helm. “Jovo has a large mineral ore refinery. I’d think we’ll find a job from there” Den stated as the ship changed course in hyperspace.

Meanwhile in the Hicatorio system...

“Yes, a freighter like that came by here a few weeks ago” a mechanic at the hangar said to the tall GigerdЭian. He had landed to the fuel depot located in the asteroid field there. The Hawk of the Galaxy had visited the establishment a few weeks ago.

“According to the records inside that refueling robot, the ship in question was refueled and that operation cost 20 universal credits” the mechanic explained further. “I think that they didn’t tell any of us where they were going” he continued. The Gigerdian nodded.

“If they’re looking for work in the cargo hauling business, then you’d be likely to find them looking for it in the neighboring systems. Luckily there are only a few places here that offer such jobs” the mechanic said. The Gigerdian extended his hand to reveal a small sum of universal credits. He gave the shiny coins to the mechanic, who also bowed in respect. The Gigerdian left the refueling depot as quickly as he had arrived. What the Gigerdian failed to observe, however, was a shuttle lurking outside the depot. As the Gigerdian fighter flew out of the hangar, the shuttle quietly turned on its’ lights and engines, and proceeded to tail the Gigerdian craft.

Hyperspace near the Jovo system

“The Jovo system is very close to Marauder territory” Den said to Kyle and Mad on the bridge of the ship. “You’ve mentioned them before” Mad replied. “Yes, who are they?” Kyle asked.

“I’ve had a few run-ins with them in the past. Basically they’re a bunch of technocrats interested of salvaging ships. They’re pretty well armed and organized, and their way of doing things resemble the ways of an organized society in this place” Den explained. “They’ve been known to shoot trespassers” he added. “So, what are the chances of us running into them?” Mad asked in return. “They pretty much keep to themselves in the few systems that they occupy. I wouldn’t worry about them” Den said.

The Hawk of the Galaxy dived out of hyperspace, and entered the Jovo system. The system itself had many inhabitable worlds, but still the main use for the system was plainly to serve as a staging area for mineral transports. The corporations transporting ores and minerals to the other quadrants also had many recruiters situated at the mineral outpost of Jovo. The outpost itself was like a large beehive with dozens of hangars and docking ports meant for transports bringing in and transporting out various valuables. The Hawk of the Galaxy quietly moved closer to it.

The Jovo System

Near Mineral Station

“Looks like we’re finally getting somewhere” Kyle said to Den and Mad. The ship quietly advanced ever closer to the station located on the horizon. “Welcome to Mineral Station, please state your business?” a stern voice requested from the ship’s speakers. “Mineral Station, we’re requesting permission to land. We’re in search for a cargo haul” Mad replied. “Copy that, hangar five is ready for guests” the same voice replied.

Just as the ship was about to slow down near the station, something unexpected happened: a small fighter pulled out of hyperspace in front of the small freighter. The stunt that the fighter had pulled indeed was quite spectacular, but what amazed the crew of the Hawk of the Galaxy the most, was the ship’s age. “Wow, did someone just do the time warp again?” Kyle said with an amazed look on his face as the fighter appeared on the view screen. “I remember those things. We used to have them at the academy” Mad said with a smirk. “Look, the other wing on that thing has been replaced with mean-looking cannon” Kyle added. “Something’s not right here” Den said quietly.

The heavily modified Gigerdian fighter ignited its’ engines, and flew to block the way for the Hawk of the Galaxy. “Hey, there’s a line here, you know?” Den shouted into the speaker. The mysterious Gigerdian fighter stood in front of the ship quietly. It was obvious that the pilot was simply observing the freighter, and ignored them for a reason.

“This is purple seven reporting”, a sudden and metallic voice replied from the fighter. Kyle looked at the vessel with a horrified gaze.