A brilliant scientist uncovers a terrifying plot to begin a galactic war. Aided by a talented, but reluctant and embittered combateer, he must stop the deployment of a super weapon he invented. A weapon so powerful it threatens to destroy entire worlds.
The Python class cruiser was a vicious looking ship. Lean, angular, fast and deadly, sporting a shark-tooth livery, it was the nemesis of many an unhappy trader. Its jutting fuel scoop granted it an eerie resemblance to the fearsome marine hunter that inspired its design.
True to form it was chasing down its prey, a battered Mk3 Cobra, the traders' seminal ship. The Cobra was a versatile vessel, and was often seen in fully loaded battle readiness – an 'Iron Ass' to use the vernacular.
This particular one wasn't so well endowed. It was attempting to flee the Python, in vain.
The Python triggered its forward weapons array again, the Cobra rolling drunkenly in a hopeless attempt to escape. Its rear shields failed and tell-tale plasma began to leak from its overworked drive units. A couple more hits and it would succumb.
The Python's owner, a pirate of some notoriety, savoured his victim's last moments. The cargo had already been stolen, and he didn't feel in a merciful mood today, he had his reputation to maintain.
His gloved hands closed over the firing controls as he rotated his ship to bring the unfortunate Cobra back into the cross hairs.
'Thank you, and good night...'
The Python lurched, then lurched again, throwing off his aim. Cursing, he adjusted his scanner. A new red blip had appeared, a hostile ship, targeting him! The Python lurched again, his rear shield now fully a third gone.
Quickly he targeted the newcomer. He was surprised to see it was a lone Sidewinder. A small lightly armed vessel. It had no witchspace drive, no way to travel between the stars. A simple interplanetary ship, usually used as a cheap and cheerful escort. The signature of the hits on his shields indicated it was armed with the basic pulse laser common to such a simple ship. It was unusual for a Sidewinder to be journeying alone, even in a safe system like Tianve.
Sidewinder. Mass 52 Metric. Speed .375 LM. Legal Status Clean, Bounty 0 Cr.
He flicked on the narrowband comms and sent out a hail to the new ship.
'Stand down. This is a legitimate kill. If you don't want to join him, I suggest you reverse course now. You're outgunned. Leave while you still can.'
The answer was another double hit on his rear shield.
Part 2: Mutabilis
Part 3: Incursio
Part 4: Finis