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Fan Fiction

Starjacked Part 1
Posted By: Dispraiser<dispraiser@netzero.com>
Date: 3 January 2003, 2:33 am

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      STELLULATE 42             LUNAR 4 ETA – 4 DAYS 7 HOURS 17 MINUTES
                  “Awwwww!!   Come on!  You can’t win so many times in a row!  It’s not possible!” he threw his hand of cards on the table. 

                  Chuckling, the other man, who had the smug grin of victory on his face, had some fifty aces up his sleeve, his victory.  Suddenly the metal door exploded inwards, two men in ski masks raising sub machine guns and swiveling around the room.  The victorious man fell backwards in his chair, a result of his feet which were on the table.  Raising their arms before the actual command had been issued, the poker table had soon surrendered.  The smug pirates raised their arms in victory, rather than in loss as the table of men had.


      STELLULATE 42             LUNAR 4 ETA – 4 DAYS 7 HOURS 16 MINUTES
                  A gunshot echoed through the hallway, I tensed.  I had heard that noise too much.  Rolling over in my cot I looked out of the tiny window.  Still nothing was visible but the vast, starry expanse of space and the glow of the two stars of the Lunar 4 system.  In the far corner of my limited vision I think I saw the corner of one of Lunar 4’s moons, however we were hardly close enough to be hit with a guidance course change that may be responsible for the noise.  It had to be a gunshot.  I rolled out of the cot and slid open my drawer grabbing my colt revolver.  A modern antique, the revolver was created with the base design of an ancient revolver though it sported a highly renovated design.  I used my thumb to force out the bullet chambers and loaded each with a hollow pointed 9mm bullet into each of the six chambers.  Flipping the gun to the right in a sharp, acute movement the chamber flopped back into the main body of the gun.  Putting the gun under the right side of my vest I leaned out into the hallway.  Years of service in the Marine Corps had taught me to be ready for anything, and for all I knew, this was a Covenant invasion of the ship.
      I saw movement down the hallway, someone dressed in black stepping out of a door.  It wasn’t one of the crew, and he carried a compact submachine gun.  He spun around and grabbed someone, dragging them into the hallway.  The person was bound with a thin plastic cord stumbled into the hallway, pushing back a little against the man who was dragging him.  I recognized the face; it was the face of a smug cheater.  No one had ever pinned him but everyone suspected that he won every match of anything by cheating.  It was also the face of Red Smarks, a fat man who had claimed pacifism to dodge being recruited.  His minor resistance, which was probably just his weight, was rewarded with a swift kick to the shins from his captor.  He was quickly dragged down the hallway towards me.  Ducking back into my room I quickly looked for a way to hide, chances are they were searching the whole ship.
      Walking over to the wall, where I had a small shelf with my pet rat in it, a substitute for the dog I had always wanted, and dropped some food pellets into its cage.   I didn’t want to leave him starving while I hid.   I silently ran to the cot and checked the vent underneath it.  It was too small for me to fit in, so disappointed I turned away and moved towards the closet.  I checked inside.  It was mostly empty, laundry day had been just yesterday, and most of our clothes were gone.  Feeling inside the closet I found a slot, the laundry mobilator as it was formally called, nothing more than a simple tube.  Quickly lifting a leg into it and then pulling the rest of my body upwards, sliding down the shaft.  The whir of my body falling soon ended as I hit the floor below and rolled to a stop.  I peered up through the duct as my room was suddenly entered b an armed man.  He hit the wall, seeing that I was nowhere to be found after searching to near to empty room.  Walking out relatively calmly he quickly lost his composure, hitting Smarks from what I could tell by the disgruntled plead.  I turned from the duct and began to move out into the laundry room.  Colt in hand, aiming up at the ceiling as I slid my back along the wall I quickly spun around the corner and into the laundry room.  Slowly and carefully checking the room I assured myself that it was cleared.  Stepping into the room I was beginning to calm down and slow my heart rate, the adrenaline in my system beginning to fade.
      Thinking rationally, I began to try to decide who, or what took control of our ship.  They carried a human form, and tenancies, but I still hadn’t seen one’s face.  They were probably human though, no Covenant would have missed my escape, they were too smart for that.  Years of serving in the Marine Corps had taught me that as well.  Who were they?  They had tenancies that were not pirate either, if it were to be a pirate boarding party or ship’s crew would have been killed immediately.  It had to be some pirate type mission though, because no other group would have interest in our ship.  Maybe it was just some random capture of bad luck, perhaps we only flew to close to a pirate frigate or something.
      Unsure of exactly what was happening, I decided it best to ask questions later.  The Stellulate was under hostile control, and it was my job to liberate it, not to think about what was happening.  Years of service in the Marine Corps also taught me that, also.   The engines rumbled as our ship flew closer to it’s target and further from hope.


      STELLULATE 42            LUNAR 4 ETA – 4 DAYS 7 HOURS 15 MINUTES
      I spun into the next hallway, it too was clear.  Walking along the grated floor created an unwanted, loud noise, however the attackers numbers seemed small being that the largest patrol I had seen was only two men, both armed with Submachine guns.  From what I gathered they were not your run of the mill hijackers.  They hadn’t raided any rooms or storage compartments, and it seemed that they had alternative meaning for coming aboard the ship.  Stepping into the next hallway I headed for the armory.  A standard room now on the crafts of the frontier worlds, I grabbed the lock and lifted it slightly.  I spun the lock to 12.  The armory was a small room, about the size of a public bathroom stall, and hardly had enough room for me.  The grey walls extended to the generic metal ceilings of the star craft.  I spun the combination lock the opposite way, past 0 and to the number 28.  Once I had entered the armory, I planned to grab some Kevlar, to protect myself should I be shot at.  I planned to take the ship back. By force if, or rather when needed.  Spinning the combination to the final number, 0, I turned the handle and pulled to reveal an interior decorated with random pistols and some light body armor, mainly just enough to keep a low powered gun from wounding you.  I set my Colt on the top shelf, which was slightly above my vision, and grabbed another similar gun, a suppressed 9mm Berretta.  Cocking the gun after sliding a magazine of ammunition into it I slid the gun into the inner chest pocket of the Kevlar armor.  Unbuckling the armor next I slid it over my head and extended an arm through each of the openings.  Again buckling the Kevlar I began to close the thick armory door.  Upon its relatively noisy sealing I lifted the handle, which locked the three bolt type locks within.
      Sliding a hand into my vest to feel the gun I stepped into the hallway I began to walk further when suddenly I began to feel lighter.  Suddenly a blaring alarm was set, alerting me that the gravity systems of the ship were being damaged.  Again I began to feel lighter as I floated into the next hallway, my steps out of synch near to compromising my stealth, a result of the lowered gravity.  I was only used to walking in a designated gravity level myself, and as a result was not easily adapting to the near to zero G conditions.  Tripping around the corner I spotted another patrol, who had begun to vomit as a result of the decreasing gravity.  Before he realized I was there however, if he realized that I was there, I was gone, grabbing onto the railing of the hideous hallway to propel myself forwards.  The gravity was at zero G’s before I could finish floating down the hallway. I watched as crates of tools and other materials began to float, wrenches randomly dotting the hallways airspace as well as other assorted things floating from the maintenance cabinet nearby. Floating down the hallway at the same speed as before however I kicked off of another wall and drifted around a corner into the dorsal hallway of the ship.
      Extending for a few hundred yards to my left was the forward part of the ship, and to my right the eighty or so feet that was the back of the large vessel.  Drifting to a ladder I grabbed the first of the rungs.  Flipping upside-down and pulling on the rung I launched myself down the ladder to the next floor.  Spinning to use my feet as a natural decelerator I landed on the next floor. Carefully sweeping the hallway for enemies with my pistol I assured that I was alone.  The ship was too empty, there was no activity anywhere, I was sure that this was no orthodox pirate operation, too few people. It was the pirates style to use incredible force to overcome ships, not small numbers and the destruction of the gravity generators.  After assuring myself the hallway was clear I pulled my weightless body forwards, floating towards the cargo hold.  I wanted to prove to myself that it was pirates that took this ship over, or that it was something else.  Floating up to the reinforced steel door, and looking through the small round window I surveyed the room.  I saw a few of the usual shipping crates, one that was particularly shallow and tall, and three armed men along with four more that were tied up on the floor.  A few were unconscious, but one was awake from what I could see.  They all had bloody faces, scrapes cuts and bruises in random places.  Again, more evidence that this was not a pirate starjacking, or all of these men would be dead, executed with a headshot or a slit throat.
      Quickly shifting away from the door once my surveillance of the room was completed I drifted up to the ceiling of the tall hallway and pulled on the grate covering that covered the vent.  It was a large ventilation unit, so I easily floated inside after suspending the grate in the air.  Pulling myself up I moved towards the cargo hold and began to listen  in on the terrorists conversation.
      “Nah, this is enough, we’ll be saved for sure!” one of them said.  He was taller, and carried the standard Submachine gun that I saw most with.  He carried a heavier build than the others, though he was not fat either, just a large man, and stood nearest to the prisoners in the large cargo hold.
      “You think? The word says that we have to surpass all opposition, and this will hardly stop the project.  We have to cause more permanent damage.”  Said a shorter woman, with a higher pitched voice and blonde hair that extended out of the ski mask she wore in a well groomed ponytail.  I was growing more confused though by this seemingly meaningless conversation. Maybe they were talking in some kind of code.
      “Right Kelly, we have to put a permanent stop to this evil.  We can’t allow the unholy to complete their project.  Besides, this raid was easy, I’m sure our second will be just as easy.” Said a third man, who had his ski mask off.  His thick black hair and bold eyebrows gave him an Italian appearance though his moustache was custom to Lunar 4.  The conversation was making a little more sense, they were some religious zealots, maybe from a cult that believes we brought the Covenant to us as a result of our sins, space travel.  But they were in space too, so they clearly had another vendetta unless they were the unholy seeking redemption from their sins, space travel.
      “I don’t think that we can stop this project, we are of few numbers.  I mean, we are going against the whole UNSC government, and it’s military.  What can one person do, or even eight?” said the large man.  I was hoping the eight he referred to were the numbers of his crew.
      “One person? That is often the difference between victory and failure.  Look at Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Abraham Lincoln, George W Bush (Authors note: I love my country…), they all motivated tremendous, world altering events with nothing but words and courage.  Their leadership helped rid the world of evil, as our purging will.  The others will see our acts and follow!” said Kelly.  She was clearly well educated; I didn’t know who half those people were.  I was pretty resolute in my realization that these were religious zealots by the way they continued to refer to themselves as equals to such historic giants.
      “You…  You are all… insane…  you have no right to…  kill us for a false god…” one of the men who was tied said.
      “SHUTUP!!! YOU ARE AMONG THE FALLEN!!! YOUR LIFE FAILS TO MATTER IN THE FACE OF OUR GOD, THE ONLY TRUE GOD!  PREPARE TO JOIN YOUR FRIEND IN HELL!!!” yelled Kelly.  She raised her rifle and began to aim for the aggressing man. The large man then grabber her arm.
      “Kelly, you are only allowed to kill to progress our cause, remember?  He is no threat, let his rhetoric continue while we search for salvation.  He will be among the fallen when the time comes for our ascension.” His words seemed to work, Kelly lowered her rifle and began to calm down.  This confirmed my belief that these were religious zealots, their dedication and resolve to achieve ascension seemed to be rampant and uncontrollably desirable.
      “You are right. Roguriez,” she spoke to the large man with that statement, so I assumed his name was Roguriez, or a nickname, “Have you moved the crates of sin yet?”
      “No, but Kelly.” She turned to Roguriez as he paused, almost in delegation, “Rough him up a little.  Show him to mess with the might of god.”  Happily, Kelly turned away heading towards the aggressing man, grabbing a wooden stake off the nearby crate.    I was done here.  More of this crap and I would become brain-dead, as they were.  Suddenly something caught my eye.
      I saw the nervous, third man, the Italian looking man, as he pulled a small, palm sized computer out of his pocket, our flight recorder, and began to attempt to activate it. He bore a frustrated appearance, so I could only assume that the flight recorder was confusing him. Fumbling with a few more buttons he violently shook the device.  I was hoping that they hadn’t yet figured out that I existed, but if they were to search, they would surely find me being that they ship was not nearly as large as most cargo vessels, and a search party of eight at unorthodox search patterns could spot me easily, and with the arms they carried against even the most amateur of pirates, or zealots as the case may very well be would spot me with ease.  Shaking the machine again the angered man tried, almost futilely, to get it to work.
      A scream came from a crewmate, who had just been clubbed in the gut by a swift chop from a slice of wood by Kelly, who was now lying on the ground as best he could with his arms strapped to a pole.  This was more of a demonstration to the others of my crew than him being that all three saw, or at least heard, as the person behind him could not see him, the punishment their captors had inflicted upon him.  From this distance I couldn’t identify who was being beaten, but the distinctly fat appearance brought me to believe it was Red again, who now appeared to be new to the whole, docile hostage doesn’t get the shit beaten out of him concept.
      I reached down to grab a set of field binoculars, accidentally smacking my elbow into the wall of the duct.  A large noise reverberated through the room.  Kelly ceased her beating, and Roguriez released the crate he was dragging, allowing it to float freely.  The Italian appearing man had no change in his actions, he was not as alert as the others.  I sat very still, hoping that they would ignore the noise, but received no such luck.  An absolute silence filled the room as they scanned the area for anything that would make that noise.  A burst of adrenaline flooded my veins as I began to search for an easy way out, and to explain this without giving away my position.  I slowly began to slither out of the duct, as quietly as I could, however I could almost sense that they were hearing my movements. Abruptly stopping, I nervously watched as they continued to survey the room.
      They all looked confused as to where I was, so I again began to wriggle my way out of the vent. Suddenly Roguriez snapped his gun up and fired a few shots off at my vent.  Some gunfire rattled the outside of my vent, and I shuddered, quickly turning away and attempting to crawl out of the vent.  Some more gunfire ricochet down the vent as I reached the end and pushed down, knocking the vent, which was still suspended in the hallway out of the way.  Drifting to the floor I quickly darted down the hallway, bouncing from wall to wall and pulling myself with the railing.  Behind me some gunfire smashed out the glass window in the door, Roguriez, and now Kelly too both jetting back to the other side of the cargo bay, a result of the gunfire’s forwards thrust, every reaction has an equal, and opposite reaction, them getting pushed backwards as much as the bullets forward.  Shouts carrying expletives and random zeal-full statements chased me down the hallway, along with the occasional gunfire as I followed my previous path down to the ladder.  Quickly pushing off the ground with my legs I flipped up to the top deck and hit into the top of the dorsal hallway.  The pain however was quickly vanquished by my knowledge that it could be much worse, and I could be carrying a few chunks of lead in my chest. Scrambling to kick off the wall behind me I flung my body down the hallway before kicking diagonally off another wall to continue down the dorsal structure of the Stellulate. Quickly ducking off to the side of the hallway I attempted to hide.  Sitting behind one of the metal poles that reinforced the hallway I waited, hoping that they would pass by me.  No such luck came however as some gunfire ricochet off the wall near to me. A now well prepared Roguriez was braced on the wall and fired without the effects of recoil.  I continued another twenty feet down the hallway before having to bounce off of another wall.  As I hit the wall and pushed off of it a bullet hit my right arm, streaming a vortex of blood behind it, which slowed in space.  I was propelled by the bullet further, and gained some speed, the pain not yet registering in my brain.  My crimson red blood floated in the air in tiny orbs, drifting casually as some more gunfire echoed down the hallway. The searing pain blinded me for a second, as I saw the gaping wound in my upper right arm and screamed in pain, Roguriez screaming in victory.  Luckily, my primary firing hand was my left, so I whipped out my berretta, and spinning around fired a trio of bullets down the hallway at Roguriez.  I was propelled backwards much faster now, and hit my head on the wall as my gunfire hit the wall near Roguriez.  I couldn’t tell, but it appeared that I shot him in the side or he ran out of ammo, but either way he turned tail, and slid down the ladder, yelling random curses and claims of my ungodliness.
      I rubbed my head and scrambled to get a bearing on how I floated, Kelly was still in pursuit from what I knew.  Bouncing off the wall and grabbing a railing I pulled myself down the dorsal structure, hearing no gunfire.  Kelly had clearly lost interest in killing me for some reason.  My vision was becoming a little blurry, a result of the blood loss and blow to the head as I tried to get to the hospice. Drifting, almost still as if I were dead, I floated to the middle of the vessel, and lowered my body down the ladder with my left arm.  Stopping at the next floor, though it was hardly needed, my strength sapped by the wound resulting in low speed, and continued to the infirmary. Dragging my increasingly limp body down the hallway I slipped into the infirmary, not so cautious as to even check for anyone inside before I entered fully.  Random sharp objects, scalpels, needles, and other things floated limply, and a few scraped my face and arms as I progressed in my search for medical supplies such as bandages, or things that would at least put the pain to rest.  Finding a numbing agent quickly I grabbed the injector.  Lowering my wounded arm from it’s position, curled at my chest, I inserted the needle into my flesh, and after injecting it felt instant numbness surge through my arm, and within a few second my whole body.  Searching for some medical strips to actually cure the wound I opened a drawer quickly, the whole cabinet actually lifting up off the ground.  I checked the drawer and found some gauze bandages; quickly unrolling some as I began to suddenly feel cold.  Shivering I took the bandage and wrapped it quickly around the wound, spinning it to form a thick set of seven or so layers, to prevent the blood from bleeding out of the wound any more.   I then drifted into a corner and passed out from the blood loss.


      STELLULATE 42            LUNAR 4 ETA – 4 DAYS 0 HOURS 48 MINUTES
      I awoke a while later, I couldn’t tell how much later, my watch (Authors note: God knows why….) wasn’t working in zero G.  I then slowly began to remember all my troubles, the first few moments of senility granted by the waking process quickly fading away.  I looked at my arm, where the gauze was soaked slightly in blood.  My head had a swelling bruise on it from what I could tell, and I hadn’t been captured, so I must have only been out for a little while.  Pushing a cabinet out of the way, which had drifted in front of me, I launched myself through the room.  So much for stealth…  I pulled the berretta out of my body armor and slid the magazine out of it. Floating in the center of the room I grabbed a few more bullets to fully reload the magazine, and loaded each shot into the clip before sliding it back into the weapon.  I cocked the gun, sliding another bullet into the chamber of the gun and prepared it to kill.  I pushed myself forwards out the door, and into the hallway.  I knew what the UNSC would say that my next task was, to go to the bridge, and to send a distress call so that the ship would be picked up by a cruiser, since we were in the Lunar 4 area probably a Legacy, and they would sink our ship, literally.  If not they would send in a sweep team and everyone aboard would die anyway.  But otherwise these terrorists would live, so I decided to go to the bridge. Checking the hallway I drifted out, satisfied that it was clear.  Kicking off the door frame towards the ladder, I pulled myself up to the dorsal structure of the ship, and carefully swept the long hallway for any patrols. I spotted one, about ten feet away from my position.  It was a man that I had not seen before he was a tall, lanky man and had blonde hair.  I couldn’t see his face, only his back, but a neck strap assured me he toted a rifle.  I needed his gun, and killing him, I decided, would be no problem, but I didn’t want to take on his friends too, so I had to kill him silently.  I floated out into the hallway near to where he stood, silently floating closer to him.  Some orbs of blood from my wound still floated in the air nearby. I pushed nearer to him as he began to rotate around.  I quickly caught him in a headlock as he yelled “What the hell!?!”  I quickly quieted him by pressing my berretta against his head and kicked off the wall to drag him back to the ladder.
      “Drop the gun.” I said quietly, “I am Jack Anderson, and I have a few questions.  Now I want to make one thing clear, you do anything I don’t like, and I will make sure that your head is along that wall.  And maybe that one too, so do what I like, and tell me why you are here and what you want with us.” I said coldly to him. He gave a weak nod of agreement, and broke the strap that held his rifle and letting it float in the hallway.
      “We are here to eliminate evil at its origin.” He said.  More zealot blather.
      “I meant why are you here, not for more of this rhetorical crap.” I said back to him, replying to the moronic speech I knew was coming otherwise.
      “What do you mean, this is the only way, to destroy evil?” he said.  He was seriously brainwashed…
      “Okay, we’ll try this again,” I pressed the gun against the side of his head, “Why hunt me and my crew, how did we become evil?  Is it because we are in space?  Well I got news moron, you’re in space too.” I said.  Maybe taking this to a little more illiterate level would untie this idiots tongue.
      “We are combating you creating people, only the works of a god can do that, no person should ever do anything of such a nature.” He replied.
      “Whoa, whoa, whoa! When did we start making people! We’re just a damn transport ship! We carry the stuff, we get paid, the end, I don’t want to offend your religion of something!” I expressed at him, with a silent fit of yelling. “But you support them.  You killed a defender of justice, Roguriez.”
      “I killed him? Nice shot aren’t I?”
      “A great shot, you hit him in the heart, but as an aggressor of the evil, you are unfit to live.”
      “Um… Aggressor?  Who shot first?  You guys.  You came aboard, no invitation, killed one of my crew, I assume, and took the rest prisoner, beating one.  At least one.”
      “I told you, you supported evil with this cargo.”
      “I still don’t get it.  HOW!?!” I shouted, still silent, however.
      “Do you know of something your government is working on?  Something special, something secret to help win the war?” he said. I was fed up with these speeches, however this seemed to be the only one going anywhere so far, “It is called a Spartan, it is a clone.  And guess what you are carrying.”
      “Let me guess, a Spartan?”
      “No.  You aren’t.”
      “Then why did you capture our ship idiots?  We aren’t your enemy, I don’t even know what a Spartan is!” I yelled, still silent I might note.
      “You have something that makes a Spartan from strongman into super soldier.   An aid mightier than the very rifle, and coveted so, the armor for which they will wear to combat the Covenant, which they clearly need, so it is our goal to hinder them by taking it.”
      “This is…. Riveting.” I said.
      “Yes, so will you aid us?  Gods are the only ones that can create people, not machines!  Help to hinder their cause!” I stared at him for a second before starting to laugh hysterically.
      “You expect me to believe that?  Clones?  Moron, that’s the stuff of sci-fi, it has been banned for something like 600 years!” I laughed some more, clearly offending him.  He had just marked me as his enemy.  I heard some movement in the distance.  I could tell he did too judging by a sudden increase in his movement.  I readied the Berretta, my laughing may have attracted their attention.  I poked the side of his head with the gun, and again whispered, “Tell them you are okay.   Do it.” I pressed the gun against his head another time, “or else.”
      He hesitated, “KELLY, HE’S OVER!!!” his sentence ended suddenly, a loud pop taking it’s place. My blood was no longer the only one spilled in this hallway.  Snatching his rifle, which was still floating in the hallway I fired a few shots down the dorsal hallway, déjà vu.  I ducked around the corner as a few more bullets whipped by me, they were getting to be better shots in zero g.  I grabbed the dead man and flipped his half-decapitated body into the hallway.  Jumping out behind it I grabbed his arm and fired five shots down the hallway. They returned fire, two of the shots hitting their comrade and propelling me further down the hallway.  I fired three more shots down the hallway, the tracer fire arching towards the ladder, which had the blood of Roguriez’s exit wound behind it.   I had a downward angle though, and hit off the floor at high speeds. Grabbing my shoulder, which had hit the floor and releasing the body I bounced off the floor and continued down the last leg of the hallway.  Jumping to the ladder that led to the command sector of the Stellulate I quickly pulled myself down the ladder and aimed my gun down the hallway. Someone floated around the corner, jerking their body at the sight of me, a hostile.
      “Don’t shoot!” I shot.  Four shots hit him in the chest, he died instantly.  I grabbed his gun and ammunition and dropped my berretta, leaving it floating in the air.  I jumped around the corner to the door leading to the absolute tip of our ship, the bridge.  As I floated near to the door it opened automatically, revealing the inside of the tiny bridge.  Noting more than a glass encased sphere with a seat on it, it was a small bridge, but an adequate one.  The man who was sitting in it, another zealot spun around, “What the-” I shot him as well, hitting him in the chest with three shots.
      Floating into the room I pushed his body out of the chair and sat down instead in his place. Wiping some blood off of the radar panel I reached down for the communication radio, stopping my hand just inches from it.  A sweep team.  Did I really want one?  They have the bad habit, as do I of shooting first and asking questions later. I mean, I was doing ok, one wound and four enemies down, I was doing great.  I could take care of them myself.  I pulled out my Swiss Army knife, and cut the cable that controlled the communications system.  As a last ditch effort, they might call one in.  Checking the ETA, which was four days, I left the room.  Chances are they were attempting to regroup, probably attempting to take over the cargo hold, it was they’re best place to gather, and their objective as well, so hopefully I had the whole ship to roam without being spotted, and I could literally lay siege to them.  They were trying to take something, maybe some gold or credits, but not armor like that dummy had told me.  But whatever it was, they have a reason for deactivating the gravity, so I want to fix it, as soon as possible.  It will at least slow them, and right now it was to a condition of Guerilla warfare, so the best I could do was to stall them and utilize a series of hit and run attacks.