A little bit of fiction for your enjoyment 🙂 (Which i started writing ages ago and only remembered to finish the other day. This story relates to the game reported back in November )
A musical chime, the result of notes of electronic perfection projected through a delicate crystal in the eyes of a brass and gold gryphon-dragon statue set into the wall, sounding as beautifully cold and deadly as the Empire itself, took Princess Taegan from her astrographic calculations. She pressed the concealed switch behind the Gryphon-dragons ear in a way that looked like she was caressing the fierce snarling metal beast.
“What is it Captain Atrius?” her voice as sharp as any dagger.
“More Space Pirates have been detected heading towards Dormientes Draco”
“Bring in the scouting scorpions and prepare to intercept!” she turned from the sculpture, the luminous crystals that glowed as they emitted sound fading as she switched off the communicator. With efficient grace she donned her ceremonial cape and buckled on her atomic pistol and her Tling-steel electric sword, merely the obvious and visible weapons she carried on her person. As she stepped past the golden ornate perch in the corner of the cramped but comparatively luxurious cabin she raised her hand, a gesture as automatic as the response of the deadly hand reared vyper-bat of the forest moon of Eth that slithered onto her arm coiling its long sinuous form about her wrist.
Princess Taegan took her seat in the rose-gold command chair of the Raptor, the viper-bat Atalleph burying its head in the dark folds of her cape.
“Report, Captain Atrius”
Captain Atrius, nodded, his face as dark and broodingly handsome as ever in direct contrast to the Princesses paler steely sharpness. “Princess Taegan, our numbers are even, it is a Class 2 Stiletto and 3 class 1 Daggers coming in fast from the other side of Dormientes Draco. They have detected us and changed their course to meet us head on.”
“And their original trajectory…?”
“The moon Princess, just as before.”
“The moon, the single moon of Dormientes Draco. Several times we have had to fight the pirates here. Why is it so important to them? Whatever can there be on that moon that they are after?” Princess Taegan clenched her long fingers around the control levers of the Raptor, the tense grip paling them even further. The engines roared as the small Imperial Fleet rushed towards the enemy and battle was engaged…
Sparks flew from shorting circuits as fire poured smoke into the Rockets cabin. Captain Atrius sprayed retardant foam from the golden dragon-mouthed nozzle of an extinguisher amphora while soldiers were passing about replacement breathing apparatus cylinders and filters to everyone, a necessity till the air purifier was able to catch up with all the particles of ash and the excess of carbon dioxide and other harmful gasses from the fire. Engineer Gilgan had managed to restart the atomic engine but until the control circuits wiring was repaired the Raptor would still be tumbling gently in orbit around the moon at the mercy of the Space Pirates. Princess Taegan stood silent and still amidst the chaos, standing as if in defiance of the elements; in defiance of the chaotic winds of the raptors defeat. One hand balled into a furious fist and the other clutching under her arm protectively the deadly vyper-bat in the spherical alumini-glass container she used to transport it through space in boarding operations. She had but a simple air filter on, having waved away the protesting Captain Atrius and insisted that the air canisters go to those whose expertise would most swiftly return the rocket to function, or at least capable of keeping them alive ‘till the reinforcements arrived.
As the smoke cleared, Captain Atrius returned to the instrument panels of the Raptor.
“Princess, there is a transmission coming in from the Space Pirates!”
Taegan slammed her fist against the Golden-bordered red metal of the wall.
“They have cut us to pieces and we didn’t take out a single of their number! I don’t need to tell you how unacceptable this is. We will not surrender or negotiate terms. If they want us they can kill us from there or they can board us and let us kill them with our very own hands!”
“They aren’t asking for surrender Princess…. they want to negotiate an alliance!”
The warriors of the Imperium stood at the airlock of the slowly tumbling Raptor resplendent in their Red, Gold and Black armour. Captain Atrius showing his rank with the gleaming skull faceplate of his helmet hiding his brooding dark eyes and dark olive skin beneath a grinning emblem of the power of the emperor, while Princess Taegan wore a tight-fitting armoured spacesuit of glossy black with more subtle golden decoration of rank and privilege, her Dark auburn hair pulled back from her face with a golden tiara was sealed into a alumini-glass bubble surrounding her head, the sphere containing the viper-bat tethered to her waist. Through the round porthole in the ships hatch the pirate Stiletto could be seen matching their velocity and rotation till they tumbled gently in perfect unison on parallel courses a matter of feet away. One by one the Imperial warriors leapt from the door of the Raptor to the other rocket, holding onto the hull of the pirate vessel with a magna-grapple before making their way into the other vessels hatch. Where the Raptors hatch was designed for defence in boarding with its single person doorway the pirate rocket the Stiletto needs to carry stolen cargo as much as battle and the big broad hatch that opened was large enough for Taegan and her bodyguards to enter at once side by side.
The Space Pirate interior was very different to an Imperial craft, austere and practical but with a Spartan elegance of its own, dominated by a harsh regular thrumming from the rockets engine. The cargo space was well stocked with well-armed pirates in shiny black one-piece uniforms, but no-one on either side gave the other reason to brandish their implements of atomic death. They were cautiously escorted past the tiny crew cabins to the Control room. The Pirate Commander sat in a large swivel chair in the centre of the room in front of a crescent of controls, the great domed alumini-glass behind him filled with the moving star field they had been battling under. Tall and thin but with clear wiry strength, dressed in the same glossy black but for a red triangle on his chest matching that on the rocket, he regarded the Imperials with shrewd confidant eyes.
“Welcome Princess Taegan, I am Captain Woz. I’m sorry for the limited hospitality on my rocket but I’m sure you understand it’s not built for comfort.”
“I’m rather surprised to receive any Captain Woz. You were trying to kill me such a short time ago.”
“Ah well circumstances change, and I am ever one to change with them. Like a sailor of old changing course with the changing winds eh? I must say that I was surprised to find you alive at that, I had counted your rocket destroyed at first, but I am pleased to have been thwarted in that.”
“So what was it that changed your mind?”
“One part the Imperial reinforcements arriving shortly; two parts of combined bad…the Zenithians working with Valkeeri, and three parts – heading this way!”
“What? Why we had scouting reports observing a conflict between Zenithians and Valkeeri in this sector recently… why would they suddenly work together?”
“That is my question too Princess. I can imagine everything from them coming to a formal truce; to the Valkeeri successfully seducing the Zenithian commander; to the Zenithians developing some kind of mind-control ray that works on Valkeeri – but all that is just fancy. We won’t know till we crack open some of their rockets and take a peek inside. Besides, whatever the answer, it isn’t a good thing that these two have joined forces and are coming here to Dormientes Draco. They will outnumber either of us even with your reinforcements… unless we too work together.”…..