The Strange Crew of the Trogdor II

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The Strange Crew of the Trogdor II

Postby keturn » Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:05 am

[This FTL story may contain minor spoilers about one of the random encounters.]

It was a strange crew for a Rock Cruiser. It was a strange crew for any ship, really: a refugee human and slug, and the engi Mr. Buga. None of the original Federation rock crew remained. Two had been lost on a boarding mission, when they couldn't beam out before the pirate ship's reactor went up in flames, and the third had been killed in an accident in their own weapons bay.

But the refugees had little love for the rebellion and had taken up this mission for the Federation as their own. Charlie, the slug, had become adept at flying the bulky ship, and Debbie worked the defensive systems and helped Mr. Buga with the repairs.

It had been a constant fight for survival, but today, for the first time in a while, Debbie allowed herself a bit of hope.

Today they'd been set upon by the infamous mantis pirate KazaaakplethKilik. They did the only sane thing a couple of engineers could do when faced by a Mantis boarding party: lock themselves in the med bay and vent the rest of the ship. The Mantis were forced to retreat back to their own vessel before they did any serious damage, and then Charlie pointed out something: these crazy raiders were flying without a medical bay. Their boarders may have escaped with their lives, but only barely. They wouldn't be back anytime soon.

They still had a fight ahead of them, but with the bugs off their ship, Debbie felt it was closer to even terms. With its rock armor, a shield regenerator, and two hull lasers, the Trogdor II could hold its own in a firefight. After a glance to make sure the shields were still holding, she headed down to weapons.

Frankly, she barely knew what she was doing — Monsvik had only shown her the basics before they lost him — but he'd told her that she couldn't possibly be worse at tracking an enemy pilot than the auto-targeting system was.

She managed to land a few hits. She cursed. She'd managed to get through the shields and land a hit on their weapons system, but it wasn't enough to take it offline. Then she saw another indicator on the scan, one that told her that hit had actually breached the hull in Kazaaak's weapons bay. They were venting O2 fast. Beginner's luck, she thought.

If it had been on her ship, she knew she and Mr. Buga could have it sealed before coming short of breath. But half the Mantis crew was already near death from their previous walk through vacuum aboard the Trogdor and the mantis were terrible mechanics. She watched them scurry around the breach ineffectually, and then retreat to another part of the ship that still had cabin pressure.

Kazaaak's remaining weapons were still chipping away at the Trogdor's hull, though, and Debbie moved to let loose another volley. But as she imagined the hull lasers tearing through the Mantis ship, she stopped. Kazaaak had such a nice ship, it would be a shame to see it reduced to scrap. And after sucking vacuum, the mantis didn't look like they were in much of a condition to put up a fight.

"Come on Mr. Buga!" she yelled, running to the fore corridor. "We're going to raid a Mantis ship!"

For the first time since they'd lost the rock crew, they powered on the Trogdor's teleporter pad. And a couple of technicians, human and engi, beamed aboard a mantis craft.

The mantis, furious at being boarded, rushed to attack them. But they had to go through the vented weapons bay to get to them, and as Debbie expected, they didn't really have much fight left. A few moments later they were at the helm, powering down the targeting system trained on the Trogdor.

"Good work Debbie," she heard Charlie say over the comms, "but don't let your guard down yet. There's something still alive over there."

Mr. Buga squeaked and she heard a hacking cough come from the corner. Weapon at hand, she turned to face it.

The mantis made a rasping noise that might have been a laugh. "You can put your weapon down, brave human. KazaaakplethKilik is no threat to you anymore."

She was no expert on mantis physiology, but it didn't look like he was lying. His life signs barely registered on their scans and she saw shards of shrapnel had cracked his carapace. She might be, she realized, watching KazaaakplethKilik draw his final breaths.

Everyone had heard the stories about Kazaaak. Hell, she'd heard stories from her own grandfather, who had heard them when he started working the shipyards decades ago. She had no idea how many of them were true — every tavern owner and wandering trader seemed to have their own tale — but everyone agreed on one thing. There was no nebula thick enough or shield strong enough to keep a treasure safe once KazaaakplethKilik had set his mind on it, and he'd hit rebel and federation targets alike.

"Charlie," she heard herself say, "beam us back to the med bay. We're bringing a guest."

She wasn't sure what had made her do it. Maybe she thought the rest of the sector would think twice before messing with them when they heard they heard they had KazaaakplethKilik along. Maybe she'd been thinking of the way that the rock crew, not so long ago, had found her starving and alone, and brought her on board.

Debbie sat watching the rhythmic lines of the med scan. Kazaaak had lost consciousness again, but it looked like he was going to pull through. He'd surprised all of them (and not least himself, it seemed) when he agreed to help them get to Federation space, and directed them to a sizable equipment cache.

A human, a slug, an engi, and one infamous mantis. They were a strange crew, she thought again. Her gaze drifted to the other side of the medical bay, where the mysterious crystalline stasis pod gleamed softly. A strange crew indeed.
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Re: The Strange Crew of the Trogdor II

Postby Kieve » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:32 am

The Trogdor II eh? From the sounds of it, you'd think "The Burninator" would be the Shivan variant with the fire-bomb :lol:
Fun read though! I like your writing style, and look forward to hearing any further adventures from the crew of your beefy-armed space dragon.

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