|Seeds of Humanity: Freelancer
Author: Brandon Cole PM
When his life as a vigilante on the fringes of known space is threatened by unknown assassins, former corporate operative Virgil Miller must return to his old ways in order to survive and hunt down his assailants.Rated: Fiction T - English - Sci-Fi - Words: 1,329 - Favs: 2 - Published: 04-29-12 - id: 3018088
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Ledeaux grinned wryly, a cheap cigar hanging from the corner of his mouth as he watched his men unload their latest haul. The raid had gone quite smoothly, especially with the colony's lack of an effective security force. The only resistance had been a handful of farmers and scientists armed with civilian-grade weaponry. The pirates had taken enough food to last them months, and enough supplies to fetch them several hundred thousand credits on the black market. They would barely have to lift a finger for the next couple months. Easy money, Ledeaux thought to himself.
The pirate captain snapped out of his daze when one of his men tripped, spilling several boxes full of medical supplies. The man scrambled to correct his mistake, but his leader was ever-vigilant. "Careful with that!" Ledeaux screamed. "You break any of that stuff and it comes out of your cut! Got it?"
The man nodded nervously as he continued to clean his mess.
Suddenly, an alarm blared throughout the station. Before Ledeaux could even ask, one of his men came running down the stairway from the control room. "Sir!" he shouted. "We've got an unidentified craft on approach!"
The man was known as 'Eight' by his fellow pirates, though none of them really knew the story behind it. Regardless, the man was a technical wizard, and quite possibly the only man among them who really knew how to run and maintain this place. Ledeaux turned to him, any hint of contentedness now gone from his face. Their base of operations was a hollowed out space rock hidden within an asteroid belt, shielded from most long-range sensors thanks to pirated military tech. It should have been next to impossible for anyone to find them. "Well? What the hell is it!" he finally yelled back. "TSF? Alliance Military?"
"Looks like privately-owned fighter, but…"
"But our scanners are sayin' that it doesn't have any weapons mounted," Eight explained. "It's just flyin' straight at us!"
"Then take care of it!" Ledeaux bellowed. "Blast the fucker to smithereens!"
His subordinate nodded and quickly made his way back up to the control room. Being the responsible space pirate captain he was, Ledeaux followed him closely. Up in the control room, he watched as Eight frantically typed away at one of several control panels. The station's defenses hadn't been used in years, thus requiring a bit of a warm up period before they could fire. However, the unidentified craft only moved closer and closer. Damn it! Ledeaux's mind screamed. He's not gonna make it!
The captain reached for the PA and shouted across the station, "all hands, brace for impact!"
But the tremendous impact he had expected turned out to be little more than a light touch. "Uh… sir?" Eight chimed in, pointing at a flashing read indicator on one of the monitors. "We've got a breach on one of our airlocks. They're tryin' to get inside."
Again, Ledeaux gripped the PA tightly. "Attention all hands. We have possible intruders entering the station through Bravo Bay," he announced. "Equip yourselves and take up defensive positions."
Eight tapped away at the controls, bringing up the surveillance feed in front of Bravo Bay. He and the captain watched as his men took up defensive positions and aimed their weapons toward the door. Sparks flew about as a plasma torch took but a few moments to breach the inner door. Though the pirates were ready for the intruder, nothing could have prepared them for what was about to happen.
A solitary figure clad in an armored space suit emerged as the doors opened, a pistol in each hand and a shotgun slung over his back. He charged forward with inhuman agility as Ledeaux's men unleashed a hail of gunfire upon him. However, the air around the man seemed to ripple as he weaved gracefully through their ranks and returned fire. Though nothing could touch him, every single shot he fired struck its mark with inhuman accuracy.
Barely thirty seconds had passed, and about ten Ledeaux's men lay either dead or dying while the others were tripping over themselves retreating. The intruder continued his advance, pausing for a moment upon noticing the surveillance equipment. From behind his faceless helmet, the man looked to the camera and fired a single shot. The screen before Ledeaux turned to static. "Oh shit," the captain muttered. "This guy's a psychic."
The captain grabbed his harmonic blade and handgun and started down toward the main docking bay to join the fight. This bastard might have been impossibly fast, but he was not the only one with psychic abilities. The sounds of gunfire echoed though the station's corridors and grew increasingly louder as the intruder approached. It was only a matter of time until this unstoppable juggernaut would make his way to the docking bay.
Ledeaux fired three shots the second he passed through the doorway. Despite being dead on, his bullets flattened themselves against some invisible barrier some couple of feet before the intruder. The faceless man was quick to take aim, but Ledeaux was faster. The pirate captain grinned as the intruder suddenly shouted in pain and dropped his weapons. "You think you're the first man to try and kill me," he gloated. "I'm a pyrokinetic. I could burn you alive where you stand. But where's the fun in that?"
The pirate captain's harmonic blade flew from its sheath as he closed the distance between them. He brought the weapon down with a powerful swing, only to have it intercepted by a harmonic knife. The two vibrating weapons let out an audible screech as they threw sparks about until the intruder shot out an open palm. Ledeaux was plucked away by some invisible force and flung into the air. With another quick hand gesture, the captain soon found himself pinned to the docking bay door. "You know, I had a feeling you might be a psychic like me," the intruder finally spoke, his voice distorted by a modulator in his helmet. "How else would one man be able to command the respect the scum you call your men? I have to admit, I'm impressed though."
Ledeaux struggled against the invisible force that held him, but it was far too strong. This intruder was quite an accomplished telekinetic. However, he caught a brief glimpse of Eight, who was silently preparing to take a shot at the intruder with a rifle. He was their only hope now.
These hopes were crushed when the intruder whirled around and hurled his knife straight through the man's forehead. "I'm a telepath as well. Thanks for the heads up," the intruder taunted. "Now is there anything you want to say before I finish what I started?"
"You bastard!" Ledeaux cursed. "How! How did you find us!"
The intruder removed his helmet, revealing a pale skinned man with ash-blonde hair. "Because I'm the 'White Death'," he replied. "And I'm here on behalf of those colonists you and your men butchered."
Ledeaux's eyes went wide. He had heard whispers of this so-called 'White Death' among the criminal underground, but he never believed any of it. The White Death. The assassin turned bounty-hunter who left nothing but a wake of death and destruction wherever he walked. Now this supposed ghost story was standing before him.
The intruder looked over to the pirate captain's sword and grinned. With a wave of his hand, the weapon sailed through the air and impaled Ledeaux against the docking bay door. As the pirate captain cried out, the 'White Death' clicked his helmet back into place. "Have you ever seen what happens to a human body in a vacuum?" he asked. "I've heard it supposed to be one of the worst ways to go."