Int – day – bridge
Harbin walks in. Helton, Kat, Kaminski (now in space armor), and Kaushik are at stations. They looked concerned.
Kat: We may have a problem.
Helton: Did Lag tell you about any pirates or military craft in the area?
Harbin: No. See something?
Kaushik: Kat was looking at what’s out there, and an anomaly showed up.
Helton: (into mike) Stenson, any issues with the sensors?
Stenson: (OC, comm from engineering) Beats me. I’m getting all kinds of crap that shouldn’t be there- not sure what’s going on. They were fine five minutes ago.
Kat: IF the readings are right, there is a low-profile vessel on an intercept course.
Harbin: How “low”?
Helton: If we knew that, we’d know a lot more than we do right now. It’s more of a “hole” in the readings than something being there. Thermals show background temp, but visible shows stars blocked. Radar nothing.
Kaushik: I’d be surprised if sensors this old could see a modern mil-sub. That’s why the question.
Harbin: How soon to intercept?
Helton: Didn’t see it until just a few minutes ago. It looks like like about ten, eleven minutes.
Harbin: Hmmm. Rocks are cold, but they usually aren’t stealthy, soooo… If they wanted to launch missiles at us, they would have done it already. Too far for guns, except on a course-denial path, if they don’t know about our armor. Beams could be used any time, but it would instantly give away their position and intent for sure. They must sneaking up on us to board. Who else is suited up, sergeant?
Helton: Why’s HORKLE in space armor?
Harbin: He spent years working in space with his parents. SOP is to keep a couple of bodies in space armor whenever in conventional, so if bad shit happens fast you have people with a couple hours of air and a weapon to deal. He was the only other option… Not my choice of time or place. Let’s see what we can do about weapons.
Helton: Armor we got, weapons, not so much.
Kaushik: One of the containers had light arms, and we have some training ammo of our own.
Harbin: And, of course, shields and axes.
Helton: uh, what? And WHY?
Harbin: If they want to board, then we let them board. Or, at least, let them THINK they are about to board un-noticed. Here’s the plan…
INT – day – cargo bay, next to opened container of arms
Rifles are being handed out to injured-but-able-to-shoot soldiers.
Injured soldiers positioning themselves around the mid-deck windows, which are opened a bit, and checking line-of-site for firing down into anyone coming thorough a side or end airlock door.
Injured soldiers with guns positioning themselves in rooms along the top-deck corridors, with doors ajar.
Three recruits filling magazines from stripper clips. One of them tops off a magazine and hands it to an injured soldier holding a rifle.
Recruits getting rapidly armored up in old fashioned steel armor on the cargo deck, with large scutum-like high-tech composite shield, armed with small axes, and a sword at their waist.
Kaminski and Horkle, wearing minimalistic armored space suits, armed with light rifles and short swords, going into an airlock.
Cut to bridge
Helton: (into mike) OK, Stenson, stutter and jack up the engines. Just not so bad we can’t UN-jack ‘em.
Stenson: (OC) They likely already think we ARE. Here goes.
EXT – night – outside the ship
It floats quietly through space. Another ship, much smaller, only about 30 meters and fairly sleek, sidels up along the top, and extends magnetic grapples. It pulls itself down onto the Tajemnica and seals on.
Bridge. It is silent. Then there are creaking and grinding and banging noises as the ship comes along-side and latches on. Helton and Kat looks around as if to try to see exactly where they are coming from. There is a ringing BANG of explosives on metal. Then nothing.
Cargo deck. Two lines of recruits (about 15 total) in shiny armor with modern-ish Roman-style shields, and helmets with visors stand in mid-deck near the side airlock doors. Harbin is with them, armored similarly, standing in the middle of one line.
Harbin: (Quietly, confidently) If you see them come through the door, throw the first axe at them, then throw again, then draw your sword and STAND YOUR GROUND. All you have to do is throw and stand. You can do it.
There are more sounds of clanging and banging and grapnels. Troops look around.
EXT – night – outside the ship
It floats quietly through space, with the other ship latched on. The unknown ship detaches, moves sideways and around the corner, and attaches to the side airlock area. As it sits there, we see two space-suited figures come up from the end of the Tajemnica, and jet over to the intruder’s ship, and land lightly on the side near a hatch on the side away from the Tajemnica, near the bow of the intruder.
Cut to bridge
Helton: (into intercom mic) They tried to cut in topside with explosives, didn’t work. Looks like they are moving to starboard side midship hatch. Everyone not on the cargo deck hold positions.
Inset-low angle view of the legs of the line of recruits in the cargo bay – urine runs down an unknown recruits leg – we don’t know who it is, but they are not feeling comfy!
Cargo bay, showing the lines of recruits. They all turn to face the starboard side hatchway, Harbin front and center in the line. They adjust their grips and weapons and armor a little here, and a little there.
Harbin: Fall back four steps! Give ‘em room!…
They all take four steps backward, so they have some room around the door they expect the boarders to come in through.
Harbin: HALT! Now dress and cover! Hold, hold!
The line straightens out, evens up, closes up, and sort of hunkers down a bit, is then motionless.
Camera pans upward in the cargo bay
In the windows above, a line of rifle muzzles with suppressors covers the hatches from above.
Camera pans back down to show the line of armored recruits.
Harbin: (quiet, firm, confident) Do’n fine, gents. Stand, throw, throw, draw, and HOLD. All you gotta do. Breath in, hold, breath out, hold. Breath in, hold, breath out, hold.
Close-up on Alvarez, a recruit standing right next to Harbin, muttering, like a mantra: Throw, throw, draw, hold.
There is a banging sound, and the creak of hinges. More nervous looks, and minor bits of adjustments and positioning. Everyone is keyed up and tense.
Kaminski: (OC, on intercom) Intruder has been secured. Stand down. Threat neutralized. I say again, threat is neutralized. Unload and show clear, make safe your weapons.
Everyone breaths a sigh of relief and relaxes a bit.
Harbin: NOT YOU guys! Stand ready until I say so… (then into throat mike) Harbin to Kaminski, private. Code?
Kaminski: (OC, like a speaker into Harbin’s ear) Gold three. I think you should bring Kat and Helton over to take a look at this. It isn’t what we thought.
Helton: If we knew that, we’d know a lot more than we do right now. It’s more of a “hole” in the readings **that** something being there. Thermals show background temp, but visible shows stars blocked. Radar nothing.
that s.b. than
Yup. Another good nit caught.
Ooooooooo….drama! And darn you for leaving me hanging like that!!! Got my own guesses on what/who is on the mystery ship, but I’ll keep em to myself. No sense in getting laughed at any more than necessary.
Oh, it’s necessary! Speculate away!
Denebian slime worms?
“…expect the boarders to ***cone*** in through”
New technology, or should it be COME?
Left-overs from the cone-head wars, you see, and… nah, just a typo. Thanks for the catch, hope you are enjoying it.
Enjoying it? Absolutely!
If you were to post more frequently, I would get even less done! Between this and Marko’s new book – good times.
So, the visitors tried to blast their way into the ship, but were easily secured and are no longer a threat. This should be interesting.