Patchwork Pirate Part 1

Category: Star Sailor

Leaning back in the chair at the circular table I looked at the hologram above it, the Ophanim was slowly pulling away from us. She was a much larger and newer ship by far, with three quantum-fusion plants compared to the single old-style reactor of the Patch. But even full bore, her mass was proving to be detrimental as she moved towards the jump point.

Not that the Patch was having an easy time, I could feel the deck plates vibrating, the engines pushed far past their normal cruising speed as we slowly lost ground by only a few kilometers every second.

The lights flickered and something heavy clunked into place. The gravity on the bridge cut out and the lights switched over to emergency backups, bathing everything in a dull red glow.

“Blown breaker, one moment!” growled Hensa, he clicked his beak and the feathers around her neck flipped up and down in annoyance.

“I got it!” shouted Urch, from somewhere in the ceiling. Everyone around the table glanced up at her voice surprised.

Hensa’s eyes went comically large as he quickly found her among tubes, wires, and electronics above us “Wait!”

The gravity violently snapped back on, I settled back into my seat with a dull thud. Urch fell from the ceiling through the hologram and landed on the table, splintering the glass sending it flying every direction.

The small girl rolled over and groaned, “Ow!”

Talza snapped a green hand forwards slapping the small cy-Human girl on the head. “You can’t just hotwire the gravity emitter and shove power into it! You need the computer to boot it up!”

Urch groaned and rubbed at her head where Talza had hit her, “I didn’t know that!”

“I tried to warn you!” snapped Hensa. He leaned forwards through the hologram fixing her with a predatory eye.

I held up a hand, “Urch, why are you on the bridge” I told you to stay in your quarters.”

The small girl huffed and sitting up, ignoring the hologram glared back at me. “I wanted to see the battle! I’ve seen fights, I wanted to see what one in space would look like! I can handle the blood!”

I frowned ignoring her comments, “You’ve been in the ceiling this entire time?”

She shook her head, “No, it took me a little while to bypass the lock on the door, then I had to figure out how to get around in the service ducts. I didn’t want anyone to see me, they would have just called you and I’d be locked up again.”

Talza glanced at me her brow furrowed, “You’re locking small girls up in your cabin now?”

I shrugged, “Only place we had room. Unless you want to trade with her, I can honestly say I’d like your company much more. Not as much as your sister’s but I’ll live.”

Talza tapped her lip pretending to think, “I would say yes, but you don’t have enough wall space for my weapons collection.”

A thick tentacle slapped down onto the table, and the final member of the bridge crew let out a low grumble that shook the room. “Halt mate posturing. Nearing target coordinates, attention warranted!” warbled Selassas.

I looked over at the massive worm like creature smiling, “Nervous Doc?”

She bristled and waved several tentacles around, Hensa casually dodged the one that would have clipped his beak eyes still focused on the red warnings that were continuing to pop up on his engineering display.

I looked at the small girl and sighed, “Fix the hologram and you can watch, but stay out of the way and don’t try to repair anything else unless Hensa tells you to.”

She let out a squeal of happiness and slid down into Talza’s lap, “What about firing the weapons?”

The green woman’s hands were up and on either side of the girl’s head, as if she were debating if it would be worth it to crush her between them.

“When Talza tells you to, fix the hologram. I can’t see what’s going on and you’re making the Selassas nervous.”

A tentacle shot out and clipped my shoulder, right where she had patched the bullet wound last week. Grunting I ignored the slap, no one could really argue with the Selassas and win.

Urch leaned down and put her hands on the glass, sticking out her tongue and concentrating the small girl’s hands turned silver and liquified. Awkwardly jumping around from her hands but managing to quickly spread out across the table, the wave of nanites began to reform the broken holographic display.

Hensa watched her repairs with a critical eye, he was vehemently against any form of nanite repair as a matter of principal. But even he wasn’t immune to her charms. She was full of far too much energy, and an eagerness to learn and help. It was a shame the small eyes didn’t contain innocence.

The nanites snapped back and Urch blinked, “Got it!”

The hologram snapped back into focus and I smiled, the Ophanim was in position. “Thank you.”

Urch leaned back to look at the hologram in front of Talza and frowned, “You don’t have weapons powered! How are we going to attack?” her small hands shot towards the weapons controls, Talza’s quickly grabbed it.

Several of the bones in Urch’s hand snapped and she let out a pained yowl, “Ow! Captain!”

I rubbed at the side of my head, “Urch, do not touch. We’re not the ones attacking the Ophanim, what distance are we at right now?”

The small girl liquified her hand and pulled it away from Talza, shaking it and reforming the classical human hand she looked at the tactical display.

“We’re exactly 5,000 kilometers away.”

I smiled and nodded, “Watch.”

She threw a dirty look at me but her eyes quickly settled back on the display, and widened as the blip showing the Ophanim flashed and dimmed. The ships fusion engines going cold, smaller nuclear fission backups systems quickly heating up alongside them.

The Patch shuddered again, Hensa swore and another clunk echoed through her. Our engines, which had continued to accelerate us forwards as the Ophanim’s died cut out as well and we began to quickly drift towards the ship.

“What just happened?” asked Urch.

I punched the small Comm on the table, opening the communication channel to the Nightmare.

“Nice shot Rex!”

The other Human Captain inclined his head in the transmission, “You lined them right up along my path, I barely even had to aim!”

“The Captain is following Royal doctrine, it’s not exactly hard to predict!”

Rex nodded and winced as the lights on his vessel flickered, “aye, still I had to push the EMP to max. I’m ballistic towards the jump point for the moment, we good David?”

“We’re good, I’ll be sure to send you the twenty percent for your work!”

“You promised forty!” said Rex his eyes theatrically widening.

I put a hand on my chest gasping in mock outrage, “Forty? I’ll compromise with you on thirty.”

Rex chuckled, “Thirty will work!” Something exploded behind him and the man spun around in his chair swearing.

I lazily saluted the man, he punched the controls on his chair cutting the transmission. It had taken him the better part of three days to accelerate up to the speed for the attack, and he was traveling in the opposite direction.

He had literally a window of only a few nanoseconds to fire his EMP at the Ophanim. That precision was well worth the thirty percent despite the heavy lifting that the Patch would have to complete.

With the Ophanim now adrift, the Patch was in her element slowly stalking up to her prey.

“No Banter, we are soon boarding. I will prepare.” Growled Selassas. Without another word, the large Doctor slithered around the table and ducked into the corridor turning to go towards her medical ward.

“Wow!” whispered Urch, her eyes locked on the slowly cooling Ophanim. She frowned and turned to glare at me, “I didn’t get to fire any weapons!”

Talza leaned down, “You are right, but neither did I. It’s not been a good day for either of us.”

Urch nodded, and turned a pouting face towards me. “Cap this is your fault!”

Talza straightened up and smiled, “Still I get to shoot some things with smaller guns!” she nodded to me, “I’m going to stand ready with the boarding team.”

“I’m hoping we won’t have to shoot anyone, they should capitulate.”

Talza grunted, “Should does not apply to you, I’m going to have to shoot a few people.” Turning she left the small bridge as well.

Hensa, who was holding a smaller holoprojector that was showing what looked like a piece of the reactor absentmindedly stood up and meandered out of the room his eyes focused on it.

“So, what do I get to do?” asked Urch still pouting.

I grinned, “You can watch me threaten the Ophanim’s captain. Then you’re going back to the cabin and staying there. The last thing that Talza’s squad needs to deal with is you sneaking onto the Ophanim. Got it?”

She emphatically nodded sending her hair flying in every direction, “Can I help Hensa in engineering?”

“He’s not going to let you use the nanites.”

Urch wrinkled her nose, “I’d rather be a monkey than do nothing.”

“Are insulting the monkey’s now?” I asked. Reaching up I scratched at my head with one hand and moved my lips into an ‘O’ shape.

Urch laughed, “You’re a good monkey Cap. I just don’t want to deal with being in charge. I figure I can let you keep running things for a few more years before I take over.”

I raised my eyebrows as we both held back out laughs. She slipped first, a small giggle falling from her lips. I laughed along with her for a moment.

Forcing myself to calm I turned back to the hologram and set me features, forcing the mirth away trying to replace it with as much stoicism as I could. Urch stepped back from me her own features moving to match my own. She settled down in Hensa’s seat, her head barely poking up over the table and watched me.

I cleared my throat and punched the open transmit option on the console.

“Patch to Ophanim control, if we detect any attempts to reignite your fusion reactors we will open fire. You are running on backups, and your magnetic shield is on minimal power. Our first shot will go through your bridge, then I’m just going to pick whatever looks fun to shoot. Do you understand? Respond with a holo in the next twenty seconds if you want to avoid that.”

I leaned back in my seat closing my eyes waiting.

After a count of ten the small alert notifying me of an incoming transmission dinged. I remained still and took in a breath.

“Captain?” asked Urch.

“I’m letting them sweat past twenty, could you divert a little energy into the forward rail gun?”

“uhh, yes!”

I opened my eyes and accepted on the count of thirty.

The young Captain, standing on the immaculate bridge of his ship cut an impressive figure. His blue-white uniform hugged his frame without a wrinkle, making the old ship suit I was wearing look saggy by comparison. His hair was squared off, and cut with military precision. I had him beat there, when I had started to lose my own I had simply shaved it all off leaving only the small beard and goatee.

The young Captain drew himself up and glared at me, the muscles under his uniform bunching up and rippling beneath it. Even at his age I hadn’t cut such a figure, never having enough time to devote to it.

“You will break off your pursuit now, or I will fire on your vessel.” Growled the young Captain. He stepped forwards, and the hologram focused on his face enlarging it in my view.

I raised my eyebrows, “You have nothing to fire at me boy.”

His left eye twitched at the simple insult and his face started to redden.

“I will give you one more chance, break off your pursuit or I will put another hole in that thing you call a ship.”

I smiled, “The Patch has taken her licks, you’re not going to be the one to break her boy.”

His eyes widened slightly, he had heard of the Patch. It was understandable, the ship had been flying for nearly two centuries now. Not that much of her original frame remained. I was the sixth man to captain her and I needed another decade under my belt before I was her longest serving Captain.

In all that time, the Patch’s mission hadn’t changed.

“I’ll make this simple for you boy, I have my most talented sensor operator sitting here beside me. You jettison all the Telstrate you have into space and we’ll slow down give you time to repair the damage from that solar storm that hit you. I’ll even send out a distress signal for you at the jump point.”

The Captain opened his mouth to shout something else when he cringed and turned to the side. The holographic image automatically pulled back to show two women stepping out the old-fashioned elevator on the other side of his bridge.

“Captain! What is going on?” asked the ornately dressed woman. She couldn’t have been much older than the Captain, but she managed to project a far more intense sense of authority. The clothing designated her as not only a Royal, but as someone very close to the king.

The other woman was a green skinned Helianite like Telza, dressed in a simple servant uniform she demurely kept her eyes locked on the floor as she followed the Royal.

“Princess, please return to the gala. I have this well in hand.”

She pursed her lips and turned to look at me. My hologram was no doubt on the center of their bridge, a slouching blemish on the otherwise immaculate setting. She grimaced, even as a hologram I was apparently dirty enough to distress her.

“Who are you?”

“I’m the pirate who just disabled all three of your power cores. I’m the pirate who’s pointing old style kinetic fragmentation shells directly where you’re standing. I’m the pirate who is demanding the immediate ejection of all Telstrate on your ship, after which we will both be able to amicably part ways.”

The Princess blinked, “What?”

I smiled and slouched further back in my chair, “I’d prefer not to punch holes in that pretty ship of yours, and if you do force me to board your vessel to take the Telstrate,” I leaned forwards and sharpened my gaze. “I’ll be asking you to come aboard my ship, so we can ensure you make it safely back to Sol.”

The Princess rolled her eyes, “Captain, destroy that ship.”

The Captain grimaced, “I would enjoy doing nothing else, but our weapons are offline. All we have are the navigational lasers.”

“Fire those then!” demanded the Princess.

“They will have no,”

“Are you disobeying an order Captain?” snapped the Princess.

He swallowed and quickly shook his head. “No Ma’am.”

He glanced at me, and then at the weapons officer on his bridge. “Fire the navigational lasers.”

I leaned back and glanced over at Urch, her eyes were wide a smug smile on her lips. The small turrets on the hull of the Ophanim turned towards the Patch, and fired. Designed to incinerate objects that were too large for the electromagnetic shields on the front of the Ophanim to absorb, the lasers were almost entirely in the infrared spectrum. The Hull of the Patch, a vessel that was designed to dive through planetary atmospheres quickly dissipated the heat.

The Princess grinned in victory as an alarm went off to my side.

I sighed, “Urchin ramp the cooling systems to 30%.”

“Yes sir!” squeaked the girl, her voice higher than normal. Eager she slammed her hand down onto the control panel and melted her hand into it, directly interfacing with the Patch’s systems.

The alarm switched off, and I turned back to the weapons control. Rotating the fragmentation round out of the chamber I loaded the iron encased round of einsteinium-252 into it. Lining up the Patch I fired the main gun.

The round punched into the side of the Ophanim, the iron ionizing on the outer hull in a dull flash leaving the super heavy element to continue onwards through the bridge of the vessel, between he Princess and the Captain, and out through the other side of the ship into the void.

Both jumped at the hiss of air, and the Captain’s head immediately tracked to the fist sized hole on the floor of his bridge. He wasn’t a fool, but he was young and inexperienced.

The Princess found the hole a second after him and gasped. Her eyes went wide and she stepped back from the blemish even as the substrate in the floor and the other decks below the bridge quickly sealed the breach.

“That was a warning shot. Jettison the Telstrate.” I growled.

The Princess slowly turned up to look at me, “If you want it, come and get it cretin!”

I rolled my eyes cut the transmission, the small room that served as the bridge when the Patch needed it went dark.

“Cretin?” I asked the dark room.

Urch laughed, “What’s a Cretin?”

I flipped on one of the overhead lights and winced, “It means stupid.”

“Then it fits Cap!”

I slowly turned to her, “I suppose someone as stupid as I won’t be able to divide the Telstrate ration to the crew properly. I might accidently give someone less than a normal cut, as stupid as I am.”

She squeaked and jumped up onto the table, “I get a cut!?”

“Your part of the crew aren’t you?”

Urch emphatically nodded, flopping her short hair around.

“Then you get a cut.”

Stepping into my combat suit I winced as the material tightened around me and pinched at the joints. Adjusting it and moving my arms to try and get the metal, wire, pads, and generators to settle I groaned. The suit was getting smaller every year.

“You good?” asked Talza from beside me.

I nodded, “I’m good. You?”

Talza shrugged and glanced back at the near identical clones behind her. She was Helianite-3528 in the official records of Sol, one of the most popular lines the Royals had. It wasn’t difficult to see why, a perfect blend of feminine charm and raw power the 3528 lines was what ancient Humans would have called an Amazon, with green skin.

“You said a Princess is onboard?” asked Talza.

I raised my gun up and glanced over at the docking display, we were a hundred meters away from docking. “Yep. Don’t know how high up, or from what family. She had an 882.”

Talza hummed thinking, “She’s in the triumvirate then. They’re the only ones with 882’s.”

“Shit, her pheromones will be stronger.”

Talza glanced back at her clones, Halza the second in command of the squad shrugged. “Better safe than sorry.”

Talza frowned, “I give it to him again and one of us might end up in his quarters tonight.”

“I volunteer!” shouted Belza from the back of the squad.

The rest of the 3528 glanced back at her, she glared back at them a lecherous smile on her lips.

“No one was asking you Belza, we all know you’re messed up in the head already.” Growled Talza as she dug around in the pockets of her combat vest.

“We can trade tattoo’s if you don’t want to admit you want to try it!” said Belza. She pointed at the small orange triangle under her eye and waggled her eyebrows at the others.

The other 3528 all groaned and Talza put a hand over the white square on her brow, “You’re giving me nightmares!”

I cracked my knuckles and looked back at the 3528,”Could we focus on something besides who I might hypothetically be taking to my quarters? Like the boarding action we’re undertaking?

Talza rolled her eyes and flicked her gun on, it hummed and a lethal red glow quickly moved up along it’s length. “We could do this in our sleep Captain.”

I nodded, “Assuming you don’t fall sway to he Princess, the Key? I promise I’ll only do some bad things to Belza.”

Talza inclined her head and held her hand out, the small device dangling from the old strap. All the Helianite in the room sobered, their eyes on it.

“Only Belza?” asked Talza.

“To start with at least.”

Talza snorted and dropped the key in my hand, “You go crazy and I give Urchin the command codes I have afterwards.”

“You do that and we’ll be pirating shipments of Terran ice cream.”

“I could go for some of that.” Piped up Nalza from the center of the platoon.

The Patch vibrated and we all heard the ancient servo’s lock into place on the Ophanim’s docking port.

“Anyone want to place bets on if they’re going to shoot at us?” I asked.

The Helianites all laughed, “I don’t doubt that they will. We were placing bets on how many would be here to greet us while you were talking with little miss Princess.”

“What’s the number?”

“twenty, two standard security detachments.” Said Belza.

“I’ll put a gram on three squads.”

The hatch buzzed and rolled to the side. The small corridor that was the Patch’s airlock meeting the hull of the white-grey ship only three meters long. The white door clanged up into the wall and two squads of Royal marines blindly opened fire.

I glanced down at myself watching as the rounds flew through my armor and body into the massive array of scrap metal that had been welded together on the opposite wall for target practice.

“You lose Captain!” sang Belza as a round flew through her own head.

“Damn it,” reaching a hand forwards in what looked like empty air I found the lever for the cargo bay. The loading ramp opened several inches and the air boomed as it was sucked out. Several of the men were blown into the cargo bay, several more lost hold of their weapons as the rest tried to backpaddle away from the nothingness. Only one of the men managed to activate his magnetic boots.

I waved at him and tapped at the control on my wrist killing the holographic projection and disappearing from his view. I blinked and the image of the cargo bay being projected on my eyes died away.

Talza rubbed at her eyes, “Ugh.”

“Everyone ready?” I asked as I released the lever and closed the bay door. Narrowing my eyes through the small porthole leading to the room I watched as the door snapped shut. The thing had stuck last time.

“Ready!” chorused the squad.


Talza pulled the door to the side and charged into the cargo bay, moving so quickly I only saw a blur. Her sisters followed, moving with equal speed. I heard several twangs of plasma and the rustling of armor and materials.

“Clear!” shouted Talza.

I stepped into the cargo bay to see the men who had been shooting restrained with lengths of heavy wire wrapped around their midsections and stacked up like cargo next to the airlock. Three bodies, one of them the man who had managed to activate his boots were still on the floor clearly dead.

I keyed my Com, “Hensa we’ve got some guests in the cargo bay, come and check them over for anything you want we’re moving forward.”

Nalza leaned up against the wall next to the men and smiled, “I’ll keep them company.”

“You get to hang out with Hensa as well, aren’t you lucky.”

She grimaced and I stepped past her into the airlock, Talza raised her rifle and I popped my ancient 1911 from its holster. The gun didn’t have an original part, and every Captain of the Patch had used the gun at some point, and like the ship she was serviceable, and hiding a few tricks.

I strolled forwards into the corridor, we had docked at the normal airlock where the ship would have received her guests. The corridor quickly opened and we were in the center of the ship, which had to be its main attraction.

The atrium was tall and wide, exposing the multiple levels of the ship letting those above look down on the deck where we were. Out in front of us were men and women milling about what looked like a party. The gala the Captain had been insisting the Princess go back to.

Human men dressed in expensive flowing robes, Human women in dresses that covered and exposed. All of them laughing, eating, talking, enjoying the luxury surrounding them.

Sprinkled throughout the crowd were green skinned Helianites, several different genetic lines of them. The 04’s were the majority which wasn’t too much of a surprise.

The dozens of green women had no tattoos to differentiate themselves, and what little clothing all of them wore was identical. Each was interchangeable for another. The Humans in the crowd, both men and women, casually pawed at them as they moved about, refilling glasses, and offering up food on platters.

Several other genetic lines I didn’t know the number of were interspaced about, serving as bodyguards and additional playthings for the guests.

I glanced over at Talza, “You want me to use the key?”

She grimaced and nodded, “Not yet, if the Princess deigns to make an appearance use it don’t ask. The rest of these people aren’t high enough, we can resist the impulses.”

I glanced back at the others, they all nodded back at me. “Just ping my Comm if you need it.”

Smiling I raised my gun firing it once into the air. Every head in the room turned to look at me. The sound of the ancient gun was something from holoplays and historic reenactments to most. To hear it in the middle of a party was odd.

Talza raised her own gun and fired it into the ceiling. The Humans started to scream and pandemonium broke out as the guests began to scramble over one another for the exits.

I cranked up the speakers on my armor, “Ladies, and gentleman. Please stop, do not move, and you’ll all get to walk away with a fantastic story about when you met the Shepard of the lost.”

The screaming continued and I rolled my eyes, picking one of the men in the crowd I thumbed the secondary trigger on the 1911. The small charged pellet hit him squarely in the chest and he collapsed onto the small 04 next to him.

I winced at that, but it had the desired effect. The men and women froze all eyes once again on me. The Helianite bodyguards interspaced around the crowd pointing weapons at us.

Talza stepped forwards, her eyes moving over those of her own species of Human. “They are all bodyguard lines, none are soldier lines.”

I nodded, “Good, firefights in the middle of crowds is never fun.” I raised my gun inspecting it, “Especially with this thing, it gets blood everywhere. I haven’t found a way to get the bullet’s hot enough to cauterize like plasma.”

The bodyguard lines would not risk attacking, and unless we opened fire on the mewling Royals they would do nothing to interfere. We were less likely to harm their charges if we got what we wanted.

I began walking forwards, the bodyguards in the crowd began to move their charges away from us and towards the walls. Other people scrambled to move as well, leaving just a few stray 04 servers in our path down the center of the large atrium.

The first 04 demurely looked up at me as I passed, her eyes wide and vulnerable. She had been purposefully designed like that, and her mind was similarly molded. All she wished to do was serve, in whatever capacity that was. She also had a healing rate that only the advanced solider lines had.

The 04 were made to be taken advantage of.

Reaching out I took a piece of food from her tray, and smiled down at her. “Thank you.”

She smiled showing off her perfect teeth, but said nothing. Chewing on the food I slowly moved through the crowd stopping at each of the servants in my path and taking a piece of food and thanking them. I couldn’t save them, I could make their lives a little better by giving them the attention they craved but almost never received.

Reaching the center of the hall I paused, my eyes falling on the large fountain in the center.

“Well, fuck me.” Breathed Talza her eyes settling on it.

“You mean that?” I asked my eyes locked on the sparkling silver-blue Telstrate that was running through it.

“No.” breathed Talza, reaching out she put her hand in the valuable liquid and shook her head. “It’s real.”

I took in a breath and peered down at the pool, “Never thought I would have an option to take a bath in the stuff.”

A bottle hit the side of my head and I winced as it bounced off, hit the floor, and shattered. Turning I looked in the direction of the throw as I rubbed at my skull. It hadn’t been moving fast enough for the armor to see it as a threat, but it had stung.

“I order you to kill him!” shouted the young man who had thrown the bottle, his eyes on Talza.

She snorted and turned back to the fountain running her hand through it again. His gaze turned and swept over her sisters, “Kill him!” he demanded.

Belza’s face went blank and she robotically raised her weapon, “Yes my Lord.”

I sighed and raised my eyebrows at her. The blank expression on her face broke and she laughed at the boy. “I kill him and all it’ll do is make him angry.”

Belza glanced at the Helianite bodyguard beside the thrower, “He throws another bottle and the Captain will shoot him.”

The Helianite bodyguard grabbed the young man’s hand, with enough force to make him cry out in pain. He dropped the bottle and I could see the faintest hint of a smile on the green man’s face. He hadn’t needed to be that aggressive.

“You done staring at the pretties Talza? We’ve got an appointment with the Princess.”

“Yeah, yeah.” She turned away from the fountain and we finished our walk through the center of the party to the old style, ornate elevators that were standing ready. Stepping inside I kept one foot out and turned back to the crowd.

“I want all of that Telstrate packaged up by the time I get back, I don’t care in what kind of container. If it’s not packaged, I’ll be taking the left eye of everyone without a bodyguard. Oh, and none of the Helianite’s can help you. I see one of them so much as lift a finger and I’ll be taking the right eyes of everyone.”

I pulled my foot back and the glass doors closed. The elevator began to rise through the ship.

“Eyes?” asked Talza.

“I was going to say balls, but that would take to long.”

“Not what I meant.”

As the elevator neared the top I pulled the key out of my armor and glanced back at Belza. She nodded and raising the device up I threaded it through the armor on my chest and stabbed into the hollow between my neck and shoulder.

She and her sisters shifted, Telza grunted and snapped her teeth as the Key mixed into my blood and started releasing pheromones that matched the first Kings blood. The receivers and small computers embedded in the Helianites neck’s quickly identifying it.

It had cost the first Patch captain his life getting the blood sample, and the Second had lost his life obtaining the Key.

Grinding my teeth and trying to suppress the pain of the metal rod in my neck I turned to Telza, “You want to join me in my quarters tonight?”

She slowly turned to me, “I’d love to my Lord.” The words fell from her lips even as the fire behind her eyes increased in intensity.

I chuckled, “Oh, you’re going to kill me when I take this thing off.”

She said nothing, instead continuing to glare at me.

The elevator reached the top and the doors opened, I stepped out onto the bridge with Telza and the rest of her squad fanning out behind me with military precision, the casual gait they had been using up until now gone. The key was forcing them to revert to both to the default genetic neural patterns in their minds, helped along by the computers embedded in their necks.

The young Captain was standing in the center of his bridge, the Princess behind him. There were no Helianite on the bridge, only Human security forces like what had been at the airlock. The Patch’s advantage had never been a secret, but it was amazing how often Royals tried to use Helianites against her Captain.

“Stand down!” shouted the Princess.

Talza and Belza didn’t flinch.

I raised my pistol, “Fire.”

Talza’s squad quickly opened up on the terrified security forces, they only managed to get off a few shots of their own. My vision was obscured for a moment as the emergency Telstrate defenses activated.

Combined with the proper pattern and electrical impulses the material could be transformed into anything but radioactive elements. The more atomically complex the final product the more Telstrate was needed. Nanites were one of the most complex things the material was routinely converted into, the cy-Humans needed the small machines to function to live.

The solid hunk of iron precisely aligned to catch the shot fell to the ground at my feet as the last shots rang out.

I aimed and fired into the Captain’s leg. The man shouted in pain and collapsed to one knee as blood began to run down his leg staining his white uniform red. Quickly moving forwards I pulled a younger Human woman away from her station, she struggled for a moment, only freezing when I put the gun to her head.

“I want everyone e but the Princess, her aide, and the good Captain here gone in the next ten seconds or I shoot.”

The officers looked around at one another and the Captain grumbled several curses under his breath.

“Everyone out!” shouted the Princess, she moved down next to the Captain and put a hand on his shoulder her eyes briefly flicking down to look at him.

The weapons officer, nearest the elevator was the first to move scrambling and nearly tripping in his haste. The rest of the men and women followed, I pushed the young woman away she quickly scrambled and dove into the elevator. I calmly crossed my arms looking at the two remaining Humans and Helianite aide.

The Helianite’s eyes were wide, she could no doubt feel the presence of the Key.

I turned to her first, “Does the Princess treat you well?”

She blinked, and glanced at the Human woman. “She treats me better than some of the other Royals.”

“How many times a week are you on average punished?”

She hesitated again, but couldn’t resist the key. “Every night, but the Princess does not actually harm me!”

“She just forces horrible memories into your head. That’s the kind of pain that even the warriors quell under.” I sighed and glanced at Belza. Her eyes were focused forwards watching the threats in front of her.

I rubbed at my nose, “Sorry we’ll talk this over more later.”

Belza said nothing, I turned back the Helianite. “Eject the contents of all of the cargo bays, and then go and board the Patch.”

The Helianite girl quickly nodded and not looking back at the Princess moved to the elevator.

I holstered my gun and clapped my hands together, “Fantastic.”

Walking forwards I went over to the Captain’s chair and ran my hand along the back of it. “You know why you have bridges like this?”

I looked over at the two remaining Humans. Both glared back at me silent.

“So the Captain can feel important. On a space fairing vessel, you don’t need to be on a forward section of the ship. You don’t need to have everyone spread out in some huge waste of space,” I gestured around at the massive room.

Sitting down I sighed, “Although this is a comfortable chair.”

I leaned forwards and looked at the Captain. He was sweating, his face was flushed, but he met my gaze.

“You could have avoided all of this. I honestly did not know you had a Princess on your ship, all I wanted was the Telstrate. If you had ejected it, and little miss bratty hadn’t walked onto your bridge like an idiot I would have been content with it.”

“Royals do not negotiate with terrorists.” Growled the young Captain.

I laughed, “Do you know how many governments have said that throughout history? I don’t think a single one has ever followed through on that promise. Besides, this isn’t terrorism, this was piracy.” I looked at the Princess and smiled, “and kidnapping I suppose.”

She shook her head and smiled, “You will not kidnap me. I am the second in line, for what you have already done you’ll be hunted down and killed. Leave now and I will promise it will be swift at the very least.”

I leaned back in the chair, “You’re the second of what, twenty-seven?”

Her face reddened, “I am still the second!” she spat.

“The fleets will look around for you for a month or so. If your family pays the ransom they’ll certainly be able to find you. I doubt they will, since your replaceable. You know there’s some lesson in here, you throw away Human lives casually enough, that’s a learned behavior.”

She scrunched her nose, “I am not a Human. I am a Royal!”

I snorted, “Everyone on this bridge is Human.”

The Captain groaned and collapsed down onto the ground, slipping away from the Princess’s hand. She glanced down at him and then turned back to me. “He needs medical aide.”

I nodded, “He does, I didn’t say you couldn’t help him.”

She frowned, “I don’t know anything about medicine.”

“The blood should be in the body, that’s about all I know and I’ve managed fairly well.”

Her face went white and she hesitantly knelt next to him. “You get him medical aide, and I’ll go with you!”

I shrugged, “You’re coming with me in any case.”

“You take her, and I’ll hunt you down pirate!” growled the Captain, his voice surprisingly strong despite his current condition. Looking down at the boy I chuckled. “Ah, that explains why you kept the Telstrate. You fancy miss bratty, and being robbed with her aboard would ruin your courtship.”

I looked at the Princess, she was hesitantly moving her hands towards his leg near the wound her face green, “and she at least doesn’t want you to die.” I stood up and looked down at the man, “and once you catch me, and you find her chained up in my cabin playacting as an O-four?”

His eyes widened and he let out a growl, “I’ll kill you if you touch her.”

Leaning down I stared at him for a moment measuring him. “You know it’s a shame. So, few self-proclaimed Royals have this much drive. I’m almost going to feel bad for doing this.”

Patchwork Pirate
Next Chapter

Sweetness – Love and Kiing (NSFW)

CopRit Empire, Halfil Sol 14 Of Race 4 Year 4958 Frostal Secondary, New Baltimore Sitting down in the chair across from the Principal’s desk I nervously swallowed and tried to calm my heart. The Principal could probably hear it, and smell my perspiration. Which was only making me more nervous. “Thoomaas,” squeaked the principal from

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Sweetness – Implications

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Sweetness – Chapter 4 (NSFW)

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Sweetness – Chapter 3 (NSFW)

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Sweetness – Chapter 2 (NSFW)

CopRit Empire, Halfil Sol 78 of Race 3 Year 4958 Athletic Complex, New Baltimore I jumped to the side, dodging the attack. I felt the breeze as the weapon passed my abdomen; it missed me by only a few millimeters. Twirling to the side, I brought my foot up. Reacting with amazing speed, my opponent

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Sweetness – Chapter 1 (NSFW)

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Shades of White and Orange

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Mother Earth

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Adam, Artemis, Atlas, & Icarus Part 2

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Adam, Artemis, Atlas, & Icarus Part 1

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 51: Anticlimax Part 5

Date Point: 16y2m AV Folctha, Cimbrean, the Far Reaches Allison Buehler After a lifetime of helicopter parenting, Tristan and Ramsey seemed addicted to every opportunity they could find to do something their mother would have scooted them away from. And who could blame them? Amanda had never managed to get her head around the idea

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Rising Titans – Chapter 44

9 Years, 6 Months, 28 Days After Eridani Landing Deep Space The Russia shuddered again as the engines slowly powered down and the ship slid out of the red blue haze that was the tachyon FTL corridor. James blinked several times trying to clear the haze from his eyes as the regular black background of

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 51: Anticlimax Part 4

Date Point: 16y1m AV Dataspace adjacent to Mrwrki Station Entity The Entity understood the concept of boredom in an academic, abstract way. It could even vaguely summon up Ava’s memories of being bored. But understanding the idea and actually feeling the emotion were two different things. The closest it could get was the sensation of

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 51: Anticlimax Part 3

Date Point: 16y2w AV Air Force One, somewhere over Asia, Earth President Arthur Sartori “…You want to give us a Farthrow generator.” Daar’s image was janky and low-resolution thanks to the vagaries of current wormhole comms, but the audio was a lot clearer now. Technology marched onwards. “It’s loaded up on a train and ready

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Good Training – Pecking Order

13y, 8m AV Operator’s Barracks, HMS Sharman, Folctha, Cimbrean Officer Regaari (Dexter) of Clan Whitecrest “I got an idea, Regaari.” Regaari flicked his ears forward in annoyance. “This again?” “Well, yeah. I gotta win that bet, Cousin!” Regaari duck-nodded wearily. Not long after Daar had received the SACRED STRANGER briefing, he’d sulked off to think

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Good Training – The Champions – Tidying Up

Messier 24 Mission day: 3 Sergeant Daar (Tigger) The third day was always when things settled into routine. Daar didn’t really know why, ‘cuz that was prol’ly some complicated psychology stuff (maybe he should read up?) but he did know how it worked, practically speaking. Daar always pondered morning thoughts like that when he was

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 51: Anticlimax Part 2

Date Point: 16y2w AV Weaver dropship, Gaoian space Sergeant Ian “Hillfoot” Wilde “So in all the excitement, we clean forgot about these things. That’s what you’re telling me.” Champion Meereo made a sound that was half a sigh and half a chitter. “…That’s more-or-less exactly right, yes. We had… well, bigger priorities.” Wilde had to

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Rising Titans – Chapter 43

9 Years, 6 Months, 28 Days After Eridani Landing Bellona “Ready?” asked Alpha from where he sat on top of the Captain’s chair. “I’m good!” said Red from where he sat at the controls for the ship. It hadn’t taken much to convince him to pilot the vessel. James glanced down at his own console

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 51: Anticlimax Part 1

Date Point: 16y AV Yukon–Koyukuk, Alaska, USA, Earth Zane Reid The cold didn’t hurt anymore. At first, it had been like forcing his way through a wall made of knives that cut through his clothes. Zane’s every breath had blinded him as it billowed and steamed in the air, and when he’d experimentally licked his

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 50: Counterattack – Trigger Part 5

Date Point: 16y AV Camp Tebbutt Biodrone Internment Facility, Yukon–Koyukuk, Alaska, USA, Earth Hugh Johnson Snow. Of course, snow in January in Alaska was hardly surprising, and this one threatened to be heavy. At first, Hugh had thought it was probably just an seasonable dusting that’d add a couple of inches to the foot or

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I had made my way through the tournament, but most of my matches had been won by the skin of my teeth, and I had only the advantage of being evolved from a pursuit predator to thank for it. Our great endurance had been the one boon that had kept me going, and I was

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 50: Counterattack – Trigger Part 4

Date Point: 15y 10m 1w AV HMS Violent, Rvzrk System, Domain Space The ground battle churned on for days. That was the problem with Hunters. There was no surrender involved, it was a kill-or-be-killed fight where smashing their will to engage in war simply didn’t achieve enough. Any Hunter left alive would just keep murdering

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Good Training – The Champions – Doom and Gloom Part 4

He awoke to a pleasant smell. “…Eggs?” Hoeff detangled himself from Natalie and the sheets and stumbled towards the kitchen. Daar was busy in front of the comparatively little stove and fridge, humming some terrible Gaoian tune to himself. Seriously, their music was like Chinese opera with extra pain. Some Humans liked it, though…but “atonal”

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Rising Titans – Chapter 42

9 Years, 6 Months, 15 Days After Eridani Landing The [Singer] The explosion hit and [Vann] watched at the lights on the main hologram and different panels flashed a blinding white light, before dying and plunging the entire bridge of the [Singer] into darkness. “What were we supposed to do?” asked someone near the weapons

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Day 1. I’ve made it on board the human trading vessel! They didn’t detect my presence, and I’ve managed to smuggle myself into their engineering bay, and disguised myself within a cluster of cables! My small, serpentine body makes me indistinguishable from a thin, grayish cable, and the Humans won’t notice my existence until it

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 50: Counterattack – Trigger Part 1

Date Point: 15y 10m AV Camp Tebbutt Biodrone Internment Facility, Yukon–Koyukuk, Alaska, USA, Earth Hugh Johnson Camp Tebbutt wasn’t actually a bad place to live, if you didn’t count the fact that it was essentially a prison for innocent victims. Hugh understood why he was there, and why he couldn’t leave… but after eleven years,

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Good Training – The Champions – Doom and Gloom Part 3

Firth Regaari chittered, “It is difficult to imagine you ‘humbled,’ Righteous.” “Heh,” Firth chuckled. “You do know most of my attitude is straight fuckin’ bullshit, right? Adam and John know why.” Regaari looked over at John, who shrugged massively. “He’s a scary dude. Being ridiculous kinda takes the edge off, y’know?” Regaari duck-nodded. He was

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Rising Titans – Chapter 41

9 Years, 6 Months, 13 Days After Eridani Landing Jikse Moving down the hallway Diana paused at the double doors, carefully she moved forwards into it’s threshold and they slid open. A woman in an orange smock looked up from her Comm for a moment, and then going back to look at it did a

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The Good Samaritan

I felt a white-hot pain in my back as I was stabbed. Once, twice and then three times. I fell to the ground clutching my new openings, and for a moment I couldn’t grasp what had just happened. I had walked through an alley as a shortcut back home, and then suddenly someone had grabbed

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 50: Counterattack – Homefront Part 6

Date Point: 15y9m3w AV Mrwrki Station, Erebor System, Unexplored Space Darcy “Does it seem… different to you lately?” “What?” “The Entity. It’s actin’ different, dude, I swear it is.” Darcy sighed and set aside her work as Lewis sat down. She was sitting drinking a Moroccan Mint tea in the station’s rec lounge, with its

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Rising Titans – Chapter 40

9 Years, 6 Months, 13 Days After Eridani Landing Jikse Popping the restraints off of her legs Diana swung herself off of the table, the two class A’s still in their isolation suits were pounding at the door of the room the three of them were in. “It’s out! Open the door!” shouted the man

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Good Training – The Champions – Doom and Gloom Part 2

Master Sergeant Christian (Righteous) Firth The end of the movie came and the ladies were fast asleep and prolly too tired to head home with any comfort. The other bros were asleep, too, and Firth was tangled up with them pretty good. Oh well, both ‘Base and ‘Horse were heavy-ass sleepers and only danger or

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Hell. It’s a completely Human concept. The concept of a realm of eternal torture, to which you are sent depending on the whims of one deity or another, is something only found in Human fiction. And it’s not an isolated occurrence. Almost every human culture since the dawn of humanity itself has had it in

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 50: Counterattack – Homefront Part 4

Date Point: 15y9m2w AV HMS Sharman (HMNB Folctha), Cimbrean, The Far Reaches Senior Master Sergeant Christian (“Righteous”) Firth “Hey, fuckers! Guess what hit the newsstand today!” Adam looked up from his needlework for a second and raised an eyebrow. “Imma guess Coombes’ centerfold spread with Ava?” Firth deflated, somewhat flummoxed that ‘Horse had stolen his

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