Thieves and Beggars – Part 6

Let no joyful voice be heard! Let no man look up to the sky with hope! And let this day be cursed by we who ready to wake…the Kraken!

~Davy Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest


“More psion recruits.” Magnus punted a charging psion in its stomach and slapped a grenade in its face before jumping back. The explosion made a “whoomp!” in the enclosed hallway that blew my hood off my helmet.

“Be more careful with those,” I growled. Magnus ignored me and kept going. I straightened my cloak before catching up with him and Farstride.

“This place is bigger than I thought, said Heisenberg-3 into the comms.

“A ketch has to cross deep space with an army,” Farstride said. “Anything in your guy’s passage?”

“Some stray shanks,” reported Drake. “Nothing too serious.”

Exploring had brought us to a hold filled with the leftovers of destroyed shanks and even a couple of Servitors. With 2 different exits to the hold, Farstride had us split up and see what we could find.

“This ship feels almost abandoned,” said Farstride. “Did they put that many out on the Dreadnought?”

“Maybe that’s why they recruited defector Cabal: their numbers are depleted.”

“Drake is probably right,” I said. “In which case, if they have a Kell or some similar leader they might be in the field.”

“So let’s loot the ship and scuttle it,” suggested Telrik.

Farstride nodded. “Sounds good to me. 10 minutes to find any more goodies, then we blow a hole in the hull.”

“We could destroy their Pilot Servitor,” I said. “Destroy that and the ship would be crippled.”

“The bridge,” said Telrik. “Let’s meet there.”


“Abandoned,” said Magnus as we crowded onto the bridge. “Odd. We’ve found only a handful of patrols, no new servitors, no Kell or Captain…if it wasn’t for their emaciated Archon I would think the Fallen weren’t even in charge of the ship.”

“What if they’re not?” asked Telrik. He walked up to a large chair that was clearly meant for the Ketch’s commander and settled into it: the seat made him look like a child pretending to be a grownup.

“If they weren’t whoever ran the place wouldn’t bother keeping servitors around for Ether,” I said. “They’d just kill everyone off.”

“You sure?” asked Telrik. “Maybe the Cabal defectors are running the show and are keeping the Fallen around to operate the ketch.”

“Possible,” I conceded. “But then why try to co-opt Hive magic on the Servitors? The Cabal would just be more likely to use the Servitors as means of control, right?”

“Maybe that’s how they control the Servitors.”

“Speculation is pointless right now. Let’s figure out how to scuttle the ship and get on with things.” Farstride’s tone was firm.

“We could set the ship on a course for Saturn,” said Drake. “Let the gas giant do the work for us.”

“Brilliant,” said Farstride. He held out his hand, and his little white Ghost floated over to a control panel to begin hacking it.

“What about the Pilot?” I felt compelled to point out. “If we try to crash the ship and the Pilot Servitor is still around it’ll just correct course and save it.”

“Whatever we do, we need to hurry it up: if their troops return from looting the Dreadnought we’re all screwed.”

Freyja the Ghost finished her scan. “We’re shoving off…now.” The ketch shuddered as it pulled away from the Dreadnought in a slow pivot. “The ketch will pick up speed as we near the gas giant, but we should have nearly 6 minutes at this burn rate to be safely aboard our jumpships and away.”

“One more sweep for the Pilot, and then we head back to the Dreadnought and regroup.” We all formed up behind Farstride and headed for the exit. Pings and crunching sounds filled the bridge as the ketch began plowing through Saturn’s rings.

The door to the bridge opened and filled with the violet glow of an energy blast. The shot vaporized Farstride before he even had time to raise a weapon.

“Shiii-” I shouted, ducking aside for cover, and a blast took me off my feet before I had even finished vocalizing. I slammed up against the bulkhead, stoppage fluid leaking through my armor. I crabbed for cover as the Pilot servitor barreled onto the bridge, firing at anything that moved. Dregs swarmed in behind it, shock blades in hand. 3 charged me at the same time. I managed to shoot 2 before the third cleaved my head from my shoulders and the Darkness caved in again.

 

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