Space Age - The Maiden Voyage

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The is episode 2 in the Space Age Stories. This is the first mission that Captain John Thatcher and his crew will be taking. Does everything go ok, or will the run in to problems? Find out!

Submitted: October 12, 2014

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Submitted: October 12, 2014



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Space Age – Episode 2 - The Maiden Voyage

Written by Jordan P Gerber

Epsilon Five Space Station

Captain John Thatcher stepped away from the console. Angel. That is what he had named his ship. With only a few thousand credits left, John knew he had to get to work. He went and sat on the opened cargo door and pulled out his Nessig. He scrolled through the open jobs looking for something easy to start his crew off with.

There were plenty of easy mining jobs, but John had done plenty of that in the last seven years. Instead he found a courier job that paid small, but required no collateral be paid up front. It would take them out of the Orion arm and in to the Sagittarius arm at Turok Station. John quickly accepted and signed the contract. Once that was done, he pulled up the crew menu on the Nessig and clicked the broadcast to all button and typed a message:

Attention Crew. Please report to dock 329-B for duty. We will be transporting cargo to Turok Station in Sagittarius. Thank you.

John sent the message, pocketed his Nessig, and waited. Dani was the first to show.

“Good morning Captain.” Dani said with a smile.

“Morning Dani. I had the med bay stocked up for you if you want to get yourself acquainted with it.”

Dani squealed and ran inside the ship without looking back.

John laughed to himself and turned around to see someone else come in the hangar door. John stood as the man approached him. He was an average build man with jet-black hair combed neatly off to one side. He walked up to John and held out his hand, “Captain Thatcher, I’m Timmy Lancaster.”

“Good to meet you Timmy. Feel free to take a look around the ship.”

Timmy nodded and headed inside the ship.

Tyler came in the door next with a girl next to him. They were talking as they came in the room. Tyler looked up and said to John, “John! Meet Jane.”

 “Hey Jane. Welcome to the crew.”

Jane’s demeanor changed immediately from happy to professional. “Thank you captain.”

John was thrown off by the sudden formality. “Jane. You aren’t in the Navy anymore. You can relax. Please, explore the ship and let me know if you need anything.”

Jane was caught off guard. After years of being in the Navy she appeared really uneasy with the thought of informality with a superior. “Uh… yes sir… I’ll take a look around.” She headed inside and looked around.

“Well aren’t you just the intimidating one.” Tyler said as he sat next to John.

John laughed, “Apparently. We’ll have to break her of that.”

“So who all is here?”

“Everyone is inside except us. Go ahead and take a look around. I’m just waiting for the cargo and then we’ll take off for Turok.

Tyler stood and headed inside. John took a deep breath and steadied himself. He was just minutes away from flying his first job as a captain. The shipment arrived ten minutes later carried by two androids. They loaded the cargo in to the hull and had John sign the contract for it. John headed inside and shut the cargo door.

Once the airlock was sealed, John walked over to a panel and activated the microphone. “Will everyone please come down to the cargo hold. Thank you.”

It took a few minutes for everyone to get down to the cargo bay. Once everyone was there, John stepped forward to introduce himself. “Good morning everyone. As you know, I’m Captain John Thatcher, but please, call me John. This is my first ship and you are my first crew. We have picked up an easy job first so we can take some time to get to know how each of us works. We will be heading to Turok station to drop off these crates.” John kicked the crate closest to him. “I want us to be able to have fun, and yet be able to get our jobs done, so let’s get to it. Any questions?”

Jane spoke up, “Who’s your second?”

“That would be Tyler. I’ve known him the longest and trust him with my life. Should something ever happen to me, I expect that you would follow his orders like mine. Any others?” A moment of silence followed. “Good! Let’s get to work. Timmy, go ahead and start pre-flight. Jane, make sure the weapons are functional and loaded just in case. Dani, your area should be good to go, but feel free to make any changes. Tyler, you know what to do.” They all disbursed and headed to their stations.

John followed Timmy to the cockpit. There wasn't a lot of room inside, just enough for each of the crewmembers except Dani and Jane. They had their own areas. Even Tyler had his own area, but the main console for engineering was in the cockpit. John saw the android positioned by the navigation console. It was already plotting a route to Turok that would be safest route.

Timmy finished running his pre-flight routine, turned to the John, and said, "Ready for takeoff captain. On your orders."

"Take her out. Let's get this job done shall we?"

Timmy activated the thrusters and maneuvered out and away from the station. Once they were a safe distance Timmy turned to the android, "Course plotted?"

The android responded, "Course to Turok marked and ready. Stardrive prepared and ready."

Timmy shook his head, "Activating stardrive."

The pressure on John's chest increased as the ship accelerated to full speed in a matter of seconds. The pressure released as space flew by at a now constant speed.

John pressed the intercom button on his chair, "Jane, how are we looking?"

Jane called back, "Good sir. The guns are armed and ready. I have them in idle and retracted in to the ship."

"Thank you. Dani?"

Dani called back, "Medical supplies organized and ready. Let's hope we don't need them."

"Agreed. We should be arriving in Turok by tomorrow.” John released the switch and relaxed in his chair.

The morning was uneventful. They only had to drop out of star-warp long enough to adjust course and jump again. Timmy and Tyler had gone back to common area to grab some lunch. John waited a few minutes to make sure the android control of the ship, then headed to get some food as well. John walked down the short corridor to the common area.

John overheard Tyler say to the others, “I did my two with the Navy, then I did two more with the Corps of Engineers building military station parts. What about you Dani, what’s your plan?”

Dani replied, “I’m going to do my first two in med school. After that, I’ll do my required two as a Navy doctor. What about you Captain? What was your conscription?”

John closed the fridge door with a drink in hand. “Military Intelligence for six years. I joined when I was 16 under an emancipation program.”

Everyone except Tyler stared at John dumbfounded. Tyler interjected, “How ‘bout it Timmy. You always wanted to be a pilot?”

“No, I wanted to be a mechanic, but my eyesight is terrible.” Everyone’s attention turned to Timmy.

“Wait. What?” Jane asked.

“Kidding.” Timmy laughed at everyone’s expression. “Yeah, I’ve always wanted to be a pilot. Nothing I love more than flying.”

All of a sudden, a red light started flashing and a steady pulsing beep started sounding.

“Everyone to your stations!” John yelled, running back to the cockpit with Timmy and Tyler right on his tail. John jumped in his seat as the others did. “What is it Timmy?”

Timmy, half out of breath, reviewed the console and explained, “The android picked up three unidentified ships ahead. There is a frequency distortion so I can’t get much info. We have about 30 seconds.”

“Before what?” John yelled back.

“The disturbance appears to be a star-disruptor. It will pull us out of jump. Ten seconds.”

John pressed the intercom button. “Jane, three possible hostiles incoming. Prepare to engage.”

Jane called back, “Yes Sir!”

They hit the disruptor hard, causing everyone to fall out of their seats if there was room. The computers started beeping, signaling that the ships were locking on to them.

Over the intercom John said, “Jane, attack all targets! Tyler, get ready to do what you can if they get through our shields. Timmy, get us out of here. Dani, be ready just in case.”

Angel’s machine guns opened fire on one of the ships just as they locked on to Angel.

“Incoming missiles!” Timmy yelled.

The blast hit the shields, causing the ship to shudder at the impact.

Tyler said, “Shields at 90% at full regeneration. Enemy shields on ship one are at 70% and dropping. Another volley incoming!” The blast hit the shields again. “80% shields. Enemy one at 54%.”

John yelled, “Timmy, how long before we can jump?”

“I need to get us out of the disrupter’s range. It’s going to take some time to fly out of it.”

“We don’t have time. Get us out of here!” Another blast hit.

Tyler read the console, “70% shields. Enemy one is at 20%. Now at 15%. Down to 10%. Incoming missiles.”

As the missiles hit the Angel’s shields, the first attacking ship caught fire and exploded.

Jane called on the intercom, “One down Sir. Switching to the next one.”

John said to Tyler, “What’s our status Tyler?”

Tyler responded, “That last volley hit our shields hard Sir. We are at 50% shields. Enemy two is now at 80%.”

“Keep it up Jane, make those shots count. Timmy?”

“I’m working on it Captain!”

Another blast struck. “Tyler?” John yelled.

“Angel is at 40%. Enemy two is down to 40 as well.” A few seconds later, the second enemy ship exploded. “One left Sir.”

The third ship switched weapons and fired four pulse lasers at Angel. The ship shook hard.

“What was that?” John exclaimed.

“Pulse lasers Sir. They’ve eaten through our shields. We are at 1%, but barely. Enemy three is at 90% shields.”

The third enemy ship opened fire with machine guns next, which tore through the remaining shield and in to the armor of the ship.

“Tyler, do what you can to repair that!” John yelled as Tyler was already getting out of his seat and heading to the back of the ship. “Timmy, we are out of time!”

“Almost there Captain, another minute.”

The ship was stuck with another volley of machine gun rounds. The ship stuttered and began coasting as the thrusters went out.

“What happened Timmy?”

“They’ve hit our thrusters. Tyler, I need you to fix the thrusters! Tyler? He must be busy Sir. I can’t do anything without them.”

Out of nowhere, the enemy ship exploded.

“Timmy?” John asked as everything went quiet.”

“It wasn’t us.” Timmy pulled up the radar, which now showed a fleet of Elysium Navy vessels at the edge of the radar.

A man’s voice came on the radio, “Attention unknown vessel, please identify yourself.”

John activated the radio, “This is Private Vessel ‘Angel’. We are on a courier job to Turok. We’ve sustained heavy damage including our thrusters.”

“This is Admiral Johnson of the Elysium Navy. We will send a small repair crew over to you to get you on your way. Per the anti-pirating laws, you are welcome to any equipment you can salvage from the three ships while you wait for the repairs to be completed.”

“Thank you Sir. We’ll be here.” John switched from the radio to the intercom. “Tyler, what is your status?”

Dani’s voice came on next. “Uh, Sir… Tyler’s been shot. He didn’t make it.”

John couldn’t respond. Did he just hear her right? Had his best friend been killed on the ship’s maiden voyage? Timmy responded on the radio, “Dani, can you go ahead and take care of the body for us please, the Captain is going to need a minute. Jane, you can I can go salvage the wreckage.” Timmy got up and began to walk out of the cockpit. On his way out, he gently placed his hand on John’s shoulder, and then continued out the door.

John barely realized the next few hours had passed until Timmy came back in the cockpit. “Sir the wreckage has been salvaged and out equipment has been fixed enough to get to Turok. Should we continue on?” John looked up and nodded.

The hours continued to pass. John wasn’t sure how long it had been, but they finally arrived at Turok. John finally gathered himself together enough to finish out the job. He got up and headed out the cargo door. He pulled out his Nessig and signaled that the package had been delivered. The estimated time for the androids to pick it up was another hour, but the funds were paid for the job.

John pulled up his account balance. There was enough to repair and refuel the ship. John went over to a console on the wall in the hanger. There he input the requests for his ship. It wouldn’t be until tomorrow that the ship would be ready to fly again.

Jane came out of the ship and headed for John, “Captain?”

John looked up at her and nodded.

“There isn’t much in the salvage we need. Some ammunition and basic parts, but other then that, I think we should be able to sell it.

“Sounds good. Sell what you can and then take the night off. Use the funds to rent rooms for everyone.”

Jane pulled out her Nessig and started working on selling the salvage. She walked out of the hangar making arrangements. Dani came out next with Tyler’s body on a stretcher. “Sir. Did you want to say goodbye before I take him to the morgue.”

John put his hand on the bag where the shoulder was and closed his eyes for a second. He lifted his head off of the body and said, “Thank you Dani. You can take him to the morgue.” Dani nodded and pushed the gurney out of the hangar.

John headed out of the hangar so that the repairs could be made. He headed to the elevator and headed to the guest residential level. He booked a room for the night and headed inside. He pulled his holster off his belt and fell in to bed.

The next morning, John got up slower. He showered and put on his clothes and holstered his gun. He knew that he would need to replace Tyler, but was not excited to do it. John pulled out his Nessig. There were a few notifications on it showing that the repairs were completed, the job had paid, and then there was a third one that said Inheritance Paid.

John looked at the last one for a second before opening and reading it.


To John Thatcher, C6P

It is with great sadness that we have come to learn that Tyler Smite, a dear friend of yours, has passed away. Prior to Tyler’s passing, he worked with my office to complete his last will and testimony. Since Tyler had no family or other close friends, he has left all his assets to you. I have taken the liberty of liquidating all of Tyler’s assets and transferring the accumulated funds to your account.

Please contact my office should you have any questions.

Trac Palit, Esq.

John was caught completely off guard. He didn’t expect Tyler to have any assets, let alone give them to him. John checked his account and saw that there was a large deposit of almost 100,000 credits. This was bittersweet news to John. He clicked off his Nessig and headed for the ship equipment shop. He was going to upgrade the ship in case they would get attacked again.

John reached the ship equipment shot and headed inside. There was a short portly man dressed in blue.

The man said, “Hello friend. I’m Tobias. What can I do for you?”

John was looking around the shop as he said, “I need to upgrade the equipment on my Tasel. Its stock with a med bay and 4000 cubed meters of mining containers.”

“We have plenty of upgrades to choose from. Was there something in particular you were looking for?”

“Let’s look at weapons and shields first.”

“Right this way friend.” Tobias led John down some racks to the weapons rack. “Here are the weapons we have in stock. If you have any already and want to trade them in, I’ll give you 25% retail on them.”

“I have two 100MM Gauss Guns right now. I need something that will eat through shields quickly and then tear them apart.”

“Then I would suggest a couple pulse lasers to take out the shields and upgrade your guns to either 200MM or switch to medium grade missiles. If you wanted to trade in your two guns for two pulse lasers and four 200MM it would come to 40 thousand.”

“How about shields?”

“Your stock shield is probably at 100 THz at plus one per ten?”

John nodded.

“I can get you in to a 150 THz at plus ten per ten for 20 thousand.”

“I’ll take all of it.”

“Sounds good.” Tobias punched in the order on his Nessig and sent the invoice to John. John signed and sent it back. “The equipment will be exchanged and installed by morning. John nodded and left the shop, heading back to his rented room where he laid down and went to sleep.


© Copyright 2019 Jordan Gerber. All rights reserved.

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