By Roddykat 2 Comments
I remember Brad or one of the other Bombardiers speaking about a wish for FTL to have a way to kind of write out a story based on a session of play with the game. Well this is not that, but it is something I batted out my last play of the game (which I didn't finish because of wanting to write this). No title, just words, such as they are. Enjoy, if anyone reads this.
My name is Gumpo. This is my first, and who knows, last log entry as a...member of the Federation ship Kestrel. My time here has been brief, but unfortunately, eventful. You see, I was, until very recently, captive on a Mantis slave ship to be sold off somewhere. My freedom came by way of the sole member of the crew of this ship. According to the logs, the Kestrel came upon the slave ship by happenstance. The captain of my captors hailed them to see if they wanted to buy a slave. For whatever reason, the Kestrel attacked the Mantis vessel. I could hear and feel the volleys of lasers and missiles peel through the ship while its crew scrambled to keep systems operational as well as return fire as best it could. It didn’t' take long before the battle stopped and all went momentarily silent. I was sitting in the corner of my cell wondering if this were to be my last day drawing breath, and to my family from which I was violently stripped away to be here. Death would have been way better than to live the rest of my life in slavery. But apparently, this was not to be my day to die.
Three of my Mantis captors stood in front of my cell as I looked up to see what the chatter was. "This one. He's been nothing but a scrawny headache to me anyway." The force field opening to my cell disappeared as one of the guards pressed in the code to open it. The other two guards came in and grabbed me up, but not before getting a few punches and kicks in as their way of saying goodbye. "I'm going to miss "playing" with this one. It fought back.", snarled one guard. Roughly, they escorted me out of the cell. As we passed through the ship, I saw the crew scrambling to get systems back online. I'm guessing the engines were a priority given that we hadn't moved since right before the battle ended. I couldn't make put what was being said in their native tongue, but there was panic and desperation in their tone.
The one thought that finally came to me was where were they taking me and why. The one guard mentioned something about missing me, which now that I think about it, had me concerned. It didn't matter. By the time I wondered a full thought, we had made it to the crew teleporter. "Put it on the pad, so we can get this over with.” growled the Captain. Another one said with gun raised to me, "We should send it over there dead." With a shove, I found myself face down on the teleporter pad. I gathered myself, stood up, and turned to face my captors with a defiant look. "Hmph...looking so smug. Get it off my ship!” the captain barked. "Pray we never meet again...slave." And with the teleport sequence was being entered then... "Zzsst"
I found myself in the cockpit of this Federation ship. No one was there, but I did see the Mantis ship out through the sensor screen. The damage to it looked as bad as it seemed from the inside. I was happy to see that, but there was no time to enjoy it. Internal sensors seemed to light back up an instant. This ship had not come out unscathed, it seems. Just then, the door to the cockpit flew open, and in came running the haggard face of the person I had to thank for my freedom. "You must be the one they sent over. I wish I had time to welcome you, but there's a problem". I nodded and asked the situation. "During the fight, Sensors were knocked offline and I couldn't do much about it while the battle was going. I finally got them back up and..." It was then when I noticed the thinness of the atmosphere inside the ship. A bright red light flashed quickly from the control panel. "Blast it! They got the O system and the Medbay!"
Without I thinking, I ran towards the door and said, "I have to repay your kindness, I will see to the O system, you get the Medbay." The officer seemed hesitant at first. "You should know, the O system is in the back of the ship. There was a fire in the back near there that I to vent using the airlock. There won't be much oxygen back there, already." "Then I will try to work fast.", I quipped as I ran out of the door.
I made my way to the back of the ship, through smoke and the ever thinning atmosphere, finally finding the O system bay. It was a mess and completely shutdown. Sparks and smoke flew from the console as I approached. I started working on getting the systems functioned, but was being hampered by the lack of oxygen in the room that was seeping out constantly. "The Medbay's fixed! You need to get back here, your vitals are dropping! I'm going to jump us out of here before they see how bad a shape we are in." came across the shipwide speakers. I tried to speed up my pace, but found myself getting lighter in the head. As I could do little else, I made my out and stumbled to the Medbay. The oxygen was still dropping, but it was a lot better in here. I entered the healing chamber desperately wishing it to hurry up. While healing, I felt the familiar sensation of the FTL drive spool up and hum into being. Jumping has always made me feel uneasy, but what can you do.
As the hum of the FTL drive died down, the green light on the Medi-pod came on and opened up. ran back to the O2 compartment and commenced to finishing the repairs. The air here was almost nonexistent, but I had no choice. I worked through the heaviness as best I could, swirling black spots and all until I couldn't anymore. I was barely conscious when the Federation officer came in and pulled me out. I could barely make out what he was saying, but I thought I heard the words "..damned fool", "...thinking", "..I will take care.." before I passed completely out. I woke up half way through the healing process when I heard the officer’s voice over shipwide. He was saying that he was sorry to have let me take on such a task after just getting beamed over and that he was stupid to have even let it happen. He was also coughing and sounding out of his mind, but he thinks he almost has it fixed. With the door to the Medi-pod sealed, I could not get out. I could see his vital signs on a display not too far from me. He was not in a good way, but trying to fight through it.
As I tried to free myself from the pod, I was hearing less and less from the officer. The last thing I could make out was "thingigoti..." then there was an audible thud followed by the clank of metal. I had to hurry and get out of this thing. And moments later, I wish had been answered. The pod bay door opened and I rushed out to get to the back of the ship. "Damn me, if I'm too late!" I ran into the room to see two things: A yellow light on the console turn green with the percent of oxygen rising from single digit numbers, and the Federation officer passed out on the floor. All I could think to do was drag him out of there and check him for signs of life....but....there were none. I sat there for what seemed like an eternity cursing myself for not getting here sooner. If I had only gotten back here sooner to help out, he would still be alive. I tried to shed a tear for the officer whose name I still did not know, but I couldn't. As the O2 levels in the ship started rising more, I could hear alarms fall silent as well as the ship, as well. I carried the officer back to the Medbay thinking maybe there was a chance to save him, but there wasn't. The Medbay computers confirmed the worse. Curses and tools and fists were thrown around out of sheer frustration.
There was nothing else I could do. I made my way back to the cockpit of the ship and crumpled into the pilot's chair. Here I was. All alone on a vessel whose only last crew had recently passed away. Because of trying to help. Because of saving...me. The thoughts swirled through my mind of what to do and where to go when i got the idea to search the ship's logs for anything about why the ship was out here in the first place. I poured over everything. manifests, ship and personal logs of the original three man crew. I had read of some plans that were being carried on this ship and the Rebel fleet that was giving chase. I read the logs of the officer whose name I finally got to know....Justin. His logs told of me of the sacrifice of his other two shipmates just after their first jump. On how he was determined to reach their destination and to not fail in their mission to deliver very important plans back to their waiting comrades so far away. He spoke with such passion about the mission at hand and how crucial it was. He also spoke about trying to help others should they run across those who needed it. It was then that I felt obligated to finish what was started. I owed it to Justin and to the rest of the lost crew that I make sure the plans didn't fall into enemy hands. My family back home would have to wait. It was never guaranteed that I would see them again, but I must, just as I must finish this mission and repay my debt to my saviors. Even if I had to do it alone as Justin had before me.
And with that, long range sensors picked up Rebel signals entering in to the sector. I plotted a course to jump the next beacon. The plans will never see Rebel hands as long as I'm alive. Justin in would have wanted it that way.
*Ship spins up FTL drive and jumps away*