Saturday, December 13, 2014

A Pirate's Life

Part 2 of Plans Go Awry

Last time, our heroes were beset by an insectoid looking spaceship. After a brief altercation, it fled and the Templars arrived at Pictoris Station.

Now to continue with our story.

As they approached the station, Rugen hailed for permission to dock. Silence. He tried again and again to no avail. Finally, he headed toward an empty bay and docked himself.

As they passed through the airlock into the station they were greeted by an eerie silence, as if no one was there. Yet they had seen several ships docked. What had happened to all the people, and especially the Station officials?

They strode through the station's corridors until they found something on the ground. A body! Investigating, they noticed that it seemed desiccated, as if it had been drained of its bodily fluids. In addition, there were strange marks on its body. Claw marks? They could not tell for certain.

The duo continued through the station, at high alert. Once again, an eerie silence permeated the place. That is, until they heard the sound of running footsteps. They looked down a corridor and saw a fleeing figure.that disappeared around a bend.

They followed the retreating figure a little way until they came to a barricade erected across the corridor.

"Halt mate! Don't ye come any closer," a voice called out from behind the barricade.

"Who's there? What's going on?" queried Rugen.

"Never ye mind, matey. Jest be on yer way." A man had thrust his head over the barricade. He began gesturing with a laser pistol.

"Is there danger? Can we be of assistance?" asked Rugen. He heard some voices behind the barricade. A figure appeared, aimed his pistol, and shot!

With nary a thought, Rugen drew his stun sword and blocked the shot. It ricocheted and struck their assailant. With a mighty leap, Rugen cleared the barricade. He found three figures. By their dress, they appeared to be Tellusian pirates. It wasn't his mission, but Rugen was not going to allow these menacing figures any more free reign. He slashed with his weapon while Tee jumped onto the barricade and began shooting at the pirates. Soon, the three figures had been rendered unconscious, but our heroes had also been wounded.

Suddenly, two more figures came around a corner. More pirates! Armed with laser cutlasses, they rushed into the attack, swinging their deadly blades. Rugen frantically parried, but some of their blows got through. Wincing in pain, Rugen continued to defend himself. Tee opened fire, taking out the smaller of the two figures. The other rushed him, knocking his blaster from his hands. Tee grappled the figure. Rugen struck with his blade and the pirate collapsed. 

Tee turned and thanked Rugen. Rugen shook his head in acknowledgement. Then with a thud, he collapsed to the ground.

What's next for our heroes? Find out in our next episode!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Bug in the System

Part 1 of Plans Go Awry!

In the last episode, Rugen and Tee had been tasked with retrieving stolen secrets from a criminal named Jacinto Barik. Taking a standard scout-class ship, they set out for Pictoris Station.

Our heroes leave hyperwarp and set a course for the orbital station around the rocky planet of Pictoris 3. Pictoris Station is a rough-and-tumble frontier post, populated by miners who make a living off the cold planet as well as shopkeepers and other, less savory persons who make a living off the miners. Even without sensors, Rugen could see the station as a glint of light framed by the dark planet. He opened a subspace frequency and requested permission to dock but he received no response. He tried again without luck.

"Strange," Rugen commented, "I thought we would be hailed by them."

"Perhaps interference," mused Tee as he fiddled with the subspace controls.

"I don't think so," remarked Rugen. There would be some indication on our monitors. Tee had to agree.

Moments later. another glint of light appeared. It seemed to be approaching.

"I guess it's a welcoming committee," joked Rugen. His android comrade did not get the joke.

Rugen tried hailing the approaching light, presumably another ship, but this too was silent. Yet it steadily drew closer. Soon it was close enough to view on long range sensors.

"What??" queried Rugen, for he has never seen such a ship. It looked like a big, black beetle. Rugen wondered if it was friendly. His question was soon answered when it opened fire! Laser beams blasted the hull and shook the scout.

Rugen's heads-up-display when the alien ship first attacked
 Rugen immediately launched his ship into combat maneuvers. He found himself in position to fire upon the enemy vessel but his shots were off target.

Rugen gets a shot.
 A swirling dogfight ensued. For a while, neither ship could get into a good firing position. Then, the alien pulled a tight turn and found itself honing in on the scout's flank. Lasers lanced toward the ship, scouring the hull. Warning lights buzzed, warning of a possible hull breach.

"Tee, see if you can do something!" commanded Rugen.

The scout takes more damage.
 Tee's scientific knowledge paid off and he was able to repair some of the damage. Meanwhile, Rugen jerked the ship into some radical maneuvering. The tables were reversed! Rugen pulled the trigger on his guns!

The alien in his sights.
Laser fire struck the alien's front. There was a small explosion, then the alien turned and fled from the battle.

"Sensors indicate that its weapons are out," announced Tee.

"Let's see if we can catch him, and find out what's going on!" Rugen replied. Alas, the alien ship  pulled away from the scout, and soon was gone.

"I guess we'll have to ask at Pictoris," concluded Rugen as he turned his ship's bow toward the gleaming station.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Plans Go Awry

Introduction to the next adventure in the Tales of the Templars

Rugen had just returned to Federation space and was looking forward to some much needed recuperation when he received a summons from the local Preceptor of the Templars. He sighed in frustration but rushed to the Preceptor's office and reported for duty.

"I am sorry to do this to you after your harrowing experience on Xarxes, but I have no one handy who can do the job and time is of the essence."

"I am happy to be of service/" Rugen replied. A little white lie; he would need to confess - later.

"Good," the Preceptor gave a wry smile. He must have seen through Rugen's pretense.

He continued. "A petty criminal named Jacinto Barik has acquired some rather sensitive Templar secrets. Naturally, we would like them returned."

"I presume that these secrets were acquired illicitly?"


"Why not ask the Star Patrol to arrest him?" Rugen asked.

"Ah, there are two difficulties with that plan. First, the Star Patrol is not always discreet. But most importantly, Barik is not in Federation space."

"I see. And where is he?"

"The Pictoris Station, located in Conclave space near the border with the Federation and the Dominion. And time is of the essence. If his buyer arrives before we do, then the secrets will be out. We need someone, you, to go to Pictoris and retrieve the secrets, before it is too late."

Before he knew it, Rugen and Tee were piloting a scout vessel en route to Pictoris station.

Stay tuned for Part 1 of our adventure - Plans Go Awry!