Monday, February 12, 2024

On the Run

It was snowing on Paxus when they departed. Great flakes were falling as the ships came and left, the starport bigger than some cities on other worlds. They were escorted by a plain clothes security team, after what had happened the previous night. Andreas was here too, although no one knew where he was. 


Whatever one thought of him, he'd saved them. Who was after them? They still didn't know. And why them? After all, there were other teams. Someone was after him- not a cheery thought.  

The space field went on for miles. Ships coming and going, all sizes, all shapes- some were sleek, topline, others looked like they barely held together. They were striding through an observation port. Eric had seen this before, was an old hand, but it never got old. There were just so many. A thousand worlds. Ten times that many. And ships coming and going, the interconnected web of a galactic civilization. 

They came to a tunnel leading to a docking bay, and there was their contact. A tall man, dark hair greying a little, relaxed. Confident. Next to him was a striking woman with dark hair. They were bantering comfortably, looked up as Eric's crew approached. The man with them introduced them. 

"This is your captain-  Karis," the man said. Karis inclined his head in greeting. "First mate Jenna," he introduced the woman. She gave him a smile. Eric thought there was something... different about her, but filed that away for later. "Our ship is the Radiance," Karis continued. "If you're ready...?"

"Yes," said Eric, stealing a glance at Anna. With a few last words they took their leave, following Karis down the access tunnel, feeling that anticipation he always felt before space traveling. You get used to the Gates, the instant travel, and it had been a bit since he'd traveled the old way. 

His ear comm crackled and Andreas was there. 

"No problems yet," he reported. "All looks clear. You good?"

"I am. And Andreas... thanks for last night." 

A chuckle. 

"Thank Corporal Gillian. She did all the work."

"Well, that's twice now she's saved my ass. At least." 

"She enjoys it." He could hear a smile on the other end. "Honestly, though. Be careful. We won't be there to save you."

"What is this now? Are we actually bantering?"

"Whatever. Have a safe trip." The connection ended but he could hear the amusement in Andreas' tone. 

He smiled. "Well, we're on our own," he looked at Anna. 

She was talking to Karis and Jenna, seemed to be making a positive impression. She smiled and nodded. He took in the ship as they approached. Impressive. Lots of people coming and going, loading and unloading. Sleek, several levels, outfitted nicely. Armed, he noticed. Moira had told them that she'd vetted the ship and the crew carefully, as well as passengers. They'd be making several stops before hitting Astra. 

At least one of those stops was a Gate. 

They were still being discovered... popping up on various worlds. Most worlds only had one, but occasionally, astonishingly, they found worlds with two or three. Each time a Gate was discovered there was a scramble to secure it, investigate it. That's a lot of what the teams did, Eric's team. Apparently the one on their route has been secured, and Paxus was in the process of establishing a base. And Moira had heard a rumor there would be a stop at Arcangel too, a cold world with a newly discovered Gate. It would be a little bit before they reached Astra. 

The ship was even more impressive inside. Everything seemed top of the line. Karis chatted amiably, his operation seeming to run smoothly. Once inside he directed Eric to their cabin and took  his leave, promising to speak soon. They had a bot to help with their things, a hover beam bringing it along. 

"Wow. Not bad," whistled Anna as they looked over their berth. Spacious, well furnished, with a nice view out the port. He could see the loading still taking place. "So what do you think of those two?" she said as she flopped down on the bed. 

"Well, all seems in order so far," he replied, getting a drink from the room bar. "I trust them only so much as Moira vouches for them. She said she went to great effort, but she's known this guy for quite a while." 

"That's good," replied Anna. "We could use a break." 

"That makes two of us," said Eric, handing her a glass. 

They drank to Astra. 


"What do you think?" asked Jenna. 

"I don't know," replied Karis. "They're friends of a friend, so... " 

"Do you trust them?"

"Dear Jenna, I trust no one," he smiled. "You oughta know that. But they're highly recommended from a good friend. I'll do my job, get them where they're going, and off we go."

"What's this about there being some heat?"

"Well, it won't be the first time."


  1. I'm curious where they're going this time...and also about who built all those gates and why! Good job, Greg. :D

  2. Oh, it's like the chest pieces are meeting up. I like how this starts with the snow and the ships! And it looks like Anna and Eric might be enjoying this too much. It will be interesting to see how it all falls in to place. Maybe all are not what they seem in more ways that we even know. All the best to your writing! & Fat's been a lot of work getting my potluck stuff together..even so I had time to put together a Holly & Stevie post! Hope you are staying well.. Lots of people are getting the sniffles which I hope doesn't turn into something else..and we get to tag we will be moving ..hopefully sometime, late summer.


  3. Some in...warring factions?