Dark Journey-an Escape Velocity story

I post this story because of the backlog in the Chronicles section. I hope the mods don't take this the bad way and close it down. This story takes place during Tim Isle's plugin Empire 2: Dark Horzions, one of my faovrites. I hope all like it. I know it's not going to be another Zero Moment or Omega Conspiarcy, but still enjoy.

As a before note, I'd like to dedicate this story to Tim for his creation of the Trilogy and for inspring me. I'd also like to dedicate it to my friends Victor and Alex for tolerating (barely) my talk of Escape Velocity. Now, without further ado, I present you chapter one of Dark Journey.


Chapter 1

"Locanda Control, this is the S.S. Aeris requesting landing, over."

"Aeris, this is Locanda Control. Permisson granted. Land at pad Beta 3. Welocme to Levo, Captain." The blockade runner entered the Levo atmosphere and glided on thrusters towards its assigned landing pad. As it neared, thrusters were slowly powering down.

When the ship landed, the hacth opened and the transit ramp slid down. A person emerged from the entry way a minute later, dressed in a blue and gold trimed uniform. On his forearm was a single gold band, the mark of a captain. He was Captain Liam Ares, captain and only crew member of the Aeris.

Behind him came two other people, both civilians by the looks of them. By anyone's guess they were a couple on a vacation. Nodding to Liam, one of them handed him a credit chip and then departed for the nearest hotel. The captian waved to them, sad to see them go.

Liam was native of Zaxted Starport and had been raised in the ways of comrence. He had flown his first ship at 18, when left the station. At the age of 25, he was doing pretty good. Having gone through three ships he had bought a blockade runner a year ago. Although the Aeris could hold many crew members, Liam preferred to fly alone to leave empty quarters for those passengers he picked up. From time to time he picked up some people who could help him maintain the ship for the flight.

It had been five years since the War between the Colinal Navy and Weave had eneded. The Terrans had sent the mainstay of their Navy into the Satori system, and in a surpring move, had sent five prototype ships, the Hammerhead Carriers into the system, wiping out all oppistion. They stormed Palashife and captured Weave Command. After that, all other the worlds fell. Then the pirate worlds were destroyed.

Liam walked to the bar for some rest. Two days ago the Aeris had run into a pirate kestrel. It had taken a bold effort to bring the down both the ship and its fighters. Unfourtanely, the ship had endured a missile hit to the plasma core, so Liam and his passengers had sat in the Vulcan system for a day and a half, fixing the engines.

Entering the bar, he slumped down into a empty both and motioned over a servebot. Ordering a cup of black coffee, the young captain sat back and watched the holovid near the front of the room.

"Rumor has it that Weave ships are plaguing Terran colonies. The Empire has denied this fact and state that they are just pirate ships raid at will. The President assures that the navy will dispatch these raiders."

Liam scoffed at the news. Although there was rumor that many transports and a few warships had escaped, the Weave was no more. The four races had been put into slavery and most of Weave High Command had been imprisonied on New Alcatraz, a prison colony beyond the Apollo system. Any who dared defy the Empire were sent there, never to be seen again. Liam often wondered why anyone followed the Terran rulership.

His coffe earrived and Liam thanked the bot, who turned away. Taking a sip, Liam welcomed the taste of it. While his ship was equipped with replicators and though the coffee turned out fine, Liam could never compare it to the real thing. Synthetic tasted a little bland.

Finishing his coffee, he headed for the mission kiosks to see what was available. He punched in his code and touched the console, watching as the screen blured to life. A few cargo runs, one passagener ferry, and carrying some supplies to Stardock Alpha. Sighing, Liam logged out. Although he welcomed any chance to get spaceside, Liam was tired out of his mind. He had spent nearly two days fixing a damged plasma core, which had nearly overloaded three times. Sitting back down, he ordered another cup of coffee.

A thick voice interrupte his thoughts. Looking up, Liam saw a stocky man standing next to his table. He was a burly person, standing three inches below Liam, and he wore merc's outfit. Well muscled, he was dressed in a black uniform, wearing a black cloak. At his side was a blaster straped to a holster. "You are Captain Ares, are you not? Of the Aeris?"

Liam nodded. "The Aeris is mine. How may I help you, today?" Liam's hand unconsiusly went to his side, where he kept a small phaser in his poket. The last time a mrc had asked for him by name, it was on Maxwell's Purchase three years ago. Needless to say, he had to fight his way out of the starport before the local milita came and subdued the merc.

The burly man sat down across from him and motioned for the servbot to bring him a Telian ale, a potent drink that left most men dazing about with a hedache the next morning. Taking the coffee from the servebot as it went back for the Telian, the merc said in a deep voice, "I have need of your services, Captain. My name is Jim Monroe and I work for Griffin Tech. My scoutship had a slight run-in with a Pirate Kestrel a few days ago, and to make it short, my ship hit Levo hard. I need a lift Griffin Freeport and heard your ship was the fastest available."

Liam considered it for a moment. It would help him get his credit account go up. Before his friends had left for their honeymoon, he had little over 90,000 credits. His ship made about class two in hyperspace, so he looked at two weeks tops. "It'll cost you 35,000 credits, half up front. I'm leaving in three hours after I take care of some things."

"Thirty-five thousand? Are mad or just broke?! I can offer you 28,000, with a third up front." By this time the bot had returned, bringing a cold Telian ale. Handing it a small cred ship, the merc sipped his drink.

"Deal. I need the money so I won't argue. Three hours 'till lift off. My ship is on pad Beta Three." The merc nodded and throwing back his glass, swallowed the drink in one gulp, then left. Liam looked at the empty glass, his eyes wide. Not even he could swing a Telian like that, and he had drank much stronger ales. Shrugging, he slid a credit ship through the terminal near his booth and left. He had somethings to do.

Liam left his friends' room and headed to the landing pad. He had surprised the newlyweds with a gift. Although they had paid him, Liam had known the couple for years and they were like family. Kiras and Nira Lee were close to him. They had only few dozen credits, but they had been planing this trip for a week and decided to pay Liam for his services. Of course, Liam had taken his newly won 12,000 credits and bought them a gift. A good scoutship which someone was willing to give up for a low price. They had been stunned.

Liam turned around a corner and arrived at the landing pad. He would miss them, and would not see them for months to come. He himself was planning on traveling the Fringe. Looking up, he looked at his ship. The blockade runner was a new version, and he had paid good money for it. To him it was home. Though he had no crew, Liam had flown the ship effortlessly. The command chair had never been used and he did not plan on using it for sometime. He had his reasons for such.

Jim was there, leaning against the Aeris' hull waiting for owner. He was appraising the ship, for few couldn't help but do so. The ship could hold nearly a hundred tons of cargo and could also carry a dozen passengers with full crew. It also had the record of being among the fastest ships available to civilians with moderate fire power, and was second in selection to that of the Antiodia Kestrel.

Sighting Liam, Jim nodded to him and asked, "Nice ship, but where's the crew?" The captain just shook his head.

"I'm the crew and captain. I have a tendicy of working alone most of the time. Hope that doesn't bother you, 'cause it it does, there's a Terran supply ship heading there, too. But you know how Terran ships can be."

"No problem. Just amazed at how you can fly it by yourself."

Liam just shrugged. Tapping a code into his wristcom, the ship's acces ramp slid down as the door opened. Motioning to the merc to enter first, Liam walked up the ramp and hit the console on the inside, closing the door. After showing his employer to his quarters, he headed to the bridge throught the turbolift. When the turbolift doors opened two minutes later, he headed straight for the helm, ignoring the dusty command chair. He always ignored it.

Opening a channel he said, "Levo Control, this is the Aeris requesting permission for takeoff, over."

There was a secondary pause then a reponse, "This is Levo Control. Roger for takeoff. Follow flight Alpha Three. Have a safe flight captain."

"Thanks, Levo Control, over and out." Turning off the comm., he powered up the thrusters and lifted skyward, heading spaceside through the atmosphere and for escape velocity.

To be or not to be...Good question, what's the answer.

Nice beginning, Captain. It's got great tone, based on the details you use to tell the story. The dialogue is good. The best thing about the story so far is the way you handle exposition. Writers will often just set down huge blocks of explanation—"this is where we are and how we got here"—that wind up slowing the story way down. Or they may decided to tell the entire life-story of the protagonist before page two. You avoid those traps, and the result is an enjoyable read. I look forward to seeing more. 🙂

not drowning, waving

Yes, nice story. But...the EV/O Chronicles is the place for it, not here. Be patient. The reason there is such a backlog in the Chronicles is that everyone is writing a lot of cool stuff and submitting it. That means there are many good stories to read coming up. And anyone who submits an EV/O story will see it posted.

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