Galactic Bounty Hunter Ch. 02bykingkey©
The next morning, on my way to pick up my prisoners, I got to thinking about the piece of shit needle gun I had bought. I was mad at the way it had misfired, the first time I had used it. Since I was spending so much to get into this bounty hunting business anyway, I thought I might as well do it right, rather than use a weapon that might misfire or jam. That could cost me my life.
The first thing I needed to do was replace it. Then maybe I should pick up a few others, also. Stopping at the first gun shop I came to, I went inside to see what they had.
Walking in, I was surprised to see that the clerk was a very pretty young lady. That was very unusual for selling weapons. I asked her if there was another clerk available. This seemed to annoy her.
"I can assure you, Sir, that I can help you just as well as any man could. Just what were you looking for, Sir?"
"Let's start with a pair of quality needle guns, I also need a riot gun, hopefully a twelve gauge that will fire from a drum magazine, and be capable of firing fragmentation rounds. I would also like to look at either a laser rifle, or even better yet, a plasma rifle. Military weapons are preferable but if they are used, it will depend on the condition they are in."
"We have all those guns in stock. The needle guns and the plasma rifle are both military surplus, but are in excellent condition. Unfortunately, the only riot guns we have are new civilian models; but they are of high quality, and are virtually identical to what the military uses."
She set the weapons on the counter, along with ammunition for each.
"We have a firing range out back if you would like to try your weapons."
After taking the weapons out back and loading them all with practice rounds. I was surprised when she picked up one of the needle guns and began rapidly firing. She put all fifty needles dead in the center of the target. That impressed me.
I asked, "Where did you learn to shoot like that? Obviously I was mistaken in thinking that a pretty young lady like you would know nothing about weapons!"
"Six brothers, three uncles, and both parents were all Galactic Marines. I was working with weapons as soon as I was big enough to lift one."
After I had fired all the weapons, I then handed her my credit chip.
"These are all excellent weapons. I'll need holsters for each of the handguns, and carrying cases for the rifles and the riot gun. I will also need half a dozen extra clips and charges for the rifles and pistols. I'd like to get three extra fifty round drums for the riot gun, if you have them in stock?"
"We have all that in stock, except that we only have one extra drum for the riot gun. We do have ten round clips for it, though. They will fit, but we only have four of them. Also, we just started carrying body armor, in case you're interested."
"I hadn't even thought about body armor; but, since I am spending so much as it is, why don't you set me up with two sets?"
And she was ringing me up and taking another big chunk out of my credit chip. She asked. "I saw you bringing some men into the planetary authority yesterday. Are you joining the peacekeepers?"
I laughed and said, "I wouldn't join that bunch of thieves on a bet. No, I'm a licensed bounty hunter."
Suddenly, before my eyes she seemed to change as she looked at me. It was as if I was something that she wanted to scrape off the bottom of her shoe. As she handed me my credit chip back she said.
"I'm surprised. When you first walked in here, I didn't picture you as one of those cold-blooded killers!"
"What the hell do you mean, 'cold-blooded killer'? Yesterday, I brought in seven men. Only one of them was even bleeding, and that was just a flesh wound. Five of them were listed as wanted 'dead or alive'! If I can, I prefer to bring them in alive. The so-called peacekeepers ripped me off of my first reward for the first man, because I had not gotten my license yet. So they just kept the reward to split among themselves.
"After charging me 100,000 Galactic credits for my license, they still refused to pay me the bounty that I had coming to me. Then, after bringing in the second man, they tried to rip me off again, by paying me in local credits and instead of in Galactic credits, which was the posted bounty! The last five that I brought in, were all listed as 'dead or alive'. I went after them by myself, because these guys were too dangerous for your 'peacekeepers' to try to capture themselves, yet you have the gall to call me a cold-blooded killer?"
Looking a little sheepish she said, "I'm sorry. I guess I misjudged you, and put you into the same category as all the rest of the bounty hunter scum that passes through here."
Still mad, I looked at her and said, "You know, in the last three weeks (since I've mustered out of the Galactic Marines) most of the people on this planet have either treated me like scum, or have tried to rip me off. Now, you're a very beautiful woman. Normally, I would have asked you out to dinner, and then... depending on how that went... I would have tried to take you back to my hotel, and fuck your brains out. But I can see, by the way you lump me in with everyone else, that your beauty is just on the outside.
"One last thing... you told me most of the men in your family were Galactic Marines. I was just court-martialed for saving my men, instead of following some asinine shavetail's order that would have got them all killed. What do you think the men in your family would think if they found out how you treated a fellow Marine?"
After saying that, I left the store and headed over to the planetary authority building, to pick up my prisoners. Actually, I was hoping that somehow they had come up with enough to bail themselves out, so I wouldn't have the headache of having to take them to Cyrus Three. Walking in, one of the wise asses from yesterday saw me and said.
"Come to pay another day to rent or are you ready to just turn them over to us. I don't think we'd have too much trouble getting them to Cyrus Three, since we have a government boat heading that way in three days!"
"Nope, I'm here to collect them. I've already got transportation. So I will just turn them in for the reward myself."
"Just how the hell did you arrange that? I happen to know that there are no liners or freighters headed that way! And I don't think your pockets are deep enough to hire a ship?"
"Nope, I didn't hire a ship. I bought one! As soon as I get the prisoners aboard and settled, I'm lifting off."
"Bought a ship? Just how the hell did you buy a ship? I didn't know that there were any for sale!"
"It seems that you were mistaken. Old man Simmons had a tug for sale. I bought it."
"A tug! I know that ship. It doesn't have a big enough life support system for six people to go all the way to Cyrus Three! How do you plan to get there? If you kill them, then that would be murder. Even though they are wanted dead or alive, since right now they are helpless prisoners. It would still be considered murder?"
"Nope, I am not planning on killing them. However, they'll be much easier to handle if I ship them in cold sleep. And now, that ship has six cold sleep pods."
"Cold sleep! But that's dangerous. They could still die in it, or come out of it damaged."
"Yes, it can be dangerous. But face it, these men are all very dangerous, also. Otherwise, why are they listed as 'dead or alive' on the posters?
As we were installing the cold sleep pods, I checked them. They were all of military grade. The military had been using them for years, so the risk should be minimal.
"You're just upset because you thought of another way to try to rip me off. That makes it strike three for you! I'll treat you just like any other criminal. I don't think all these little deals you've got going would sit too well with the higher planetary authorities. So... one more little thing from you... and you'll find what it's like to be taken prisoner. I'll be turning you over to your bosses. So you'd better just take the twenty thousand Galactic credits that you ripped off of me, and try to be happy with that. Because if you try to anymore shit with me, you're going to be in a world of hurt."
I left there, and went back to the spaceport. The first thing I did was to put my prisoners in cold sleep. Understandably, this made them a lot easier to handle. After arranging for fuel and supplies, we lifted off for Cyrus Three.
After the first week in space, I discovered that I did not plan all that well. There just wasn't a lot to do, by yourself, on a three-week voyage. I had read the booklet, and every other thing on board, at least twice. And there were only so many games you could play. With an artificial intelligence beating you all the time, even that soon gets old. I figured that by the time we reached our destination, I would be close to pulling out my hair and going crazy with boredom.
I had listened to my prisoner's confessions several times, planning to turn the confessions over with the prisoners, when I got an idea. I remembered him telling about framing this other guy with a robbery he had done. I saw that there was still a wanted poster on this guy. It wasn't much, just five thousand Galactic credits; but the way I was spending, every little credit helped. My prisoners could stay in cold sleep a little longer without any harm being done.
Once we got to the planet, I would check what information I could find on this guy, and see about capturing him. I would turn him in first, collect the bounty, then turn in the others. I would also submit the confession that I had taped. That would clear this guy, and probably up the reward to me, when I turned in all them. That was the plan, although I doubted that it would work. However, first I had to find this guy, and at the very least clear his name.
After landing on Cyrus Three, at first, all I did was have my ship serviced. While they were doing this, I interfaced with the planetary computers, to find out all the information I could. I found only one man of the name the prisoner had given in his confession. I found that he owned and operated a junkyard, along with his sister, in the very same town where the spaceport was located. He had never been accused of a crime, before.
Thinking about it, and remembering that he was only twenty, I didn't think he'd have enough street smarts to go very far from the places that he knew. I found that most minor criminals would return to places that they knew. So the next step, was to try to stake out the junkyard that he ran with his sister.
On the first day of staking out the junkyard, I was watching Desiree O'Toole. Talk about a walking wet dream! This girl was beautiful, yet also had a 'girl next door' quality about her. Just watching her was an instant hard on. She was tall, about five foot seven, with a perfect hourglass figure.
Just by watching her in the wrecking yard, removing parts and testing equipment, you could tell that she knew what she was doing. I thought she'd look better in the bedroom than she ever would working with machinery, though. However, somehow, I knew that she must be a natural mechanic.
While watching her, I decided she was acting very peculiarly. She kept returning to the house every half hour or so. At first, I thought that she had something cooking, and had to keep going back to checking on it. However, she seemed to be doing it, all day long. I was pretty sure that her brother was hiding in the house. I sat there and watched her throughout the day... mostly, with a hard on.
I hid in an old drop tank, as she let the dogs out for the night. I was ready for this. I had scattered drugged meat for the dogs. I could tell almost as soon as they let them out, that they had picked up my trail. But they also found the meat I had set out. I had laced it with a powerful sleeping drug. Within fifteen minutes, all of the dogs were in dreamland, and I was free to move around.
I waited 'till almost an hour after it was fully dark, and then crept up to peer through the window. The first thing I saw, was Desiree in her bedroom. It looked as though she had just gotten out of the shower, after cleaning up from working in the junkyard.
I knew I shouldn't be watching her, but what straight man could tear his eyes off such beauty. Face it, I'm only human, and it had been a long dry spell. The minute I saw her, I knew I wanted her.
I also knew that as much as I wanted her, business had to come first. I knew that as soon as I grabbed her brother, the last thing she would want, was anything to do with me.
As soon as she was dressed and left the room, I moved to the front of the house, and peered through the window. I saw her with a young man. I could tell from their facial resemblance, that he was probably her brother. He stood about six foot three, and I figured he weighed probably up around two hundred thirty-five pounds. This might be a little harder than I expected. Watching this giant of a man for a few minutes, I tried to decide how to do this, when they both get up and moved to the dining room table.
Remembering how easy it was to catch the others while they were eating, I decided to wait for these two to start their meal. Then I would dart the brother. That should render him unconscious for about an hour, giving me ample time to secure him.
The only trouble I could think of, was how I would handle his beautiful sister. I didn't really want to shoot her. I have been debating with myself on how to do it. I found myself running out of time. They were already eating their supper, and would soon be finished.
Rather than miss my chance, I thought to myself, 'Here goes nothing!'
I shoved the door open with one hand, while shooting him with the other as I came through the door. He immediately slumped in his chair, while his sister came at me like a wildcat. It was all I could do to subdue her. It didn't leave me much choice. I had to handcuff them both, which I did.
After waiting for Daniel to come to, I escorted them both to the peacekeeper's office at the spaceport.
Just as we walked through the front door, the officer on duty looked up and saw my prisoner.
"Oh, no, Danny! You went and got yourself caught to by a bounty hunter. We're sure that you are innocent of the robbery, but since the store's owner insisted on pressing charges, we had to do something. By setting the reward so low, we thought that it was too low to be of interest to any bounty hunters. However, I see we were wrong."
Looking at me in disgust the desk sergeant said. "Give me just a minute and I'll transfer your reward. But I want you to know that you've just arrested one of the nicest people on this planet. You must be proud of yourself!"
As he called for another officer to come lock Danny up, I asked him to wait a minute. I played the recording I'd made of the other guy confessing about framing Danny for the crime that he had committed.
Looking at me, puzzled, the officer asked, "If you knew all the time that Danny did not commit this crime. Why did you go through all the trouble of bringing him in?"
I then explained. "I hate to see such a great miscarriage of justice. If I had not brought him in, Danny would've probably been hiding for the rest of his life. This way, once the evidence has been seen by the judge, he will have a clear name, and a fresh start."
"I can see your point, now. However, it would be a lot easier to clear Danny if we had the real culprit in custody."
"Why don't you get Danny in front of a judge with the new evidence I just gave you. I'll go and collect the true guilty party, along with a few of his friends. I'll be back here in about two hours."
"Just how do you plan to do that?"
"Well, I've already got him and his friends in custody. They are currently resting in cold sleep while I'm trying to get everything lined up to clear an innocent man. At the same time, I want to bring the real criminals to justice."
About an hour later I had explained to Desiree and Daniel just what I had done. They were amazed when we left the peacekeeper station with me 1,750,000 Galactic credits richer, and Daniel a free man without a bounty warrant hanging over his head.
That was five years ago. Now, I was the best of friends with Daniel, and Desiree was now my girl.
Lying, naked, in the arms of an equally naked Desiree, I reminisced about the past.
Desiree looked up at me and asked, "It's been over five years, now. When are you finally going to make an honest woman of me?"
"Make an honest woman of you? Has something happened while I was gone? Do I need to recheck my wanted posters?"
She laughed, and hit me on the shoulder.
"You know what I mean. You need someone to take care of you, not just shack up with you every time you get the urge."
"Take care of me? Did you learn to cook or something while I was away?"
I could see that she was really starting to get pissed, so I started laughing and said, "I'm just teasing you, honey. You know that you're the main reason I picked Cyrus Three as my home base. I'd ask you to marry me in a minute, but later you'd know that I'm trying to save up for a better ship.
"The old tug has done a great job for these five years, but you know that to really bring in the larger bounties, I need a lot better ship... and preferably one that is well armed. So I just can't afford to be married yet."
Giggling to herself, she said, "After you make love to me again, and give me several more orgasms, we'll go out and let you take a look at my dowry."
She rolled over, mounted me, and then proceeded to fuck me until I was too weak even to sit up.
Finally, after about an hour of rest, she led me around behind the house. She showed me six Mitsubishi interceptors sitting in a long a row, with a small Corvette destroyer at the end of the line.
Gesturing to the ships, she said, "Well, Tom, what do you think of my dowry, now?"
After gawking at the ships for a minute I said, "They're pretty nice, but what are you going do with them? The interceptors are designed for a crew of ten. I know that most of the crew can be automated, but you'd still need someone in the engine room, and someone on the bridge to be able to fight and maneuver it properly! And as for the destroyer, it needs a minimum crew of a hundred and fifty. How did you and Dan afford them, anyway?"
"It seems they were having a big government surplus auction. Dan and I went, and it seemed that somehow the notices of the auction didn't get distributed correctly. We were the only ones there. We ended up with all these ships, plus a lot of other surplus items, for their price as scrap."
"That's a great deal, but how the hell did you and Dan come up with the credits it had to take, to buy all of this, even as scrap? It would have had to take up to several million Galactic credits? I know that if you sold the whole junkyard, there is no way that you could come up with that much, so just how did you do it?"
While staring at the ground she said. "Tom, I kind of used the money that you are saving to pay for them. However, look, Tom! One of these interceptors would make you a hell lot better ship than what you can afford with what you had saved. Plus, if you'll look at the end one you'll see that I have been making a couple of improvements to it."
Looking at it closer I saw that the engine nozzles were larger than the other interceptors, and that it seemed to have to aft facing missile tubes along with four forward missile tubes. I couldn't tell any more from the outside just what other changes had been made.
I then said, "That's quite some ship. I can see it is nice, but that isn't going to change the fact that even with almost full automation, it still takes at least two people to operate it: one on the bridge, and one in engineering. I'm only one person, so that leaves out my using one of the interceptors."