Episode Eleven


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In a respectable family home some thirty years ago a young red haired boy about thirteen is stamping his foot in temper.

”Why can’t I go our and play with the others? You’re soo mean da.” the kid says in a whiney Scots accent.

“You know young bairn that since that incident with Melanie McRawn your not allowed out. That’s why you’re being tutored at home. Just get on with yur work.”

“I was only looking pa, what’s wrong with that.” The boy said sulkily.

“Well it was the girls locker room and you pulled her skirt up son.”

“I weren’t doing na harm da. Let me go play with the gurls again.”

“No son. No moor. You’re gunna stay here and study boy. Your going to be a doctor just like your pa.”

“OK da. I’ll study and I’ll be the bestest doctor evah. I’ll make all humans better da I promise.”

Cue Music …

     The crew begin to discuss what they are going to do when they get to Lilac and they start to do some research on the planet and also Tetrix. It seems that Tetrix is a planetoid around Lilac with a thin atmosphere. It has a mining colony run by the Tetraphon Mining Corporation, an independent operation. Eleanor even joked that they should space Dr Weir when they found him.

     About a half day out from Lilac Thomas spotted two Reaver ships about 10-15 miles behind. He turned towards a nearby asteroid field and noted that the Reaver ships turned to follow. They were catching so Thomas initiated hard burn and got them into the field. Pretty soon one of the two Reaver ships crashed into an asteroid causing it to be unbalanced and crash into a second asteroid. The other Reaver ship was piloted better and soon started to gain on the ship as it emerged from the asteroid field. Thomas turned the Serendipity round and started some more risky manoeuvres back into the asteroid field. Just as the Reaver ship fired on the Serendipity, the engines blew up no longer able to sustain burn and the Reaver ship crashed into an asteroid. The blast from the Reaver ship took out the Buckley’s Chance and damaged the hull where it was connected. Bau quickly used the sealant on the hull to prevent a complete hull breach and then inspected the engine. He said that he could fix the engine temporally to get the ship to limp into Lilac, but the repairs would take a day and a half.

     When they got to Lilac the crew searched for the largest area of population and found a town with a few Spaceport facilities by the dusty landing strip. There was a ship called the Irrelevant Detail there that Thomas had sold to Nathaniel Grade. Thomas mentioned this to the crew and Dr Wu decided to go and talk to his hero.

     Nathaniel had 3 muscle guy minions in his ship with him and he told Dr Wu he had some information for Joe. He told Dr Wu he was here chasing Dr Weir to bring him to justice. Dr Wu told Nathaniel that they were here for a similar reason and that they had got information that Dr Weir’s ship was seen going to Tetrix. Nathaniel said he’d meet up with the crew in the tavern and they would share information.

     Nathaniel first of all met up with Joe and told him that he’d seen his niece Alleyne and that she was safe but was involved with some fairly powerful people. The others all came to meet him in the tavern except Bau who was fixing the ship and Fey who decided that she didn’t want to renew her acquaintance. Nathaniel related that he had been given some information that led to some more information that said that an Operative of the Parliament was being sent to Tetrix to deal with Dr Weir. He thought that the Operative would not be here yet and that they should go and administer justice beforehand. They decided that since Pinto had already consumed a number of whiskies that it would perhaps be best to start out the next day. It was decided that Nathaniel would take his ship since the Serendipity was still being repaired.

     Nathaniel had a high-powered telescope and they used it to look at Tetrix. They saw a small dot in geo-stationary orbit near to Tetrix. The plan was to come at Tetrix from the far side and gradually sneak round and get a peak at what was above the planetoid. As they inched round they saw the Utopia in orbit about the planetoid. They decided to try and sneak round in low orbit but were spotted. The ship was hailed by the Utopia.

“This is acting Captain Hunter of the AV Utopia. Unidentified vessel, please identify yourself and your business here else we will fire.”

“This is Nathaniel Grade on the SV Irrelevant Detail here.”

“Captain Grade you will proceed to dock with the Utopia where you will come aboard and be questioned. This is an Alliance restricted area.” Acting Captain Hunter said haughtily.

     The crew decided to concoct their story whilst they were cruising in towards the Utopia. They decided to send a tight beam wave to Captain Flint to let her know what they’d found. They asked her and Bau to bring the Serendipity to the dark side of Tetrix.

     When they docked with the Utopia Second-Lieutenant Walsh and a number of other men met them and searched them for weapons. They escorted the crew to Acting Captain Hunter who was just making a wave requesting re-enforcements be sent here. Acting Captain Hunter took a verbal swipe at Nathaniel Grade before sending them off to the brig so they could be questioned individually.

     One of Nathaniel’s minions had been taken for questioning but after half an hour had still not returned. Thomas and Dr Wu realised that the crew were behaving slightly abnormally, much quieter than a normal crew. Nathaniel assumed it was due to Hunter being in charge. They then came to take the second of Nathaniel’s minions but the first one was not returned. When they came to take the third minion and neither of the first two called out Joe called after the guards who ignored them. A voice from a nearby cell asked who else was there and the crew quickly realised that it was Captain Wildheart. Through the bars the crew could see that she’d been badly beaten. The crew identified themselves.

“Hunter didn’t realise my medical history when he tried to chip me.” She said laughing. “I have shrapnel in my neck from the war that interfered with the chip.” Captain Wildheart then related how she’d sent the Operative down to the planet with Hunter and a contingent of men. They had failed to return and so she sent a second contingent down after them. Both contingents returned together and overpowered her and told the crew that she’d been relieved of command on medical grounds when the chip failed to take. Hunter had been trying to beat the command codes out of her but hadn’t succeeded.

     The crew determined they had to escape and when two of the guards came for Eleanor, Pinto attacked them knocking one of them out. Eleanor grabbed for the gun and missed the other guard, leaving Pinto to hit him again without a weapon. The remaining guard shot Pinto whilst he knocked him out. Eleanor passed her gun to Joe whilst she unlocked the cell door for him. The guard at the cell entrance pressed the alarm whilst Pinto shot him using the other guard’s gun. They got the others out whilst Pinto and Joe peeped round the door. There they saw three guards coming down the corridor. Pinto and Joe shot them whilst getting shot in return whilst Eleanor decided to distract them by taking her top off and jumping out into the corridor. The guards maintained their discipline in the light of this distraction whilst Pinto and Joe finished the other two guards off. Dr Wu stripped off the guard’s uniforms whilst the battle was ongoing.

     Captain Wildheart told them that they needed to get to a communications station rather than the bridge, which would be heavily guarded. The crew considered going back to Nathaniel’s ship but Wildheart told them that his ship would also be well guarded. They decided to go to the communications station where in addition to sending a message to the Alliance Captain Wildheart also temporally disabled the weapons systems and released the Cruisers fighters from dock to prevent them following them. They headed straight for the nearest troop shuttle and met little resistance.

     Nathaniel piloted the shuttle down to Tetrix and landed it near to the slagheap by the mining community. On the way down they asked Captain Wildheart about the Operatives orders. She told them she didn’t know her full orders but that she was to come here and neutralise Dr Weir and close down his project. Joe told Captain Flint that they needed her to come and join them in the mining camp, but it would take about 45 minutes. There were about seven buildings there and Joe decided to head for the first one near to the slagheap. As he ran across three spiked balls flew up into the air and began firing needles at Joe. Nimbly Joe dodged them and made it to the building. Pinto in the doorway was not so lucky, a needle piercing his mesh armour made him woozy and then he fell unconscious. Eleanor identified it from a case she’d worked that it was similar in composition to a date rape drug. Nathaniel headed over to the building to join Joe.

     Inside the building Joe had to deal with a couple of miners who he made get down on the floor. He checked their necks and noted they were chipped. He asked where Dr Weir was and was told that the Master was behind the end building. Joe tied them up and helped Nathaniel take out the spiked balls and two cameras hidden on the ground. The questioned Captain Wildheart about what the Operative looked like and she said that Sinead Fitzpatrick was a normal sized brown haired woman. Nathaniel wanted to wait and tell Captain Flint in person but Joe surreptitiously told her on the comm link.

     Just when they thought they were safe 3 more spiked balls showed up and a mini tank began rumbling towards the mining community. Nathaniel ordered the shuttle to take off and circle away from the tank behind buildings whilst they found out how to deal with it. Joe put on a helmet and thick mining gloves and make himself a target outside whilst Nathan took out the spiked balls. Then out of the next building there were six people starting to march out in line. Joe moved them down with his assault rifle before being forced back in the building by two armoured robots with assault rifles similar to the ones they saw on the Space Station. Nathaniel and Joe escaped the building round the far side and saw more people coming out of the nearby building. Joe mowed them down and they headed for the explosives building. Using explosives they found in the building the building two bombs that they used to take out the two robots in the buildings, setting the timers just right.

     Then they decided to try and take out the tank using a similar method. Both Nathaniel and Joe threw satchels with timed explosives but Nathaniel threw his short and it ended up blowing up a large hole in front of the tank. Fortunately the tank fell straight down into the hole immobilized. The crew were able to search the other buildings now that all the opposition had been taken out and found Dr Weir’s lab for making the spiked balls. It contained vials for the drug and the antidote. They administered the antidote to Pinto who came round but was still groggy.

     The Serendipity arrived and landed next to the tank. The crew found a large hatch behind the building with Weir’s equipment. They estimated it was quite thick and managed to only blow a tiny hole with the first batch of dynamite. The second and last smaller bag managed to get a hole big enough for a man to get down. Captain Wildheart was anxious to get moving as the Cruiser would have recovered their fighters by now and would be onto them soon ……