Blackhoof Posted January 31, 2011 Share Posted January 31, 2011 Ok, this is a short story that i have written over the last few days. It is set in the Warhammer 40'000 universe, so the setting, history, technology, terms, races, etc are property of Games Workshop. However, the plot and characters are all mine. Here it goes. UNIDENTIFIED CONTACT! ALL HANDS ON DECK! REPEAT, UNIDENTIFIED CONTACT! ALL HANDS ON DECK! The voice of the First Mate roared throughout the ship, the speakers rendering his voice into an emotionless monotone. Zander Kerden woke up with a start, nearly banging his head on the roof of his ridiculously small cabin. Red lights flashed and loud horns blared, accompanied by the muffled sound of over three thousand sailor’s simultaneously waking up and responding to the forceful call. It took a moment for Zander to process the announcement, but when he did, he nearly cried out in excitement. His ship was patrolling this area, scanning far and wide for anything that they could exploit; ship hulks, mineral asteroids, merchants, or even other pirates. Now, they had found something! If it was something extrememly valuable, like a hoard of ancient technology, or perhaps the private vault-ship of a wealthy merchant or noble, then his problems would be solved. Zander, captain of the pirate vessel Goldskimmer, leapt out of his large, silk-sheeted bed, hastily pulling on his red trousers and matching gold-buttoned top. Completing the look with a dark, crimson vest, he took a moment to look around his cabin, thinking for the one thousandth time that it was just too small. Barely six paces square, the room was still larger than any of his sailors’ quarters, not that Zander cared. It was mostly taken up by his king-sized bed and his gold-inlaid writing desk; just because he was poor didn’t mean that he had to live in squalor. The roof was low, however, and the tall, proud pirate was forced to hunch over like a hermit whenever he entered or exited the room. Zander was a famous pirate, who had eluded both Imperial forces and other pirates as he plied his bloody trade across the stars. Unfortunately, he wasn’t famous for being a good pirate, quite the opposite, actually. He had failed at nearly every venture he had tried, even before becoming a pirate, and he had subsisted off borrowed or loaned money for years. And his debtors were close to catching him. His crew was getting restless, as well, and he was nearly out of money. What would he do when he ran out of pay and couldn’t bring in more? They would mutiny, of course, and he would find himself jettisoned into the cold void of space. He would instantly freeze, his blood becoming ice and his body shattering like a glass. Yanking the large, steel hatch open, Zander Kerden was nearly bowled over by a herd of sailors rushing to their positions. Indolent curs! The captain thought to himself, bristling in fury. Setting off at a brisk pace, he spared a glance for the portholes he passed on his way to the bridge. Each showed the same scene- a vista of endless blackness, riddled with tiny pinpricks of light of various brightness and size. Passing masses of sailors, machinery, doors and dozens of portholes, the pirate captain reached his destination; the bridge of the Goldskimmer. The bridge was huge, over thirty paces wide and fifty deep, and was one of the largest rooms on the ship, save for the engine room and mess hall. The roof was even higher, over three stories high. The whole area was abuze with activity, sailors and technicians going about their business andbrainless robotic servitors carting themselves around on mechanised wheels, no doubt seeing to some menial task far below any of his crew. As might be expected, the far wall was taken up by a massive window that showed the darkness of space and most of the pirate vessel's prow. The room was multi-tiered, as well, with the entrances and most of the floor on the bottom. Steps on the sides and back of the bridge led to the many alcoves and balconies that housed the many computers, screens, control panels and keyboards needed to run a ship. Situated ten paces above the floor, and accessed by a miniature elevator, was the captain's pulpit. The pulpit was little more than a high-backed chair with some basic viewing screens that allowed the captain to communicate visually with crewmen from almost any major room. The floor itself was home to even more control panels and supercomputers, each manned by a crewman or automated servitor. These bridgemen completely ignored their captain as he ascended his pulpit, much to Zander's dismay. They dont even pretend to fear me he thought to himself, that is how far I have fallen.... He awoke from his mournful reflection moments later when the tiny elevator platform reached the edge of the pulpit. The captain skirted the bulky throne and sat gingerly upon it's cushioning. The feel of authority and command awarded by the gold chair was well worth the inconvenience of accessing it. A whining, high-pitched beep trilled and a green light flashed on one of the screens; Zander was being called. Pressing a button, he accepted the call and one of the small screens flickered to life, the grizzled, scarred face of Siln, his First Mate, appearing. “Cap'in!” the old sailor cried, excitement breaking into his voice. What have we found to excite the irascible old man so much? Zander wondered, before gesturing for the man to continue. “The scanner has picked up something! Something big!” Siln glanced at something unseen for a moment, then returned his gaze to his captain. “Its a xeno ship, cap'in, over six kilometres long! It's a battleship for sure, sir, and no energy signatures are coming off it!” Xeno was a common term that humans of the Imperium used, usually derogatively, to describe aliens of any type. Humanity was very xenophobic, these days. The fact that there was no energy signatures meant that it was a hulk or wreck, and battleship-sized vessels were always rich in their specie's best technology. That ment that this find would bring in money. Lots of it. Zander nearly beamed; he was saved! But he couldn't let his First Mate know that this was important to him. Captains had to remain visibly calm and in-control in all situations. “Show me the picture, Siln.” Zander barked, and Siln complied, his face replaced with a black, starry vista at the press of a button. In the middle of the void was a dark shape, a hole in the canvas of stars. The xeno ship. In a second Zander's hand was flying across the panel, bringing up data scans on other screens and zooming in on the alien wreck. The vessel was crecscent in shape, and appeared to be studded with pyramids and poles of varying size, all were tiny compared to the ship as a whole, however. It was also horizontally wide and vertically thin, as opposed to usual human designs, which were very long and tall, but thin on the Y axis. There were three main pyramids that were many times the size of the others; one huge one in the middle of the crescent, with two smaller ones on the side of the large one. In addition, there were no visible signs of damage; that was good, it meant that anything inside was likely to be unharmed and unsalvaged. A one-in-a-billion, virgin find. After gazing at his salvation for several minutes, the image switched back to the ancient countenance of Siln. “Cap'in?” the First Mate inquired, “shall we send the salvage teams?”Zander didn't miss a beat. “Of course, man! We will not pass up this opportunity. Send every available man to rip this hulk apart.” The mere thought of the wealth that he would aquire from this single venture nearly made him salivate in anticipation. Abruptly another screen flickered to life, and the hideously enlarged head of Avrick, the ship's psychic Navigator, appeared. “My lord,” the tortured, weedy man pleaded, “This is a mistake. That ship... I sense something about it.... something that I cannot explain.... as if something is... watching me.” The psyker shuddered, revealing his shrivelled arms. “We shouldn't tempt fate by stepping foot on that accursed vessel.” Navigators were vital for ships when travelling through the warp; the alternate dimension that ships could enter to travel lightyears in an instant. Navigators and other psychic beings were the only ones who could 'read' the tides and eddies of the warp, and guide a ship to it's destination. Zander was disturbed by what Avrick had said; only a fool would dismiss a psykers advice. However, the prospect of all that money was simply too great. “Shut up, you miserable cretin!” the pirate captain roared at the cowering Navigator. “You expect me to let this golden opportunity go? Do not be daft! Go and scare some of my men with your foolish superstitions, and leave me alone.” It was necesseray to be ruthless, and maintain a strong, confident facade, even if Zander squirmed inwardly at ignoring the psyker. Turning back to the smirking Siln; the First Mate had never liked the physically weak Navigator, Zander repeated his previous order and Siln replied with a salute, “Aye, cap'in!” It wasn't long before dozens of tiny assault boats, rectangular prisms filled with pirates and salvaging equipment, skimmed through space, heading towards the derelict alien hulk. ******* =foreign energy signatures detected= =identifying.....= …................................................. =energy output matches that of a number of small vessels= =scanning for life forms....= …................................................. =lifeforms detected= =begin shipboard protocols 10072905A through 10073285A= …............................................... =activating preliminary energy generators= =standby for reactivation= ….................................................. =activating primary power couplings= =proceeding with energy distribution= ….................................................. =restoring primary, secondary and tertiary data links= …............................................... =primary, secondary and tertiary data links restored= =beggining transfereance of ship control to first priority Lord= =scanning for first priorityLord= ….................................... =first priority Lord found= =activating.....= ****** Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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