Gender: Male Age: 54 Location: Las Vegas, Nv
|Introduction: Stealing a payroll|
I glanced at Samantha as she slipped into the scan seat, “did we get all the missiles loaded?”
She grinned, “and they even made the adjustments to the warheads.”
It had only been a week since we docked but we had a target and a schedule to keep. She grinned and nodded and I finished my system checks. I moved the ship away from the station on thrusters before turning to head out. I went up to head over the belt and looked at Andy in the engineering holograph when he cleared his throat, “yes?”
He grinned, “try skipping now.”
I checked everything twice as I plotted a skip and hit the button. We jumped through the wormhole smoothly and I grinned as I began plotting skips out of the system. An hour later I checked and plotted the long jump and we came out a day outside the system heliopause. I began moving us towards the position we had selected for our ambush.
I looked at Samantha as she sent a scan relay to my console, “anything insystem?”
She grinned and shook her head, “not unless it is docked.”
I took my time, we still had days before the payroll transport was due. That morning I was relaxing in the pilot’s chair when the ships jumped in. I sat up and Tana turned to look at me, “one freighter, one Marshal class small transport and two cruisers.”
I looked at the scan and turned, “general quarters.”
I watched the systems come alive as I plotted a skip and glanced at Samantha in her holo before I hit the button. We had been waiting for this and as soon as we came out six missiles streaked out and I turned and began to accelerate. Six more missiles fired as the first six impacted on one of the cruisers. It did not even have its shields up and vanished in the explosion.
I skipped and when we came out spun the ship only to see the second cruiser ripped apart. I turned the ship and went after the transport, “send the warning.”
The two ships slowed as I headed for the transport and Tana hissed, “four cruisers headed out.”
I nodded and began moving closer to the transport and she shifted in her seat, “I think they just spaced something.”
I glanced at Samantha, “can you snag that with a grav anchor?”
She grinned, “sure.”
I nodded as I docked and opened the intercom, “go!”
I waited and kept glancing at the scan relay. The four cruisers were making long skips but we had time. Peter came on our comm channel, “the payroll is not here.”
I thought of them spacing it and smiled, “I think we already have it. Move away and head out.”
I glanced at Samantha in her holograph, “have one of your men bring in the grav anchor and see what we caught.”
Once I had the green light from the airlock I used thrusters to move away from the transport. As it began to turn away Tana gasped and I glanced at the scan relay. I saw a swarm of space fighters heading away from the freighter and towards us. I brought our shields up and spun the ship as I opened the comm, “kick the lifeboat free and jump now Peter.”
I looked at Samantha, “set the proximity fuses and fire the missiles.”
She nodded and a few moments later six missiles streaked out. A couple of dozen missiles streaked towards us but I had plotted a skip and pushed the button. When we came out I turned the ship to see a two thirds of the fighters missing as well as the transport. Six more missiles fired towards the remaining fighters.
I spun the ship and skipped, “blow the freighter.”
We came out and I twisted the ship in a spiral and turned before we fired six more missiles into the freighter. It was almost point blank and they did not have time to put out decoys. The missiles mostly ripped open holds that were nothing but vacuum. The two that did not blew into the after section and one of the reactors.
The ship exploded as I turned and accelerated and plotted a jump out. I was worried Peter had not made it out but when we came out of jump Tana sighed as I turned to head insystem, “the transport is ahead of us.”
I glanced at the scan relay and adjusted course. I looked at Samantha in her holo, “tell me we got the payroll.”
She grinned and nodded, “and the pay records.”
I laughed and relaxed as we closed with the transport. After we docked I put the ship on standby and stretched. I grinned at the others as I walked off the bridge. What was in the transport was more luxury items. I let the men lose to look through the cargo and select a few things. I also called Jennings and told him we had the pay records for the whole enemy fleet.
He was ecstatic but of course he wanted us to go to the military station. I guess he had learned because he did not argue to much. A little later I was on the bridge of the transport and piloting and Samantha cleared her throat from the scan station, “someone just jumped in.”
I glanced at the repeater and finally after several long moments the ship codes began to appear. I stiffened, “that is a full cruiser squadron.”
Samantha hit general quarters as I thought and finally looked at my grav display. I growled and looked at the holo of Andy in engineering, “warm up the jump engines.”
He looked at me but nodded and turned as I shifted and started plotting, “get Peter to our ship. Tell him to skip in.”
Samantha turned to do as I told her as I watched the cruiser squadron skip closer. I looked at the airlock lights as they flashed red and then green. The cruiser squadron appeared behind us and accelerated. Finally our ship separated and accelerated away and I sighed, “ready to dance Andy?”
He grinned and held up a thumb and I hit the skip button just as the comm came to life, “transport come to a stop and prepare for boarding!”
A wormhole opened and we skipped and came out in orbit around the last planet. I ignored everything but the grav display and readings as I began plotting another skip or jump since it was not going to be short. I glanced at Samantha when she cleared her throat, “what?”
She grinned, “Peter is still skipping in and the fleet is coming out.”
I nodded and finished my plot before hitting the button as the cruiser squadron skipped out. We jumped out as they were skipping in and came out halfway around the system in orbit around the next planet. I went back to work as Samantha refreshed the scan and kept muttering and murmuring. I hit the jump button again and she hissed, “they skipped again.”
We jumped and came out further insystem and around another planet. I glanced at her, “run a check for signals we might be emitting.”
I went back to work as she started and looked at Andy when he frowned, “what?”
He sighed, “we have maybe one or two more jumps before the jump engine goes.”
Samantha jumped out of her seat and began to run out, “I found it!”
The cruiser squadron needed to destroy us to get rid of their fleet pay records. I finished my plot and crossed my fingers before hitting the jump button. This time the jump was very rough and we came out short. I was frantically shutting everything thing down, “kill everything except the life support Andy!”
I finished and turned to look at Samantha as the bridge went dark. She crossed to her seat, “it was in the captain’s quarters.”
I nodded and tried to relax as the tiny emergency lights flickered on. Andy came onto the bridge a few minutes later and sighed as he sat in a jump seat, “the jump engine shut down and will need a complete rebuild.”
I nodded, “hopefully we can sit quietly while they search until fleet chases them out.”
He grinned, “I have a deck of cards if anyone wants to play?”
Samantha snorted, “I will save my luck for the ship.”
After several hours I had Andy bring the power back on line and Samantha used the passive scan. The cruiser squadron was almost to the heliopause so we brought everything online. I started us moving and headed for our station and relaxed. It took several days since we had already skipped most of the way in.
Andy spent it rebuilding the skip engine while Samantha and I stayed on the bridge. By the time we docked Peter had already gotten the payroll converted and handed out pay vouchers. Jennings and an admiral from intel were waiting and took the pay records as soon as the hatch was opened.
We got a more credits for the ship and Jennings gave us the colony credits for the mission.
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