EV/EVO Chronicles: Astex Oil: Chps 7-9

Chapter Seven

The figure carried the limp body Heather Nerrott through the hatch into the corridors of the desolate ship, and closed it behind him. He looked at the markings on the wall before him. Eight lines painted in red, making the shape of a cross within a square, with the crosses lines beginning and ending in the corners of the square. He had painted this. It had no meaning whatsoever, but he just liked the evil look of it and the message of warning it passed along to potential intruders.

He turned left and continued down the corridor, and headed toward the section of the ship that contained the smallish rooms that served as quarters for passengers.

He passed the first of the doors, stopping briefly to smile at what was inside. In that room was the result of his first achievement. He opened up the next door and gently put Heather down next to the sleeping body of Lauren Willen. The man quietly left the room again and locked the door. It was almost time, but not yet. He had only just captured her. He would make her wait.


The man sat alone up in the empty bridge. He could only imagine what it must have been like for the former captain. He had never been a captain before, only a crew member.

His dream wasn't to be rich, like some people, because he already was. No, it was to one day sit in the captain's chair and have full command of a vessel, no matter how big or small. He wanted the power, the experience, and the sheer thrill. He had been in a temporary commanding position once, but only for a short period of time. He wanted to do it again.

The only thing that disappointed him was that many other people had the same dream, and they had beaten him to it. It was a universal dream, but he hadn't been in that universe, only wandering around the outskirts. But now he was in the center.


However depressing his thoughts were, he found it very hard to be sad about anything. As the man sat in his worn down captain's chair, he reflected on that deal he had made. It made him excessively happy all the time. It was a win-win situation.

But this was like no other deal. In fact, all the normal rules that one would expect of this type of "contract" were broken. The new main rule was the one he liked the most. If he was killed, he still won.

Chapter Eight

A weary Rick Cholten and, for the amount of time he spent in the bar, a co-pilot that was surprisingly not drunk, guided their scoutship toward the planet Levo. Rick noticed it was almost night on the side he was going to land on, which was obviously the side he worked on and lived on.

There was a large amount of traffic, both coming and going, which was unusual. The price of industrial goods must have dropped again. The prices on Levo were always low. It always attracted traders looking for a good price and some easy money. This stream of traders would last for a few days until the prices returned to normal again.

Rick was so caught up in the beautiful sight that he almost didn't notice a corvette coming straight at him. Rick altered the L.S.S. Thrapshire's course, narrowly missing the old, battle scarred corvette's hull. The experience only reminded Rick that he desperately longed for some rest.


Rick set down the scoutship on its own landing pad, and the ground crew immediately came out from a safe distance to perform a compulsory check of the ship. However, Rick was too tired to stick around and find out if anything was wrong with it, but his copilot was in no hurry to get anywhere.

"You want to stick around?" Rick asked, not trying to hide the fatigue in his voice.

"Sure thing, you go home and get some rest," replied his comrade.

Rick didn't bother to waste time. He left the pad straight away and headed through the space port, and then headed home.


Rick entered his house half asleep. It took him a while to realise that someone had left him a message. He checked the source. It was from work. Great.

His boss appeared on the screen: "This guy is always one step ahead of you, Rick. Victim number three, Heather Nerrott, has just disappeared. From this planet." Rick then realized that Schlickman's first comment had a deeper meaning. So far, Rick had been following the kidnappers footprints exactly.

The message continued: "If you want to visit the house, here's the address, but there isn't much there." A map appeared on the screen as the message ended.

Rick was too exhausted to visit it now, and then he realized he probably didn't have to. He realized that it probably wouldn't be different from Lauren's house. Not much there. Nothing to see at all.

Rick made himself a quick meal and fell asleep soon after. He was in no hurry to do anything tomorrow, so he would get as much sleep as possible.

Chapter Nine

Late the next day, a completely refreshed Rick Cholten obtained some graphics of Heather Nerrott's house. He had been right, there was simply nothing of any interest. Until something helpful showed up, he would do some research and add some detail to his list of suspects. It could take days, but it had to be done.

He put the pictures aside and immersed himself in work once again.


The figure sitting in the captain's seat looked over his loyal crew and was once again reminded of the great deal he had made. Only some of his crew were aware of his previous actions and future intentions, but they did not hinder him. They, too, had a dark past.

As a team, they guided the corvette down towards Capella. As the planet grew closer, the man could not help but crack a smile. This section of his plan was devious, and extremely clever. The smile grew larger and larger as the ship entered the planet's atmosphere.


He was the last person left on the ship, watching most of his crew disperse in different directions with little idea of why their captain had given them a few hours to relax on a tourist planet.

However, he would have to stay on the ship, for his own safety, and for the entire plan to work. He began to make his way back up to the bridge, but stopped after a few steps. He suddenly realized now was the best time to take the next step. Instead, he headed to the passenger quarters.

The entire way his mind was filled with thoughts on how it he would do it, going over the actions again and again, working out the right reaction for every possibility.

At last the door to Heather and Lauren's room was right in front of him. He checked that everything was as it should be.

Status: Closed & Locked

It was. The door was still locked. He took a deep breath.

Status: Closed & Unlocked

There was no turning back now.

Status: Open

Without hesitation, the man walked through the doorway. Still moving, he quickly scanned the small room, mentally noting where both Heather and Lauren were. He moved directly toward Heather, but not without keeping an eye on Lauren. Fortunately, his actions had caused Heather to freeze in fear. In less than a moment he seized her and began to drag her out of the room.

He felt her try to struggle free, but his grip was too tight. Lauren found some courage deep inside of her and lunged at the captain, but he forced her back so strongly that she fell to the floor. A few seconds later and he was back outside.

Status: Closed & Locked

With the hard part over, he started to drag a still struggling Heather down to the cargo hold. She occasionally let out a scream for help, but the man knew it would not come. The ship would still be empty for a couple of hours.


To Heather it seemed like an eternity, to the man that was restraining her it felt like a few seconds, but in reality it took them only a couple of minutes to reach the cargo hold.

She lost her balance as the man behind her pushed her forward and she fell to the ground. Although she expected the hold to be empty, she suddenly felt that there was cargo in here. She hadn't had the chance to check yet.

Heather tried to get up, but her eye caught sight of what was being held down here. She saw storage drums, with its contents written clearly on the side. The shock took all the energy out of her limbs and she collapsed onto the floor again.

She rolled over to face the captain and shed a tear. She did not make a sound. She pleaded silently. The man above her hesitated for a moment, but only a moment.


The captain of the corvette checked the time as he opened one of the drums in its cargo hold. He still had an hour or so before his crew returned and they would have to leave again. Fumes overwhelmed him for an instant as he carefully poured some of its contents onto the dead body of Heather Nerrott.


He put the fire out a few minutes later, preventing it from spreading and igniting the contents of the drums. It hadn't burned long, but it had burned well. The liquid in the drums had exceeded his expectations. The body was barely recognizable.

The man promptly left the cargo hold without looking back, and locked the door behind him, to prevent the curious from discovering his secret.

(This message has been edited by moderator (edited 12-19-2001).)

I like your stories. Keep up the good work. 🙂

"My guitar gently weeps." George Harrison, 1943-2001