Shaw's Defense

Walking towards the engine room, Daniel could hear Franco yelling at the now-stalled engine. The captain put his hand upon the hallway of his craft and whispered to it apologizing for his engineer’s hostility. When he was fifteen feet of the door, he saw Rachel run out of the room and just avoid getting struck by a random part of the engine as she slid to the ground. Daniel shook his head and helped her up asking, “I take it he’s having issues with the repairs?”

She nudged the piece lying between them with her foot answering, “Just a little it would seem.”

“He told me he would have us flying again in twenty minutes,” Daniel said as he entered the line of fire. “And that was two hours ago.”

“I’m going to go keep Laurie company,” Rachel said as she reached back into the room, quickly grabbing a deck of cards. “She might be crazy, but at least I won’t get abused when I try help.”

“That bad today?”

“Did you see the part that flew towards my head?”

“Go,” Daniel said as he entered the engine room and quickly spotted Franco hitting his engines. “Franco stop abusing my ship!”

Franco laughed before he added, “It’s your ship, but they’re my engines, captain. And I would have expected to be able to have working equipment now that we work for Stepan Glazov.”

Daniel flinched at their employer’s name, but he held his initial response before offering his reply, “He expects us to be self-sufficient, Franco and he wants to see how we do with limited funds.”

“That’s a nice way of saying that he’s blackballing us,” Franco said between hammer strikes.

“Captain,” Laurie’s voice chimed over the intercom. “We have an incoming ship.”

The captain depressed the button next to the intercom, “What’s it want?”

“I don’t know, but I can’t shake it.” She replied as the ship lurched punctuating her retort.

“What was that Laurie?”

“That was the ship attaching itself to us.”


A wry laugh broke out over the intercom followed shortly by Laurie’s reply, “Right next to you captain.”

“There’s no docking port…” The captain stopped talking when he heard the distinctive sound of a plasma torch cutting through metal. He looked through the door towards the hull and saw the distinctive glow of melting metal. The captain swore as he jammed the button to broadcast to the entire ship, “Cecil and Harlen get down to the engine room on the double we’re being boarded.” Releasing the intercom, he called out to Franco, “We’ll have to patch the hull once this is over, but we’ll need an immediate patch to make sure they can’t just space us.”

“Roger that,” Franco said as he began rummaging through his equipment. “Got it, but I’ll need to get to where they’re burning through!”

“That’s our job,” Daniel replied as he pulled Franco from the engine room directing him to a far corner of the room handing him a short fat cylinder. “Separate twist and throw once they finish burning through. Then patch the hole once we’re done.”

“Yes, sir,” Franco chirped as he hunkered down in his position to wait.

“Captain, what’s going on?” a voice chimed from further up the corridor.

Daniel looked down the corridor and smiled at Cecil and Harlan as they raced towards the spacious room as the torch’s journey was completing. All four men hunkered down in as much cover as they could and waited as the section of their hull collapsed to the floor. Then three bodies came through the hole, and the crew of the Scythe fired upon the intruders. One immediately dropped getting hit by three bolts of energy, the other two managed to locate a little bit of cover before they returned fire.

The bolt fired from the invaders came dangerously close to Daniel’s face but washed harmlessly over the interior wall. He looked back towards the two men and took advantage of the suppressing fire of his crew and aimed at the intruder he had a clean shot at and pulled the trigger. The bolt of plasma leapt from his gun and tore through the intruder dropping the man. He quickly ducked as an answering bolt of plasma flew over him. Daniel knew the last intruder could stay where he was as long as he needed to, so Daniel cried out, “Now Franco!”

And an answering shot rung out, and silence began to fill the room. With the brief firefight over, Franco raced from his hiding hole and activated the cylinder just as Daniel had instructed him. He threw the device into the ship and then quickly patched the hole with a portable shield right before the ship that had been clinging to the Scythe detached and floated away. Daniel issued orders to the crew by him, “Franco fix the engines, Cecil and Harlan search the bodies.” He quickly ran for an intercom and connected to the bridge, “Laurie, talk to me about that ship.”

“Well, you designed that little bomb for these situations, Captain,” Rachel’s voice chirped from the intercom.

“Laurie?!” Daniel’s inquiry was full of yearning as his face began to crease with worry.

“Well the ship’s systems are restarting, but it wasn’t fast enough for the two member’s of the crew who had stayed behind,” Laurie answered.

“Harlan, you’re with me, Cecil stay with Franco just in case we get another visit. And Franco fix my engines now!”

A chorus of agreement echoed from the three men as Daniel ran to the ships cargo hold. Harlan was right behind him and asked, “We going to salvage what we can?”

“There’s no one left to on the ship,” Daniel said as he entered the cargo hold. Pressing the intercom in the hold, he issued another order, “Laurie dock with that ship.”

“Yes, sir,” Laurie answered promptly.

Daniel walked towards the lockers next to the docking port’s airlock, “Let’s go shopping, Harlan.”