As secondary explosions tore what was left of the pirate ship into flaming pieces, ntsheep sat in his chair,
No salvage today, oh well, can't always win
He picked up his guitar he kept next to the chair and began playing a song,
"The ship, the ship, the ship is on fire. The ship, the ship, the ship is on fire. We don't need no water let the mother,,,"
He noticed everyone was looking at him,
"What! Nobody likes music anymore?" he asked quizzically.
Megan the ships mechanic, her heart racing from adrenaline, yelled in an exasperated tone.
"We only have three engines, six of our solar sails and hardly enough water to make it to Syndicate Core and you decide to sing a song!"
"I'm bored. What else was I suppose to do. There's no Crystal Pepsi left." ntsheep replied.
"That's a good thing. You're a little too crazy when you drink that stuff." Deeks, the ships pilot said.
"Let's just get to Syncore and see what the Prince wants. We could use a normal paying job for once." said Sarah.
As the ships Political Officer, Sarah handled most the contracts and jobs that they did. As captain, ntsheep always had the final say so, but he trusted her and her negotiation skills. If Sarah said take it, he did.
"True, we got invited to the Smugglers Run poker games on Steel Prime. I hear those crazy bunny pirates may be there." ntsheep said.
"Oh crap! We're dead!" Deeks yelled.
"Oh stop whining," ntsheep said with a huge grin, "You're only allowed to bet First Mates. Pilots aren't worth much."
"I need to get to the engine room and start some repairs," Megan said shaking her head, "We should be able to leave in about thirty minutes.
As the Necro Mutton landed in the space port, ntsheep was busy putting on his De Valtos Military uniform. His numerous medals and rank insignias shined in the light. His official rank was was level 21. Unofficially, he had so many favors owed to him, he could do just about whatever he wanted. This included not having to wear a regulation hat, instead he put on his sheep head hat. The legends and rumors about the hat were told in ever Spice Hall and bar in the quadrant. He look in the mirror and smiled,
"Wait till they get a load of me."
A knock on his cabin door got his attention,
"Sir, it's Sarah. We've be given clearance to debark. A security detail is waiting to take you to the Prince. The rest of the crew and I are going to the exchange and spice hall."
"Good, remind the bar tender he owes me since slayernz got a job. Try and find a good supply of candy bars, oh and don't forget the ramen noodles!" he turned around to find Sarah looking right at him.
He sometimes forgot how relaxed she made him feel. He let his guard down a lot when she was around.
"Damn your good, you sure you're a political officer and not a body guard?" he said with a smile.
She put her arms around him and kissed him, "Yeah I'm sure. You may be nuts but you can take care of yourself I've heard."
His hands went up, "I deny everything! Wasn't me! Can't prove it! Read my lips, no new taxes!"
"What?" she asked.
"Just something I read in the archives. I've got to go." he skipped out the door like a little kid.
The ride to the palace was quick and soon he was in the private audience chamber of the Prince. He sat down at the table, pulled out a KitKat, began eating it and waited. The main door opened and the Prince walked in. ntsheep stood at attention and saluted.
"Relax, you don't need to be formal. Please sit down old friend. Do you still have that hive ship you captured?" he asked as they both sat.
"Which one?" ntsheep replied.
"Which one!? You have more than one!" said the Prince in a shocked tone
"You never asked how many I had. I just mentioned the new one I had gotten last time. What's up? Big cargo contract." said ntsheep with just a slight giggle.
The Prince composed himself, "Yes, and its a cover for your real mission to Tucanae Javet Mining colony."
"Oh a secret mission, sounds fun! What do I get to carry." asked ntsheep.
"We recently had a breach of security in the databanks. The file on your origin was stolen. We've removed all traces and need to move the hard copy to a new location."
ntsheep was staring at the Prince, his face was blank, but his eyes showed both fear and anger. The Prince wasn't sure what to say next and began to open his mouth when ntsheep spoke,
"Perhaps it's time people knew the truth. We're not all trying to wipe out the human race. I find you fun to be around. Your produce alone was worth the trip." he finished eating the KitKat.
"I don't know. The Templars still aren't sure they should trust you. You've never done anything wrong so to speak in their eyes, but what you are goes against their core beliefs." replied the Prince.
"I thought they had finally come around after that last time I saved the one ship of theirs." said ntsheep.
"So did I. You've been helping us for over five hundred years. By now they should of figured you out." the Prince said with his head shaking.
"Oh well, let get this over with. How much tech do you need dropped off?" he said cheerfully.
"Can you do fifty units of artifacts?" asked the Prince.
Deeks was enjoying some very nice dance routines and spice in the backroom of the Blooming Onion bar. As a waitress brought over some more drinks he asked her,
"Have you heard of the Smugglers Run poker game?"
"Yah I have, suppose to be a lot of high rollers there, you going?" she replied.
"My captain got an invite he said. Wants to meet some crazy bunny pirates he said." he answered back.
"THEM!" she yelled, "They're crazy alright. I heard their captain wears sports equipment and carries a chainsaw."
"My captain wears a sheeps' head and carries a NERF gun for non-lethal take downs." said Deeks.
"Oh, you know NT, how is he?" she picked up his empty glass.
"Ok I think, with him its hard to tell."
Sarah and Megan were haggling over prices for tools and supplies in the exchange,
"100 creds for that drill!? You're nuts, I can get a better one for half that at a Rychart hat convention." yelled Megan.
The clerk blink his eyes and started to stutter, "Bu,bu,,but it's made by Cadar. This is hand crafted workmanship!"
"Would you take 65?" asked Sarah.
"75" replied the clerk.
"67" offered Sarah.
"73" the man sputtered.
"69" Sarah said back.
"Ok, 69" he said.
They paid him and as they walked away, Megan began to giggle.
"I thought you would like that price." Sarah said.
They sat at a round table enjoying the last great feast they would get before having to leave for Javet space. Sarah was on Ntsheep's left, Deeks on his right, and Megan sat across from him. Ntsheep always kept the best rations and foods on his ships, a fact that made him a target of a few select pirates, but nothing beat what you could get planet side. Meals like this helped with moral. Eat, drink, and be merry. Some of his favorite words to live. They were also in the process of discussing which of his ships they should take for their next adventure.
"I think we should take the Gotcha Bitch and not the hive ship. There's been an increase in pirate attacks along the trade routes. It will draw to much attention." Deeks said.
"True, but the Mary's Little Lamb can outrun pretty much any ship. Hive ships have got the best engines around once you get them out in open space. Plus with all the stealth upgrades, it's near impossible to detect." replied Ntsheep.
"We can't use the Necro Mutton for a few weeks any way. The ship yards are still recovering from the last metal shortage. The manufacturing plants are way behind on filling orders. Why not take the flagship?" Megan chimed in.
"We need to look like plain old fashioned smugglers just delivering some cargo." Sarah said.
Sarah had slid her right foot out of her shoe and was tickling Ntsheep's left leg while she was talking. She could tell by the grin he was trying not to show that she had got to him. He eyes turned to look at her and she could tell what he was thinking,
This is war, you're so going to get it later
She smiled at him, took a sip of her drink and winked.
"Well in that case, why not use the Victus, can't get more plain than that. There's hundreds of that class. Everybody has one." Megan replied.
"Yeah and it's always the same story, my daddy left it to me. No one wants to admit that was all they could afford to buy!" Deeks laughed out loud.
"The Prince wants 50 units of Artifacts dropped off. There's only enough room for around 40 in the Victus. The hive will do. Will be ok. Let's finish eating and enjoy ourselves. Sad thing is we will miss the poker game. I really wanted to meet the Raving Rabbids. I love that game." Ntsheep said sadly.
"You do know they're not really rabbits don't you?" asked Sarah.
Ntsheep was downing a glass of root beer, and spit it out right into Deeks face,
"Say it isn't so!" Ntsheep exclaimed.
"Yeah, thanks a lot Sarah." Deeks said while cleaning off his face.
It had taken several days to get the hive ship up and running. They were at the secret military space port on Syndicate Core. Built in the side of a mountain far away from the main settlements. No one ever came out here unless they needed to. It was off limits to any one with lower than rank 17 in the De Valtos military. Here was where battleships, cruisers, carriers, and flagships were built and maintained. All the supplies they needed had been loaded and the crew was getting ready for take off. Deeks was sitting in his pilots chair when Ntsheep and Sarah walked onto the bridge. Sarah sat down in the copilot/communication officers chair next to Deeks and Ntsheep sat in the captains chair. He pushed a button and said,
"Megan bring the engines up to full power and charge the hyperdrive."
"No problem boss, she'll be ready before we leave orbit." came her reply over the intercom.
"Deeks," said Ntsheep, "plot a course to Baza Prime, then Aro, and then to Javet space."
"Aye sir" he responded, "Standard course calculations running now. We'll be ready in 30 seconds."
"DV Mil-Com has given us clearance for take off. Orbital trajectory is clear and confirmed captain. We've got a bit of a send off crowd waiting for us. Not every day a Hive ship takes off." Sarah said.
The main screen switched to out side view and many off the hanger bay work crews were waving and cheering.
"Well let's get the show on the road. Places to go, people to meet, Pepsi is at the second star to the right and straight on till morning." Ntsheep said with a big smile.
Deeks leaned over towards Sarah and whispered,
"Were does he come up with this stuff?"
"He likes reading the old historical data in the archives. You think this is weird, you should hear the pillow talk I have to put up with." she said with a grin.
"No thanks, I don't need those images in my head." Deeks replied as he inputed the takeoff commands.
Sarah laughed as the ship began to lift off and slowly fly out of the hanger.
Last Edit: Jul 10, 2015 15:57:49 GMT -5 by ntsheep
Spice Halls were the best places to relax and make some money. The halls on De Valtos Prime where known as some of the best in the quadrant for these activities. While the crew was living it up a captain or his first mate would be looking for contracts. Arden Sanders, the first mate of the Miboth was talking with a woman needing to be taken someplace. She had already paid for his drinks and gave him 50 credits just to talk. She was obviously trying to avoid someone and had the money to do it. Whether she was running from the law or just an angry boyfriend, he didn't care. Money is money, and easy credits like this were worth the risk.
"So why do you transportation so bad that a passenger cruiser won't do?" he asked.
"I just heard a hive ship named Mary's Little Lamb left orbit from Syndicate Core. I need to make contact with it." replied the woman.
"That's a somewhat vague reason Ms Smith. Did they file a flight plan?"
"No, but they appear to be heading towards Baza. There's also talk about a major shipment of tech going to Javet mining colony as part of a trade alliance that's been started. The amount everyone is talking about would require a ship the size of a hive. If you could just drop me off there Mr Sanders I'll pay you very well." she said.
"I don't think the captain would mind. We're going that way anyway to Cadar Prime to pick up some new bounties. How soon can you be ready?" Sanders asked.
"I'm ready now. Time is of the essence with my employer." Ms Smith replied.
"Good, our ship is at docking bay 33. Meet me there in half an hour."
They agreed on a price and as soon as Ms Smith left, he called his captain to let him know that they would have some extra income.
"How much did you charge her?" asked the captain.
"We'll get a nice 5000 credits." Sanders said.
"Why does she need us?" replied the captain
"She's trying to find a ship called Mary's Little Lamb." said Sanders.
"Oh really, we may get an even bigger payday then." the captain said with a slight chuckle.
"Not sure I understand what you mean sir." replied Sanders.
"I'll explain on the ship."
Last Edit: Jul 10, 2015 15:56:50 GMT -5 by ntsheep
They were halfway between Syndicate Core and Baza Prime when the radar alerts started going off. The standard ship lanes were kept pretty clear of anything that might disrupt traffic or damage a ship in transit. Stuff floating about was never a good sign usually.
"Captain I'm picking up some strange debris along our present heading." Deeks said.
"What is it made of?" replied Ntsheep.
"A mixture of organic compounds, some traces of electronics, and large chunks of something that the computer is calling Steel Song upgrades?"
"The remains of a pirate attack maybe." suggested Sarah.
The captain thought for a moment, a thought hit him,
"Tune the com to frequency 12345Mhz,"
As Sarah adjusted the com a message began to play,
"coordinates 12,24. The torp zone has now ended activity here and is moving to coordinates 12,24. The current high scores are,,,"
Ntsheep hit the master cutoff button on his chair. Damn! He had forgot about that. Part of him missed this strange little moving war game, but he had surrendered last time. Promising to never enter it again.
"Nothing to see here. Lets keep going."
Deeks whispered to Sarah,
"Do you think we still have a top five score?"
Last Edit: Jul 10, 2015 16:10:41 GMT -5 by ntsheep
"If we have to board, what is the attack solution?" asked the first mate Arden Sanders.
"Pray we don't have too, your a Javet ship and even though there is a treaty right now, if Ntsheep is in his pirating mood, he WILL attack."
"Look Miss Smith, this ship and its crew have never been beaten. That's why we're the best paid bounty hunters around." said captain Zandrok Nocturn.
"Yes I am well aware of your reputation, that's why I have hire you to get me there. However you have not faced him before in battle. Despite all the jokes told in the spice halls, the weapons he designs are formidable. The Mecha Pidgeons are really an advanced torpedo that depending on the target, has several special warheads at its disposal."
The ships Military Officer Preacher spoke next,
"When you say "at its disposal" do you mean these torps have an advanced tracking system?"
"Correct, he has created an AI that utilizes sensors in the torp. The so called pidgeon poo is a thermal gel that melts ship armor, a secondary warhead explodes a few seconds after. If he intends to capture a ship, he'll use these on the engines."
"An AI based system goes against Shalun law. Why haven't the Templars done something." asked the ships pilot Betty Childs.
"The AI only becomes activated when a torp is fired. The main targeting is still done by the ships computer and whoever's in charge of the weapons system."
"I still don't think there is a way he could beat us. My ship is fast enough to close to boarding distance before any torp could hit us. Our counter measures system can jam most any radar tracking. They can't hit what they can't lock on to." the captain said.
Miss Smith sighed,
"With luck we'll get to Baza Prime before Ntsheep does and you can just leave me there alone to complete my mission."
"This is the space vessel Mary' Little Lamb requesting docking clearance for planetside Five-Seven-Nine-Two. Universal Merchants Permit number is 4736-211. Rychart Trade Permit number LV-426. Military Death Warrent number 1830T-68U118."
"Please hold while we comfirm Mary's Little Lamb," came the reply.
After a few minutes, they were granted clearance to land at the main space port and began their landing procedures. The space station had transmitted several Universal Message Files that were waiting for Ntsheep. He told Sarah to play them, she hit a few buttons and the first one started. A quick series of beeps is all that they heard.
"What the hell was that?" Deeks said.
"I'm not sure, let me check for corruption in the data stream." Sarah said.
"No need to, I understood it." Ntsheep repiled.
"You understood that, how?" asked Deeks
"Morse Code. Sammy is in route to meet us when we land. I'll finally have my Bridge Bunnies all together again."
"She must have got done early with her mission. I didn't think it would be another few weeks before we heard from her." said Sarah, "It will be nice to have her back."
"Yes. Poker nights haven't been the same without her." said Ntsheep, "Play the next message."
"It's data only, no audio, I'm putting it on screen."
THE MERCHANTS GUILD IS PROUD TO ANOUCE YOU HAVE BEEN SELECTED TO TAKE OUR SURVEY. PLEASE CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO GO TO OUR HYPERSPACE WEBSITE. YOUR PARTICPATION COULD WIN YOU A $5000.00 WATER\FUEL CARD. DON'T DELAY!!!!!
The Miboth had reached Baza several hours before Mary's Little Lamb. The captain and Preacher were on the bridge while the rest of the crew was out doing various things. Preacher really wanted to go soon and find other less annoying work for the ship. He wasn't afraid of losing, just prefered to make sure the odds were in his favor.
"Are you really planning on going after Ntsheep. We were just contracted to take our passenger to Baza, not engage anyone." asked Preacher.
"Cadar has several bounties out on him. It would be a really good payday. We can still drop off Miss Smith and then go after him." replied Zandrok.
"But we don't know we she wants him, tatically speaking it's to much of an unknown situation. If she's an assasin do we really want to get involved. What if she's meeting others, there could be a fleet of warships waiting. We've built a good reputation as the best hunters in the quadrant, we didn't get there be being stupid."
"I understand your concern and respect your opinion but I am the captain and will decide what we do. If I think taking out Ntsheep is a good idea and can be done, then we will do it."
Ntsheep and Deeks had been spending a few hours in the spice hall while waiting for Sarah and Megan to get more supplies. Sammy was also going to meet them at the hall.
"So what did you send Sammy to do?" Deeks asked.
"Steal some data for me." replied Ntsheep.
"Will it make us any money?"
"No, not really, but what were doing now because of the theft will. The Prince wants 50 units of artifacts delievered, I have 400 on that ship."
It was Deeks turn to spit out his drink, he wiped his mouth and looked at Ntsheep in amazement,
"That should net us amost a million credits! How does this data fit in?"
"Easy, on a data pad, how else? Don't need a whole lot of room for that."
"That's not what I meant. How did Sammy stealing files lead to our mission."
"You really don't want to know that." a female voice said.
Deeks turned and looked in the direction the voice came from to see Sammy standing in her black cloak. Her hood was up so you couldn't see her long black hair she kept in a pony tail. She was about 5' 5" and was lean and trim. She kept herself fit by studying several forms or martial arts. NtSheep had never seen anyone get in a fight with her and be able to walk away afterwards. He shrieked in joy and jumped up from his chair and threw his arms around hugging her and lifting her off the floor,
"Hippo my hippo I found you at last!"
"Glad to see you too sir I think" she said gasping for air.
As lazer blast continued to fly all aroubd the spice hall, Ntsheep, Deeks, and Sammy hid behind a table for cover.
"You really should quit keeping chocolate onboard the ships sir, maybe then she'll leave us alone." said Deeks.
"GIVE IT UP SHEEP, I'VE COME FOR THE TURTLES!" yelled Lesleyr.
"Now, now my dear. I'm not just going to hand them over, there's rule to this game, and well, rules is rules." said Ntsheep as he fired back hitting a bottle of vudka above the bar where Lesleyr was hiding. Liquor fell all over her drenching her,
"God damn it sheep, this dress is dry clean only!" she yelled back.
"Send me the bill."
More shots were fired between both parties for another minute, tables, chairs, the walls, there was nothing left that didn't have several holes. Finally Ntsheep said,
"Ok, I'm going to throw a smoke toad and will make a run for it."
"Why the hell do you make those things. Actual grenades work also and are much cheaper you know." replied Sammy.
"Toads don't get conviscated by security patrols. Plus exploding amphibians are funny. Frogs and toads have been used as weapons since ancient Earth times. I'm just going with the flow baby."
Several more shots came their way,
"Quit stalling sheep! Give me the chocolates!" Lesleyr yelled again.
"Ok, you asked for it, here's some chocolate toads!" Ntsheep said as he threw several toads.
"Chocolate toads?" Lesleyr said to herself, "Oh shit!" she then said as they landed near her.
As Zandrok Nocturn, Preacher, and a few of the mercenaries from the Miboth approached the spice hall, the windows all suddenly blew out from an explosion. Bits of metal, glass, and other debris flew everywhere. All the poeple in the street hit the ground. Preacher looked up to see some figures coming out of the hall,
"Look! Its him, Ntsheep! And Smith is with him!"
Ntsheep and his crew ran down the street, a few moments later Lesleyr walked out choking and gasping for air. She caught her breath, dusted herself off and looked around,
"Now where has he gone!?" she yelled.
She started running down the street, in the wrong direction.
"Captain, I know you don't want to hear this, but I think we need to let this one go." said Preacher as he helped Zandrok up, "that was Lesleyr chasing him. She is not one to triffle with."
"I don't care! I want that sheep!" he replied.
"Sir, she flys a De Valtos flagship! On our best day I wouldn't want to face one of them. She'll have a tatical advantage over us." Preacher said.
"You can come with me or resign and stay here. Either way I'm going after him." Zandrok said.
"I'll follow your orders captain, I just think you need to know what your getting into."
"I understand, and that's the only reason I'm not going to kill you for insubordination."
They all ran after Ntsheep.
Last Edit: Sept 25, 2014 16:49:22 GMT -5 by ntsheep
All the confusion had given Ntsheep and his crew just enough time to get back to the ship and begin takeoff. The Dock Master was a little annoyed with having to do an emergency clearance, but a few hundred credits in his hand calmed him down some.
"Megan honey, please get those engines jump capable as soon as possible." he said over the intercom.
"They all ready are sir, heard about the explosions and figured you would be back quick. As soon as we leave orbit we can get the hell out of here." she replied.
"You're a saint my dear," he said back, "Deeks, Sarah, let transform and roll out!"
"Seriously! Where do you come up with this stuff!" Deeks said as he began flying the ship upwards from the pad.
The Miboth was just beginning to take off from another landing pad on the other side of the town. Zandrok and his crew had realized it was best to get back to their ship to hunt down Ntsheep.
"I can comfirm, Mary's Little Lamb is in the air and heading for high orbit captain." said Preacher
"Plot an intercept course Betty, we have to get him before they reach the jump zone and get away." Zandrok said.
"Aye sir, we'll get'em. Hive ships are slow in atmo, takes too much power from the jump engines to run their anti grav drives. He won't be able to outmanuver us." she replied.
"The only other thing to worry about is Lesleyr, if she gets involved, we'll be in some major trouble." Preacher said.
Lesleyr's flagship had been in orbit the whole time, she had taken a small shuttle to the planet. Shuttles didn't need clearance for take offs and landings since they were so small. She was busy shouting orders to her crew,
"Find the names of all ships currently leaving the planet. One will be Ntsheep's for sure."
"Sir," a crewman said, "There's a hive ship registered as the "Mary's Little Lamb" coming into high orbit. It appears its being followed by a ship called the "Miboth"."
"Captain Black Death, heard about him. His ship won't be a problem for us, if he get in the way, blast him!" she said and then hit the intercom button, "weapons room, ready the guns and torpedos, we'll be engaging two hostiles shortly."
"Yes sir, we'll be ready for them!" came the reply.
"Crap!" said Sammy, "sir we're being followed by someone, it's the Miboth. Looks like their captain didn't take my warning."
"We're being hail captain," Sarah said, "the commander of the Miboth want to speak with us."
"Put him on screen." Ntsheep replied.
The view screen came on with Zandrok front and center, he spoke,
"Under the authority of Cadar High Command I demand you surrender. I have a warrent for your imediate arrest. If you comply I promise you and your crew will be treated kindly. If you don't, you will be fired upon."
"It was just a couple of tons of mini weinies!!! Have you no since of humor!" Ntsheep said.
"I don't care." replied Zandrok.
"You should, its fun. I gave them toilet paper to clean up afterwards, aren't I a good little sheep."
"I'll take this as a no on surrender. Prepare yourself." the screen went black as Zandrok cut transmission.
"How soon till we get to the jump zone Deeks?" Ntsheep asked.
"Three minutes sir."
"Our armor would hold out, but we'll still have to try and disable him, call the torp station and have them load the Mk X's."
A waring siren began going off at Sammy's control panel,
"Sir! We have inbound torps coming at us, The Miboth has locked on to us."