The Darkness Within

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

In the desolate void of space, a smuggler and his crew take a shortcut through uncharted territory. After crash landing on an unknown planet, Garret Hawkins is pushed to he edge of his sanity and morality as he is forced to commit a series of atrocious acts to free himself and the one he loves. Is it really escape if you can never forget the things you've done?

Chapter 1 (v.1) - The Darkness Within

Submitted: February 07, 2015

Reads: 208

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Submitted: February 07, 2015

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Space, a great void so vastly unexplored, anything could be lurking in the darkness. It bothered Garrett, not space or the emptiness, but the idea of not knowing what you’re getting into, the idea that they could turn around this planet and meet their doom and none would be the wiser. This was Alliance space though, patrolled and monitored so nothing like that would ever actually happen, or at least, so they tried. Bandits and marauders would fly in from their dark, wretched corners of the galaxy; pull a few raids on ships flying a bit to close to the edge of patrolled space, and leave before any Alliance ships would even realize something happened. Didn't matter either way to him though, he was a merchant and a smuggler, he had to stomp out those pestering feelings of doom and take risks if he wanted to make any decent money, still bothered him the sometimes though, not knowing what was waiting around the corner, something you just can't get over.

A voice broke Garrett from his thoughts, “Mr. Hawkins, were coming up on the rendezvous point.”

“Understood Daniels, I'll meet you on the bridge, gather the rest of the crew and have them ready with the merchandise.”

“Got it,” he heard the footsteps begin to walk away before they stopped, “also, Ashley wants to speak with you in the captain's quarters.” The footsteps resumed their walk towards the bridge. Garrett continued staring out into the inky darkness for a few seconds more before he turned on his heel and started towards the captain's quarters. Every step he took a metallic thud sounded, he looked around the hallway he was in. Like most of the ship, it was a clean white with a few blue stripes lining the entirety of the interior, rather dull but still better than most ships he'd been on.  He gave a small grin when he remembered a ship he'd been on, where the captain was so into the idea of a colorful and vivid ship, he'd made sure every hall way and room was a different color, it hurt his eyes simply imagination the color. Garrett chuckled as he looked around and realized he'd missed the cabin, reeling back a few doors, he knocked on the cabin.

“Come on in Garrett.” The door slid open with a quiet hiss, he walked in, seeing Ashley feeding Peanut, the hamster he'd gotten her for her birthday several months ago. “I was wondering when you were planning on showing up,” she joked.

He smiled, “I wanted to try to enjoy life for just a few more minutes.” He walked over and gave her a quick kiss before falling back and sprawling out on the bed. She swatted his chest playfully before lying next to him.

Ashley looked towards him, “After we're done transporting whatever these people want smuggled, I was thinking we could all take a break, the crew deserves a rest and we could go to Sanera, that one beach planet we've always wanted to go to, it's be nice to take a break from this.”

He turned his head to face her, “It would be a nice break, we'll talk more once we get the cargo.” Garrett got to his feet before pulling up Ashley also, hand in hand they head to the bridge. When they got there, everyone was there, ready to complete the transaction. They still had a couple minutes before the other ship was expected to arrive here, so Garrett took the time to look around bridge. Ashley was next to him, tinkering with something on the computers, a bit to his right was Daniels, his second-in-command, a burly man with a smooth head and a small beard to boot. The kind of guy who could scare you shitless just by looking at you, yet one of the toughest and most trust worthy men he's ever meet. Boyd and Martin were talking over by the entrance, both a bit silly but reliable men, twins from a planet towards the border of friendly space. A tad to the left of them was Sarah, not one for small talk but one of the best damn mechanics he's had. Finally Kayla and Konrad were playing a game of chess over in the corner, both a jack-of-all trades’ type, doing whatever needs to be done at the moment. Several others weren't here busy with other items of need like Adams, Lugo, Amber, Stevie and a few rookies they'd picked up along the way, most liking tending to the ship or personal matters.

He returned to looking around the room, same color scheme as the rest of the ship, but with gray panels and various colored buttons, lights, and screens dotting the walls and ceilings. He again looked to his left, towards Ashley; he still had a vivid memory of how he met her. He was selling some goods on one of the richer planets, Venya was its name. A city run but nobles and people with enough influence and blackmail to kill a person, though it was all covered by a veil of beauty, nobles and prosperity, he doubted many people truly knew what happened in such a lush and breath taking world. He was selling to a man by the name of Cameron Reynolds, some assistant to the director of a corporation who end up having a nasty drug addiction.  After selling the cargo to the man, he'd noticed a certain beauty stand out among the crowd.

He heard a whistle beside him, “Whew, ain’t she a looker captain,
“That she is, but we’ve got work to do, finish stacking thecrates and tell Reynolds we’ll be out of the city by tomorrow,” His gaze lingered for a few more seconds before he turned to finish overseeing the work, but no matter how hard he tried to put his mind on other thoughts, his thoughts keep drifting back towards that woman.

“Boyd, I’m heading out for a bit, I’m putting you in charge of overseeing the work. Also….make sure Lugo doesn’t find the alcohol, we still need to sell that,” Garrett left before Boyd could even speak, he head towards the last place he’d seen her, maneuvering his way around the large crowd that had gathered in the city center. He had searched for the better part of the day before he had given up and walked towards the nearest bar, and he be damned there she was, drinking without a care in the world. Before he had even taken a step further into the bar, a rather drunken man had stumbled his way up to her.

“Heyyy baby you wa-,” he was abruptly cut off as her elbow slammed into his gut, quickly silencing whatever he was about to say, before the drunk had any time to recover, her hand had made it to the back of his head before she quickly slammed his head into the counter in front of her. The drunk crumpled to the floor in a heap and she continued her drink like she hadn’t just kicked a man’s ass like it was nothing. Garrett continued towards the counter and took a seat next to her while he ordered bourbon.

Her voice broke the silence, “I saw you brining in a shipment for Cameron Reynolds, you a smuggler, a drug dealer, or what?”

He choked on his drink, while on almost all civilized planets, smuggling was of course, still illegal, Venya and several of the most prosperous and noble planets, were brutally harsh against smuggling, “I would never engage in such an illeg-,”

“Cameron Reynolds is notorious for dealing with large scale shipments in the black market, so don’t try to act like you’re not a part of it in some way, and if I had wanted to tell the authorities about you, I would’ve done so the moment I saw your ship.” She didn’t even turn her head, though it did allow him some time to plan on what to say. Garrett opened his mouth and then immediately closed it again, deciding to contemplate more on what to say.

“Fine….I’m a smuggler, Reynolds had us smuggle in some products for him.” She turned her head, eyebrow slightly raised.

“Well at least that sounds interesting, so tell me more.” The rest of day was spent conversing about smuggling and Garrett’s job before it gradually turned into talking about each other. Garrett was more than surprised when he found out that she was actually a very pleasant person when she wasn’t getting hit on by drunks. She used to deal in black market dealings before attempting to live a more legal life, but that didn’t last long, and with Garrett’s smuggling operation a few people short, it was an easy choice to recruit her. Several years later and here he was, a mostly full crew and Ashley by his side, it was fair to say that he’s been doing well for himself.

“Captain,” Boyd's voice shook him out of his revere, “the other ship is approaching.”

He nodded, “Okay, you know what to do everybody, the sooner we get this done, the sooner we get our money and get to relax.” Everyone began to work at their post as Garrett walked to the window to see a ship begin docking procedure. The words “A Light in Darkness”, engraved into its side in a neat and trim, white type. The ship rocked as the two connected, the sounds of depressurization sounding behind the door. The door creaked open, revealing three men standing there, a thick set man with a full beard at the front, he knew as Captain Malik Warren, the other two men he didn't know, most likely bodyguards or something of the sort.

“Ahh, Captain Hawkins, glad to finally meet you,” Captain Warren voiced as he stepped towards Garrett, his hand extended. Garrett extended his own arm, giving the captain a firm shake and a nod.

“Like wise Captain Warren, I've heard a lot about you,”

He gave a resounding chuckle, “I bet you have, now let’s get down to business shall we?” Garrett nodded, though a price had already been settled upon, both sides tried to barter for a slightly better deal on their part. Aside from the occasional swear, the deal went off without a hitch, both sides happy to an extent. Garrett walked over to the view port to see off Captain Warren.

“Captain,” Garett turned his head to see Kayla, “we think we may have found a shortcut to Amadeus, it will cut at least a week to two weeks off of our travel, however there is one problem. The shortcut requires going through a chunk of unexplored space, marauders haven’t been seen in the area for a few months, but we’d be going through this space for at least a couple weeks.” He was extremely pleased at the prospect of being able to cut off a week to two weeks off of their time; they would most likely receive a bonus from the buyer, however on the other hand, it required them to travel through uncharted space. Like Kayla had said, marauders haven’t been spotted around here months, but they could just be in the shadows or something else has driven them off, or possibly even killed them off, but this bonus could be what him and Ashley were looking for to head to Sanera.

“Kayla….let’s take it, we should be clear off marauders and we may even get a bonus, but when we enter the uncharted territory, I want us on full alert,”

“Roger that Captain, I’ll set the course and tell the rest of the crew.” Garrett nodded and continued to look out into the inky void, a desolate space; all he hoped was that this choice hadn’t just doomed them all.


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