Happy Saturday evening, It’s ya boy, Choujin here!
Sometimes when one writes something, it takes a muse to find out in this. While writing the next chapter for Slayers, I found myself distracted by No Man’s Sky, a game I’ve discovered. While doing two Derelict runs, I found my muse on a short story I managed to write since yesterday.
So sit back, grab a cold one, and enjoy this little short story I wrote.
Written by TheChoujinVirus
In the depths of the inky blackness of space, there are treasure troves of rare minerals. One such coveted trove is derelicts, abandoned hulks of former ships. Groups of scavengers explore these derelicts to find lost technology, abandoned treasure, and even rare Xeno technology….
Three human men got news of a large Relian War Frigate found in the Tobali System that was orbiting a barren planet. Their ship, a small frigate long and lined with cargo blocks, begins to head close toward this large rusted red and sandy green colored ship. Inside the ship’s airlock, all three humans got themselves suited up into heavily bulky spacesuits designed for moving large cargo. Though two of their suits were intended to accompany a human, the third one’s suit had an altered helmet designed to fit something non-humanoid.
“So..how’s the suit fitting, Monty?” One human asked the odd suited human.
“It’s not bad…the helmet actually fits my muzzle. Though isn’t this more designed for canine augments?” The oddly suited human stated.
“Montgomery, you’re a mole augment. A helmet for a llama would fit you-“ The other guy was interrupted by their group leader, “Monty! Chen! Quit your clucking and get your suits sealed up, we’re heading out.”
“yes, boss,” The two said as they finished suiting up and checked their life support functions. The ship docked with the derelict. The Umbilical docking cable connecting the two ships together. Once tethered, the trio headed toward the derelict’s airlock, ready to find out.
“You think we’ll find some weird eggs like in those old 20th-century movies?” Chen asked
“It’s a derelict job, Chen.” Boss said, “We’re going in to see what we can find and hopefully make some cash off this.”
Monty headed toward the terminal as he started to slice into it. Relian terminals were challenging to master due to the Relian alphabet and language, making it hard to guess what was enter and what was backspace. However, scavengers like Monty have to know how to crack languages. The terminal screen turned green as the airlocked creaked, slowly opening. Their ship’s system closed the airlock, it’s typical of all standard routines.
“Alright, search the ship, and if you find anything of value, tag ’em,” Boss said. The others nodded as they entered the derelict hulk. The ship’s life support system was fried as some debris like broken metal and glass float about in the darkroom. Monty was quietly nervous as he began to shine his light all around the interior.
“Hey, Boss, I’m a bit curious..what are Relians?” Monty asked
“Relians are big saurian that have this ‘survival of the fittest’ warrior’s code. In short, they’re warmongers that think they’re the big predator in the galaxy. I also heard they had some conflict with the Traggians decades ago…” Boss said
Chen began to check the interior and then the radar on his helmet’s head-up display as he began to scan the ship. He began to narrow down any odd metals. The hud then points him toward a room not too far.
“Hey, boss! The computer’s picking up some metals over in that direction,” Chen said
“Where on the derelict?” Boss asked
“13 feet north and 2 floors below,” Chen explained, “I’ll lead the way.”
“Do that, Chen,” Boss said. He turned toward the Mole Augment, “Hey, Monty? Are there any signals in the area?”
“Nothing biological on the radar, so no worries about picking up anything silicate,” Monty said. He then noticed his hud briefly going crazy for a few moments as it seemed to pick up something 7 floors below them. “Wait..I’m picking up something seven floors below us?”
Boss and Chen check their helmet’s HUD for this anomaly but found nothing out of the ordinary. “It’s probably nothing Monty..c’mon, we’ll head toward the confirmed signature.”
“yes sir..,” Monty said, still looking at why his hud was picking up the anomaly while the others didn’t. The trio slowly waked through the low gravity environment as they reached the first room. Chen sliced the door’s terminal, and their first score was a Relian armory. Chen jumped in shock at the sight.
“oh my god!” he said, “They have slug throwers.”
Boss walked up toward one of these slug throwers. It looked like a very bulky pump actioned rifle. They remained in good condition, save for maybe the dust and probable scoring from not being used for years. Their energy supply was drained once Boss did a closer inspection.
“Energy-based too…never knew those Saurians were that nostalgic,” Boss said in awe. “Monty, use the scanner and get them tagged. The scavenging probes will bring them back to the ship.”
The mole nods as he remotely activates the probes to come down and pick up the cargo once they cleared the armory. Once they were out, they saw the mono-eyed probes flying into the armory. Their flat, silvery cockroach-like bodies hovered about the room as they grabbed rifles, ammo, and anything. Then when they gathered as much as they could carry, they would leave the room and follow the path back to the scavenger’s ship before departing to pick up more weapons.
The group headed a few rooms out until they reached what was once the mess hall. The place had seen better days as disheveled expired food rations float about, trays and chairs were knocked over and damaged areas with exposed wiring and metal peered about. It looked like this place was hit the hardest. Boss looked around until he found a terminal. It looked similar to the airlock terminal they found outside. The layout of the keyboard and monitor made it more something designed for checking status than opening airlocks.
“Hmm…Chen, can you come over here for a moment?” Boss asked
Chen replied with a “sure,” before heading over toward Boss and the terminal. The two began to discuss slicing the terminal to access the map and possibly access the crew manifests to see what this derelict was carrying. While this was going on, Monty’s HUD still kept pinging that strange anomaly as though it was beckoning him to find it. It didn’t move, nor did it register as organic. Still, it was emanating a radiation bandwidth that was signaling what it was.
“guys..my HUD’s picking up that anomaly again,” He said
Boss looked at the mole, annoyed with him, “Monty, can’t you see that Chen and I are trying to slice this terminal? I have no interest in your bloody search for a fluke anomaly!” Boss turned his attention back to Chen, the two of them more occupied with the terminal than with Monty. The mole augment decided now is a time to discover what this anomaly was, leaving the two with their terminal. Monty followed the trail through the derelict’s cold hallways, his light being the only solace as his radio was silent from the two. The mole augment passed by several rooms that were either in good condition but abandoned or damaged and exposed to space’s emptiness. Whatever happened to this Relian ship seemed to have been damaged in battle or by something else. All it added up to Monty’s mind was more questions than answers. Still, all he was focused on was that mysterious anomaly. He was already two floors above the anomaly when he found the hallway blocked off by collapsed debris. Finding out the only pathway toward the last two levels blocked off, the mole augment felt beaten.
“Hey, Monty?!” The radio from his helmet blared loudly, startling the mole augment into bumping his butt onto the floor, weakening something below him.
“Yeah..I’m here,” Monty replied on the radio.
The mole realized that it was Boss, who then started to rip into the augment.
“Monty, where the hell is you?! I turn my back for one moment, and you go running off to chase some phantom signature! Chen’s got the crew manifests checked, and most of it is foodstuff and building supplies. Whatever this Relian ship was, it was probably a cargo or colony ship. Meet us back at the airlock..I’ll talk with you about wandering off.”
“yes, sir..” The mole said, feeling like a defeated child who lost an augment with their parent. He was going to call it and leave when the floor below him gave away, sending him falling two stories down into a part of the derelict the radar was pointing toward.
Great…now I have to call boss for a rescue..he’s not going to let me forget this…”This is what you get for leaving”, Monty thought to himself, imitating Boss’s voice as he imagined the reprimand he was gonna get. Though he didn’t notice that he was at the floor, the anomalous reading was at, and when he turned around, he that the other half of the room was filled with glowing purple oval rocks. He remained stunned until the radio blared up again, this time from Chen.
“Monty, what’s taking you so long to get here?!” He asked
“the floor gave, and I’m seven floors below you guys,” Monty said, “when you get here, you’re not going to believe what I found.”
Boss yelled on the radar, “Is your suit damaged?!”
“No, sir, the suit’s okay,” Monty said reassuringly.
“Good, if that suit’s damaged, I’m docking your fee.”, Boss said.
It would take a good fifteen to twenty minutes for the guys to get here, but all he could do was stare at those rocks he found…whatever they were it was something big…
************************************************Once Monty was rescued, and the last of those rocks found, the crew returned to their ship to check the bounty and appraise it. They still remained in their spacesuits, only now with their helmets removed. Boss nodded at the salvaged Relian weapons, as they’d fetch a moderate price. Not much but enough to ensure the crew’s ship had enough fuel for the next operation.
Monty looked at the rocks with curiosity as Chen let the computer, Boss looked over at the dusty grey-furred mole before looking at Chen. When Chen finished the appraisal, his eyes looked shocked at the rocks then back at the two.
“What is it?!” Boss asked Chen.
“Sir, this shit’s Dragonite!” Chen said in a mix of surprise and willingness to cheer, “This shit’s Dragonite!”
Boss nearly coughed in surprise, “Say what?! Dragonite?!”
“yes! Those Relians must have had a cargo of this stuff aboard the ship. The Manifest gave no knowledge about it!”
Boss chuckles as he ponders the situation, “I guess those saurian must have had some precious cargo after all.” He then looked toward Monty, laughing happily. He tells the augment, “not bad..your little anomalous reading gave us a major haul.”
“Yeah, not bad for wandering off,” Chen said.
The mole said nothing, but he couldn’t help smiling with pride.