Clementine-Chapter 3

Wild Is the Wind

“What the Hell is going on Cap’n?” Zed asked running up to Vahn as she pounded on the hanger door to close. He’s red in faced, clothes disheveled.

“Is Moxie gone?” She asked moving past him stopping momentarily at the stairs waiting for an answer. “No she’s in my room getting ready for a session of fuckin,” he made an exaggerated sideways piston motion. Vahn made a disgusted noise at him. He rolled his eyes when all he got in response was a deadpan stare “Of course she’s gone I sent her away after you were yelling over the comm for us to leave.”

“Good, strap yourself down somewhere and prepare for a fight” Vahn yelled back to him.

She moved along with Rico to the back of the 1st level of the ship past the water and disposal rooms, past the elevator that didn’t work to the gunner room. Rico moved to the gunner seat which swayed stiffly from lack of use. In the corner was a ladder that connected to the helm of the ship. Vahn climbed it till she was as the helm wheezing. Muttering to herself “I need to work out more.”

Briskly she buckled into her chair and shoved her headset on. There was a gargled mess on the comm link between Rico and Vahn. It soon faded when Rico spoke up his robotic baritone broke through “What is your plan Vahn?” Rico questioned.

“Get as far away from him as possible and hope we made it to a Space Station that values me enough,” she paused having lost her train of thought “that don’t wanna see me dead.”

“That. That’s your plan,” Rico covered his face with his metal hand “might as well just let him capture you.” Van bit her tongue focusing herself on the sensors instead of her mouthy co-pilot. Her pursuer’s ship was catching up to them on the sensors she was able to see it was a Republic cruiser built for combat over speed the antithesis of her ship. Her ship was a stealth cruiser that served the purpose of out foxing larger ships and hiding away from sensors. Just her luck she was in open space with no place to hide.

He was soon on their starboard, she turned to see port side of his ship dangerously close to them. “Shoot” she commanded to Rico over the connection.

“He hasn’t attack us Vahn” Rico noted confused. His eyes shifted to the UI checking to confirm the position of the enemy.

“Okay, Rico. I get we haven’t gone over fighting protocol,” she growled as the red light that showed the opposing ship trying to make radio contact burned her eyes. She covered the light with her hand “but if I say shoot you shoot cuz our friend here isn’t gonna stay neutral, till you decide to do it!”

Pulling on the stick around to the right, Vahn brought her ship into a wide turn. Rico took a deep mental breath, he settled his awkward stiff hand on the stick and his thumb hovered over the firing button. The opposing ship came into the cross hairs on the computer HUD, Rico hit the button finally firing off the guns causing the opposing ship to sputter in surprise. ‘You really thought it was gonna be that easy arsehole,’ Vahn thought with a wide feral smile.

The opposing ship pulled back behind them ‘shit he’s aiming for the engines.’ Vahn sent the ship into a sharp turn from behind her she heard a loud splat of Mobi is sent hurling into a wall. Zed yelled from the engine room “Did nobody tell Mobi we were gonna get our asses chased though half the fuckin star system?!”

“Nope” said unanimously by Rico and Vahn.

The ship rattled like a tin-can, as a shot connected with the stern of the ship. Vahn sent the ship into a ninety-degree snap-roll and spun though the worst of the explosion. Getting herself above his ship allowing Rico a wide shot at the top of his ship.

He juked the ship to the starboard, then started a quick left turn, but Vahn is experienced enough in her own mind to not lose her position. Keeping the angle of attack in mind Rico was able to successfully stick the enemy ship 3 times before it pulled back for another attack. Vahn hit a switch and shifted shield power to the aft shields, a mistake she regrets in the heat of the moment. Her enemy anticipated her move and used targeting missiles for the abaft of her ship.

“He took out the weapons system. Rest. In. Peace. Glaive,” Zed yelled punctuation each word with anger “you’re fuckin killin me here Cap’n!” Vahn cursed herself for her stupidity ‘how could I let this happen’ she had been so careful all these years to never be found, but now she is trapped within her ship with absolutely no way out.

Her missing left arm started to burn again a painful reminder of where she ended up. She hunched over the controls willing the pain to dissipate as she uselessly rubbed at the metal arm. ‘He’s out there and he fuckin beat me, again’ she banged her head against the controls. Stopping with her face planted next to the communications switch that flashed over and over burning her eyes.

***

Rico left the gunner chair with enough haste that he let the damage to his shoulder worsen. He paused to see that his clothes are stained black from the shoulder to his waist looking as if coffee is dumped on him. A grimace pulls at his rubber face, a reminder that he was so much less than he was once.

Vahn was shaking holding onto the controls with an iron grip as Rico shook her madingly trying get her to listen to him. “Goddamit Vahn answer his hail!” Rico yelled and Zed could be heard in the distance echoing Rico’s plea. Vahn gave him a dark look of reserved anger before speaking to him finally “Your leaking oil all over the place,” she leaned over to the switch that would denote her surrender “go fix that now.” He pulled back from her.

She wish there was a third option she could take any but right at this moment it was. Have her ship destroyed and all her crew die or be taken in and all her crew live. She cursed finally deciding to listen to the only option she had left “Fine.” Rico relaxed finally stepping back from Vahn’s chair. She pressed a small red switch that let the other ship communicate with them.

“Surrender now RahVahn or I will be forced to cut your ship in two” the voice on the other side was flat, robotic, and emotionless. She gritted her teeth she knew he did not have the balls to kill her but if she did at least appear to comply things will not be disastrous for her crew. “I know you can hear me” The voice said even and flat but with a taunting cold edge to it that made her shake with anger.

Her fingers felt dead as she her toes lifeless and heavy, as she finally pressed the button. “I read you Straker, loud and fucking clear…” she hissed through clinched teeth. “There is a secure space station 30 minutes from here you will go there,” he said flatly “you and your crew will leave your ship unarmed.”

“…Whatever you say” her face rolled into disgusted wrinkles as she clicked her teeth keeping her voice tight. She let go of the hail button and let out a belated sigh as she looked over to Rico who is confused and scared. “We’ll be fine Rico” she smiled weakly trying to keep his confidence from hitting rock bottom.

A sad gurgle noise is heard from the kitchen of the ship it was of Mobi, who was still stuck to the wall because of his companion’s careless ness. “…we should probably get Mobi off the wall” Rico commented awkwardly. Zed sighed from the engine room as he unbuckled himself “I’ll get the spatula.”

***

The closes Space Station was Ironside, it’s built in the side of a small dead planet. It looked like a papier-mache ball that was kicked in by a giant metal ball and the force shattered sed ball leaving this strange mesh of rock, glass and metal. She had been here many years ago the people were hardworking and fun drinking buddies.

“Well this isn’t the worst thing that has happened to us,” Zed commented “remember that time we crashed into that worm-” Vahn cut Zed of mid-sentence.

“We agreed never and I mean never, bring that up again. I still have nightmares” she shivered at the unspoken memory. Rico looked at them concerned. Mobi gurgled a sad noise, Vahn looked back to shush Mobi, when a hand grabbed onto her. Vahn didn’t need to look back to see who it was the looks on the faces of her crew told her enough. Her body made a sickening crack as she’s slammed against the side of the space station. “I’m sorry for this, but it is for your own good.” He said. “Fuck you Straker” Vahn yelled kicking back at him. Her crew looked on in horror unsure what to do, not knowing what was going on. Rico was the first to run towards the man clipping his face with his fist breaking the visor he was wearing that hid his eyes. Straker paused to look at Rico his eerie blue eyes washed over Rico. He shoved Rico away from his person “stay back, or I will terminate you.”

Not far from where this was going on several other ship captains, and passengers were watching a strange cyborg shaking down a woman in front of her crew. “Where is security when you need it?” A tall alien commented to a human who was moving crates of supplies. “They’ll be here soon, but just to be safe let’s move out before someone starts shooting” the human said as he, and his companion briskly made their way to the screening room.

A group of men in security uniforms soon approached Vahn and Straker “What the hell is going on here?” The oldest and tallest of the group of four men asked guns in tow. They looked scruffy and 5 o’clock was on each of their faces along with large dark bags under their eyes.

“I am tasked with bringing her in for crimes I can’t disclose.” Straker said mechanically. The older man frowned and looked at Vahn “Is that so Vahn?”

She smiled “He’s full of shit, John.”

“Let her go scrap head or we’ll put a bullet in you” John said crossing his arms, as the men behind him readied there blasters.

Straker released her backing two-steps away hands raised he threw her a cold stare. Vahn laughed as she said, “What can I say Straker, Everybody knows me now.”

<<Chapter 2 Chapter 4>>

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