The Hunted

The Hunted

Mace Harrel sat in a seedy bar called the Dead man’s rest on the seedier planet of Altia in the Altair system. He was finishing his drink, an orato with a twist of desou, when out of the corner of his eye he spotted a man walk in dressed in clothes that disguised his figure and concealed any weapons he might be carrying. Mace watched with his experienced eyes, he had seen this type before, a bounty hunter almost certainly. He loosened his blaster in its holster.

The bounty hunter walked up to the bar and motioned to the bar man to listen closely. Mace watched, still sipping his drink slowly, as the bounty hunter said something to the bar man, then slightly almost imperceptibly the bar man nodded in the direction of Harrel. The bounty hunter looked across at Harrel sat at a table about ten feet away. Harrel was big built over six feet tall with long black hair that hung to his shoulders in strands and stubble on his face, a pair of sharp grey eyes stared straight back at the bounty hunter.
Harrel knew the bounty hunter was looking for him, he sighed and downed the rest of his drink.
He made to stand up and as quick as a flash the bounty hunter whipped out a vicious looking blaster and fired.
Mace threw himself on the floor, the shot passed over his head and hit another man behind him in the arm.
Bright scarlet blood spattered on the floor from the gaping wound in the guys arm.

Harrel jumped up pulled out his own blaster and returned fire. blaster bolts flew across the bar the bounty hunter ducked them and they hit the wall behind leaving large holes where they hit.

Harrel moved across the bar running crouched down between tables and chairs. The bounty hunter fired again and again sending a stream of fire across the bar, three more patrons fell, two dead one screaming in agony clutching his leg. Mace kept running and hurtled through a door, blaster bolts hitting the walls and door just behind him.

He found himself in an office of some sort. He leant against the wall out of breath. He stopped for a moment checking himself, then he launched himself across the room and out of the window, he smashed through the glass and saw the ground come up to meet him.

He landed hard on the walkway outside, he glanced up at the window above him and saw the bounty hunter framed in it, he was speaking into a com.
Just then a Fed Viper screamed overhead and disappeared behind Harrel and was blocked from view by the Dead mans rest.
Mace got up and ran towards docking area 14 where his Pirate Starbridge was waiting.
He turned, making sure he wasn’t being followed, then he noticed that the walkway he was running down was almost completely deserted. He checked his wrist comp and saw it was 13:47 local time, a usually busy time of day. Puzzled he kept running.
He was approaching the docking area when he heard again the engine of the Viper closing behind him.
Somehow Mace knew it was not coming into dock, then he remembered the bounty hunter talking into the com. It struck him then that the bounty hunter must actually have been a Federation investigator and he had ordered the Viper to attack him. The Viper was closing in fast then with a sudden burst the Viper opened fire.
Although it only packed light blasters they were meant to destroy ships not people. The walkway erupted around Mace’s feet, the bolts hit all around him leaving steaming holes where they impacted. The heat, light and noise were intolerable. The Viper fired a long burst then passed over head.
Mace un hurt carried on running he silently thanked god for his lucky escape and ran through the archway into docking area 14.
He ran up to the man at the control station.
“Which bay are you in ?” the man asked lazily.
“Bay seven.” panted Mace
“Hmm let me see.” said the man, eyes scanning down a console until he stopped at bay seven. He paused and glanced up at Mace, a worried look in his eyes.
“What is it?” Demanded Mace
“Nothing.” Replied the man quickly recovering his bored look. “Pirate Starbridge, name the Night Raven, fully re fuelled and stocked with standard supplies, is that right?”
“That’s the one.” Answered Mace.
“Right then, if you could just insert your ID card.”
The computer beeped as it confirmed him the owner of the ship.
“And the total cost of re fuelling and re supplying comes to five hundred and eighty credits, will you pay by credit chip or account card ?”
Mace tossed the guy a few credit chips.

The man turned in his chair reached across a console and pressed a button unlocking the door to bay 7.
Mace walked down a short passage until he came to the personnel door to bay 7, he opened it, stepped inside and felt a sharp pain in his
neck, he fell to the floor and blackness took him.

Chapter 2.

Mace woke up with a start. He tried to open his eyes, but then clamped them shut as the bright light forced its way in.
He became aware that his head was pounding, he felt a lump on his head presumably, he thought, where he had hit his head on the ground.
Still with his eyes closed, he thought back to when he was...
well drugged he supposed but he couldn’t remember seeing anyone.
If it was an attack on him it was done very professionally. This thought didn’t make him feel better. He sat up slowly. Then abruptly leaned over and threw up.
This made him feel slightly better, he tried opening his eyes again. He found himself in a room that was small about eight feet square with no windows and a door across the room. It was well lit and contained a sink, toilet and a bed which he was laying on. Also a small chair was beside the bed.

Mace walked across the room over to the sink and drunk some of the water from the tap. It was cool and refreshing but tasted of purifying chemicals.
Mace began to wonder what had happened to him and where he was.
He walked to the door and tried to open it, He was not surprised to find it was locked. He turned away from it started back for the bed, but suddenly the door opened and a man in a black uniform walked in.
As Mace looked at him he found that the man was completely average, average height and build, with brown hair cut fairly short neatly, arranged almost, on his head.
“Captain Mace Harrel of the Night Raven, you have been arrested and detained by the Federation Bureau of Internal Investigation, you will face sentence without trial as one of the freedoms entitled to us at our establishment by the Federation council in the year 1050 NC. You have been detained on the following charges:”
“Possession of the drug FATE with intent to use and distribute.”
“Illegal and dangerous conduct in the space ports of, New Babylon, Sol, Nesre primus, Tichel, Sirrius one and Spacedocks I through to VI.”
“Breaking of port authority rules 45c, 67a, 231, 56f, 12d and 21j, to name but a few, on multiple systems.”
“Piracy in a multitude of Federation and Auroran systems.”
“Resisting arrest.”
“ And finally, Damage and theft of Public and Private property worth in total 2.3 million credits.” The officer looked up from his list.
“That's quite a list.” Remarked Harrel. “I had no idea you guys were keeping so close an eye on me.”
The officer ignored him and continued. “You are to be taken to an interview with Commander Howe in interview room 45.”
At this two heavily armed guards walked in.
“Please follow me.” said the officer icily.
The officer and the guards escorted him up the corridor to a turbo lift, they stepped inside and Harrel felt the strange sensation in his stomach as they went up. The lift came to a stop and the doors opened, they stepped out into another corridor, as they walked along it Harrel glanced in the windows in the doors as he passed. One room contained four people sat around a table being interviewed by two federation officers. Harrel thought he vaguely recognised the four people as a group of smugglers he had seen on wanted displays but he wasn’t sure. They stopped next to a door marked Int Room 45.
The officer opened the door and gestured for Harrel to go inside. Harrel walked in and the officer closed the door behind him.
Harrel saw another man sat at a table facing him dressed in military attire with the rank of Commander. The mans face was set and expressionless, he had short grey hair and piercing blue eyes that showed no emotion only a coldness that seemed to radiate from him.
“Sit down” said the man.
Harrel sat.
“I’m Commander Howe.” said the man.
“I’m Mace...”
“I know who you are.” Interrupted Howe.
“Now since that's the pleasantries out of the way I’ll get straight to the point.” “Ordinarily with someone of your record, I would have you locked up straight away.” “However.” continued Howe. “I’m feeling rather lenient today as I have just caught the smuggling group known as the Runners which has put me in a good mood.”
“You can really tell.” Remarked Mace.
“If I were in your position I’d be polite and less sarcastic, If I change my mind you will go away for a very long time.”
“As I was saying” Howe went on. “ It so happens that I need to use someone to help us catch a certain individual known only to us as Michaleen.” “Does that name mean anything to you?”
Mace shook his head.
“No it probably wouldn’t.” Said Howe.
“He works for the wild geese, a mercenary organisation based on New Ireland in the Tuatha system if you didn’t know.”
“The wild geese and particularly this man Michaleen have been nosing around in our business we have going on with the pirates lately, this business does not concern you so I will not disclose the information surrounding it, however we still need Michaleen bought to us.”
“So where do I come in?” Asked Mace.
“We need you to go to New Ireland, pick up Michaleens trail, find out where he is and simply bring him to us.”
“Why can’t you get one of your snatch squads to do it?” Asked Mace.
“Two reasons.” Said Howe “One, because the wild geese have an excellent, almost flawless intel system so they would know we were coming before we got there.”
“Second, if we were found out, we might upset the geese and we need their continued support manning spacedock VI and helping us fight of the Aurorans.”
“So basically I bring you this guy and I don’t go to prison, right?”
“Yes, but if you fail or try to escape the punishment will be death from the bureau and if you are caught then the Wild Geese will most likely kill you.”
“Why can’t you send an agent to catch him then?” Asked Mace.
“Because you have contacts all the way across the criminal underworld who can help you find him we do not, plus if I send an agent you go to prison.”
“All right I’ll go, but only if I get a clean record at the end of it.”
“Fine, but do not fail and do not run, we will find you where ever you go.” Howe Paused.
“I’ll get the two guards outside to escort you out of here and to your ship.”

An hour later in space Mace found himself back in his pirate Starbridge. Although it felt like days, it had only been eight hours since he had first seen the bounty hunter enter the bar.
He figured the best place to begin his search was New Ireland he set the co-ordinates and jumped out.
The Night Raven Sped away and disappeared with a flash and a sonic boom which echoed around in space.

When you're writing dialogue, remember to write it like people actually speak. 🙂

Use periods instead of commas in a few places. Consider that when you want to give someone a great deal of information, you'll take a few breaths. Good places for full stops.