Stowaway Part 2 (1 of 3)
Posted By: Dispraiser<email@example.com>
Date: 28 April 2003, 9:04 PM
A little note to avoid confusion... On Lunar 4 there is a strong seggregation between the East and the West, and Westerners, also called Matheans hate the Easterners, called Arrels. Arrel is an insult, but Mathean is not. Mathean is used as an insult by most Easterners though...
"He's dead alright." Doc replied, removing a bloody finger from the side of Chaz's cold, dead neck. The man lie on the ground in a pool of his own blood, missing half of his lower abdomen and one of his arms from the middle of his bicept down. The gored flesh quickly gave way to the point where only a fragment of his arm extended onwards. The rest arm was some six feet away. The hole in his side extended to the point where we could see his spine at the apex of the wound, and the remains of the rest of his stomach were yet to be found. His face was frozen as cold as him in a face of perpetual terror. Something he had seen had scared him and killed him.
"We knew that when we found him. No one could live like that. Our most important goal now is to figure out who did this and make them pay. I think it was pirates. Probably the Mathean Red Pirates (on Lunar 4 there are many kinds of pirates but three descriptions. There are the Red, or Crimson Pirates who attack anything that resists them, the White, or Pearls that use non lethal resistance nullification and the Black Pirates who seem to be mainly Easterners, and killed most Matheans they found.) , they do this kind of stuff, particularly if they knew he was an Arrel." Rob replied, again diving headfirst, this time into an assumption and not a mission.
"I would agree. The Reds would do something like this. I have seen them kill someone for asking who they were and would gladly kill Chaz if they were coming to steal our things and needed to disable the ship, he would be interfering with their plans." Dusty replied. With his guess came my instant trust. As a seasoned veteran of sailing the seas of Lunar 4 he was more than capable of figuring out what was going on aboard this ship, and hopefully would before this became a problem we could not handle.
"Well, just in case they are still onboard we need to congregate in one of the barracks. Everything on this ship is insured against piracy, we can lose it, but a life is irreplaceable. We need to get to a place that they will ignore us, but before we leave we need to put this body away. Someone get a tarp and we will form a crude body-bag." Fats replied, his words rolling together and barely distinguishable. He talked that way almost all the time, especially when he was scared or nervous. He had talked that way this whole shipment.
"Hmmm... These wounds are unlike anything I have seen before..." Doc mumbled, "It would look as if the attacker struck with ungodly force. The Xray, which may be distorted by the storm albeit, shows that three of his ribs are cracked. Some external bruising in the are seems to confirm it, though there is only a small bruise. He probably died very soon after being struck. It was right above his heart as well, probably a deathblow, but I rarely see people so powerful as to punch someone so hard as to kill them. The arm appears to have been ripped off at about the same time though, and may have been because it was his primary arm and he was holding the flashlight in it. Perhaps they have night vision and wanted the advantage, or perhaps they knew with a flashlight he would be found. It didn't look like the attacker tried to hide the body at all though, so it was most likely either random, accidental or to disarm him. The abdomen may have been attacked to stop him from screaming, the diaphragm was ripped, and he could no longer breathe, and therefore he would die silently. I have no idea what could cause this kind of damage, and I would lean towards a shotgun had it not been for the fact that we didn't hear anything. A shotgun of this power would likely not be suppressed if for nothing else for the sole reason of showing its power. Honestly, I have no idea what to think, I have never seen anything like this before. He is absolutely mauled, and I hope I never see anything like this again. All we can do is hope the pirates left." Doc pointed along with his descriptions to the bloody mess that was but an hour ago a member of our crew.
"Well, the fog out there is so thick the pirates could have their boat tied to the sides of our and we wouldn't know. We should run a tally on all the cargo before we barricade ourselves into the barracks. If we can get that info maybe we can figure out what allegiance they are." Rob said. To defeat a foe you had to know them, and Rob was not looking to walk away from this situation with a loss in hand.
"I'll go have the computer run a diagnostic on the cargo area. It can tell us what is missing better than we could. Should I run a message over the intercom to take whatever they like and we will not sop them, just not to hurt us?" I asked Rob, who was growing to become more of a leader to our crew than ever before.
Rob sighed, "I would hate to surrender all of this cargo, but I doubt we have any other choice. I'll go to intercom to the pirates, you go and check the cargo monitors. Doc, you rally the crew in the left bunk room. Oh, and Jeff," I looked up, "See if we have any weapons aboard in the cargo. If we do have any aboard I want you to grab whatever is automatic in the crate. Dobie, you're with him, you should be able to tell us what is good enough to keep some pirates away. Take the ONI guy too, he might know something about the weapons on here." We began to scatter to our different roles, but before Doc could leave Rob called him again, "Don't let Crazy in."