Friday, 17 September 2010

Ship Names

The cargo loading arm on docking bay 31 had been damaged for over a hundred years. As most of the heavy cargo went through other larger docking bays, there was never much call for repairing it. Border stations in the back of beyond were never high on the list of priorities for corporations. Which proved to be adequate for what Angelina had in mind. It was also a bonus that with the stations rotation it was almost always bathed in one of the systems two suns.

Angelina laid back in the chair, a bucket of ice by her left hand filled with Quaffe Noir, a half eaten tray of chocolates and a portable terminal. Amarrian opera floated into the empty space of the docking bay. The sun bathed her body gently as she watched the ships moving back and forth, for the most part cruisers and frigates. Popping another can of quaffe she smiled as she watched them, reading their names, scanning the corp logo's.

Several hours later she noticed the terminal flashing a message and opened the message.

To: Angelina Ballentyne
From: (Unrecognised Delivery)

RE: Delivery

The consignment requested is in the process of being delivered. Be advised the delivery company is not know for it's promptness, though they do get the job done. Halifax and Rico Savage have been allocated.

God speed, AV

Closing the terminal she pulled off her shades and rubbed her eyes standing up, stretching. Soon they would be coming....

Her musing were interrupted by the high pitched whine of over stressed repulsorlifts. To her left a rifter had deviated from the prescribed lanes and was approaching the tower. Warning sirens began to sound it hovered fifty feet away from her... forty... thirty. From here she could see the weapons, the great shells being loaded into the autocannons, smell the burning fuel. The corp sigil was obscured, but the name of the ship was proud across the top of the cockpit. Halifax! As the barrels started rotating she moved, running forward, grabbing a length of synthi-rope and leaping off the end of the crane as the surface was sprayed by the autocannons.

She fell towards the ground, fastening the rope to her belt and praying. The jerk was harsh as the rope caught, forcing the breath from her and she swung back into the column of the base of the loading arm, hitting it heavily with a sickening crunch. Looking up she saw the arm of the crane as it started to tip and fall, as the rifter altered it's pattern of fire, starting downwards, shredding the column sending gobbets of molten metal and shrapnel in all directions. With a scream of tortured metal the strut that was holding the rope parted and Angelina and the rope fell, only to be caught again as it snagged on an outcropping. The rifter swung around, it's guns silent and she looked down. There! Off to the right, it was reachable but she had to be quick.

She started to swing on the rope, getting further and further, watching the Rifter all the time. The great barrels started to spin again and she waited, then pulled her blade out and slashed the rope, a moment too late as she felt the passage of the shells above her, the searing heat from teh fusion shells burning her back and getting peppered with shrapnel. She fell screaming and landed heavily on a walkway, almost slipping off she slammed her blade into the grate and held on for dear life.

The rifter changed it's angle and pointed it's guns straight at her.
"Come on then!" She shouted, looking up at it, "Finish it you motherless spawn of a poxed tribal whore!"
She felt the blackness overcoming her as an explosions knocked her....

She woke up in the medical bay. Armed guards around her, strapped to the bed, tubes going into both of her arms. The nurse mopped her brow and smiled.
"How are you feeling?"
"I've felt better. Are these necessary?" She pointed to the straps.
"Doctor's orders. At least until you are recovered. And the guards are for your protection."
"From the rifter pilot?"
The nurse giggled,"No from the dockers union. They are most upset that the docking arm was destroyed. They blame you."
"I was being attacked at the time, it was hardly my fault.... and how am I alive anyway, that Rifter had me dead in it's sights."
"Station security shot it down, you were lucky. Very lucky."
The nurse released the straps and sat on the end of the bed.
"Give it a few days and you'll be fine."

Angelina watched as the nurse walked out of the room and scanned the guards. Six of them, all armed and armoured heavily. In truth, there was nothing coming into this room that was not allowed. But then again, she mused, rifters were not supposed to do what that one had done. The stakes it seemed, were on the rise. Perhaps it was time for a new home, somewhere safer. Somewhere.... unexpected.

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