tagSci-Fi & FantasyA New Beginning Ch. 07

A New Beginning Ch. 07

byFliccy_sub©

Authors note...

Hello again.

I want to say I'm sorry this took so long. I have had a few upheavals with my family and moving house so things had to take a step back with writing.

That said, I hope you like what I have managed to write and as always I would LOVE some feedback and any encouragement you have to give as it keeps me going. Also ideas are welcome as while I have a plan for this, I do like to hear from you all.

Felicity G.

*****

Two hours before Niles would arrive...

Jessica was elated by her performance with the Dragonfly and Connor, they had melded perfectly and defeated nearly everything thrown at them during the practice flight.

What was even better was the way in which they were working together as a team, Connor was an open book to her now, just as she was to him. They both still had unwanted romantic urges towards each other from the neural link, but now it was a given that nothing like that should happen between them.

In a way, he was her best friend and she was his. They had no secrets from each other and because of that sharing of minds, they understood one another in a way few people could ever imagine or be capable of. They shared their hopes and dreams for the future and Connor was determined to help Jess to be with Choi in any way he could.

Effortlessly they piloted the Dragonfly back onto the port side hanger deck of the 'Jean-Paul' bringing the sleek and deadly vessel to it's resting place. Close to a launch tube, right next to Connor's usual Shuttle.

The grey and black Shuttle looked old and battle worn, dents on its hull and scars in it's paintwork told the story of it's frantic flight to take the 'Lilith'.

Connor left Jess to get changed in the Dragonfly's trooper area as he went to lay a hand on his ship.

"Don't worry old girl, I haven't forgotten you." He said affectionately to the metal bulk that looked heavy and unwieldy next to the Dragonfly.

He turned to a tech who was looking at him with a wry smile. The tech's all knew how weird pilots got about their ships.

"Got it under control Sir, she's ready to fly." The tech assured Connor, knowing that unlike all the other pilots, Connor could dismantle and then put his ship together again.

Connor grinned at Karina Yokenco.

"I know you have Kais, you're the only tech I trust her to." He said. His grin didn't hide the fact his words were true.

She nodded and looked away, his smile always made her a little giddy.

***

Jess jumped down from the Dragonfly's hatch, back in her Marine jumpsuit and boots, HG12 sidearm comfortably back in it's more familiar holster, back on her hip rather than in the pilots underarm sling.

"Conner, when can we launch again?" she asked excitedly.

He grinned at her, liking that she was so enthusiastic.

"Twelve hours... we COULD go earlier, but let's not chance it... Don't worry, the down time will get less as we meld more." He replied.

Jess ran her hand over the hard metal surface of the Dragonfly's wing.

"It's amazing." She said softly, not really talking to anyone but herself.

Conner knew how she felt, the ship was an incredible bit of tech and when you flew one it was like you were part of it.

****

"Clear the way." Shouted a Marine in full battle armour as he and his squad moved purposefully across the hanger, headed directly towards Jess and Connor.

Jess looked over at them as they approached and waited, the Marines looked determined and she had no idea why they were focused on her as they shouldered past numerous techs and mechs.

Conner smelled trouble as they got closer, he itched to draw his HG12 but knew marines.. an action like that would see levelled weapons. Instead he crossed his arms, bringing his right hand close to the underarm holster.

In the lead was Corporal Hallick, he stopped in front of Jessica and eyed her sternly.

"PG, you are under arrest... STRIP off your uniform." He growled out.

Conner stepped forward.

"Corporal... This is Corporal Jessica Davis, she is NOT a PG." he said evenly, his tone hard.

Hallick knew he had to be respectful, Conner was a lieutenant and far above his rank.

"SIR... all PG's are under arrest and to be confined in the brig... SIR." He snapped out.

Conner tried to stare him down.

"I JUST told you... she's NOT a PG, so about face and FUCK OFF." He growled at the corporal.

Hallick wasn't about to give up, he had his orders from Miller and stood stiffly.

"Sorry 'SIR'... But she IS and can't be let loose, Miller's Orders... ALL PG's have to go to the BRIG." He said adamantly.

Jess looked at Connor and gave him a silent thank you which he understood as she stepped forward and unclipped her holster, turning her hip to a Marine and letting him take her sidearm.

"Connor... it's fine, I'm sure it will get sorted out." She said as her HG12 was secured.

Conner stared at Hallick.

"She's a pilot AND a Marine, treat her with respect." He grunted out in resignation.

Hallick nodded.

"Yes Sir... all the respect she deserves." He said with a sigh.

"Tank, Hiro, strip that PG out of Marine colours." He snapped as he stared Connor in the eye.

Connor's hand half moved to his underarm holstered HG12 and stopped short as 13 pulse rifles snapped up and pointed at him.

Hallick shook his head as if he was sad.

"Orders SIR." He said as Jess was forced to strip naked and stood in nothing but bare feet.

"Corporal... you just made the biggest mistake of your LIFE." Said Connors as he held his hands away from his side arm and watched.

Jessica had been free in a way. She had sex with her team and was used to being naked in front of her fellow Marines, yet somehow this felt degrading and she bit her lip as they made her stand naked for everyone to see.

Inside, she knew this was wrong and that she was being abused.

She felt a little broken as she was shoved between 'Tank' and 'Hiro' and made to stand fully naked for the full view of the entire hanger deck crew.

Hallick shrugged at Connor's implied threat.

"I'm a Marine, orders are orders Sir." He replied and then picked up a piece of machine cloth from the deck.

The rag was dirty and covered in grease, but Jess accepted it with gratitude as he handed it to her and let her wrap it around her hips to cover her buttocks and hairless mound.

Connor nodded once, it was far from perfect, but it showed that Hallick wasn't being an asshole.

Hallick turned and made to walk away.

Connor stopped him with an outstretched hand. He kept his tone even and tried to be less aggressive.

"What's going on Corporal? This is madness."

Hallick looked at the hand on his shoulder and then slowly up to Connor's face, meeting his eyes strongly and waiting for the hand to be removed.

Connor sighed and let his hand drop.

"Honestly... I don't know much Sir, Captain Rawlings' PG took a shot at him and we are getting reports of other PG's attacking Captains all over the fleet, nothings clear yet..." he shrugged and let his expression soften a little.

"Jess is one of ours... she won't be harmed." He said quietly enough that only Connor could hear.

Conner grunted and felt a bit of relief, he knew Marines and if one was telling him they still thought of her as one of their own he was willing to let things play out to an extent.

"Okay... thanks... where's Captain Choi?" he couldn't help asking.

Hallick smiled for the first time.

"Choi's with the other PG's, got them all together in the Brig... reckon he's making sure nothing freaky happens, what with his old recon squad as guards an all." He answered.

Connor nodded his thanks as Hallick turned to march his squad away, a barely covered Jessica still between the hulking 'Tank' and the tall whip thin 'Hiro'.

He looked around at the confused faces of the deck crew and pilots and tried to ignore the whispers as he turned to Karina.

"Kais.. make sure the DF's ready to go, fully armed and prep my shuttle too, load her out with RG rounds and see if you can get Life support on both to max out." He said softly enough to not be overheard.

Karina grimaced and shook her head.

"Don't be a Hero AND a traitor... you thinking of running off with HER?" she said, full of jealously and thinking that Connor was in love with Jessica.

Connor took a knee next to Karina as she fumed and sorted through her tool box.

"Hey, it's NOT like that... Jess is a friend and my co-pilot... nothing more." He partially lied to her and himself.

"We both know what the Holy Company is like... this is just a... precaution." He told her sincerely.

"besides... Erm... well, if you want to that is... " he stuttered out, trying to find the right words.

Connor wasn't totally dense and knew Karina liked him. He liked her too and had often thought about asking the irritable and prickly Tech on a date.

Karina eyeballed him and sighed in resignation and a little anger.

"WHAT the FUCK are you trying to say... Sir?" she asked, adding the sir at the last minute, almost forgetting he outranked her.

Connor rubbed the back of his neck nervously, it was an old habit and he hadn't felt this nervous since asking his wife to marry him.

In a rush of words he blurted out the best explanation he could.

"I LIKE you... erm.. as in not just your skills... I MEAN, well that is to say... "

"Oh fuck it... " he swore at himself.

"If things go to shit... will you come with me?" he blurted out finally.

Karina smiled and looked away for a brief moment, it wasn't exactly the way she wanted it or even close to a full confession that he fancied her, it was close enough though and she gave him a smile.

"YES... But don't get us killed." She answered as she rattled a wrench in his face.

He grinned boyishly and held up his hands in mock surrender.

"Like I would... " he laughed out.

She eyed him and sighed, he was a great pilot and really good looking. Only problem was. She understood him and had witnessed his casual disregard for personal safety.

"FINE then, but don't just wait around, go find out what the fuck is going on." She said in a soft hiss as she tapped into the armoury feed and ordered full ordinance for both the DF and his Drop ship.

Connor grinned, he liked the way she was bossing him around and stood up.

"yes Mam" he answered as he turned to go find Choi and get a better understanding of what was happening.

Karina couldn't help but giggle to herself.

"Idiot." She breathed out affectionately under her breath.

******

Karen...three hours before Niles' Fleet arrives

Karen clutched the HG9 in her hand fiercely, still hidden within the folds of her long dress. Her nerves were shredded and she hoped she wasn't going to make a mess of things as she walked onto the bridge of the 'Jean-Paul' and looked around at the busy crew.

Rawlings stood by his tactical officer while directing him to spool up the Lancers again, almost needlessly drumming into them to be ready for anything.

Rawlings trusted his crew, but he was pedantic about getting them ready, especially since he had just had to assign some of his best to the 'Lilith' and swap out the raw cadets he had been given onto his own ship.

Both vessels now had a mix of his own highly trained people and raw cadets. Cadets he hadn't had time to access properly.

"Repairs complete Captain." Reported a duty officer.

"The Lilith' too?" asked Rawlings as he stepped away from tactical and towards his chair.

"Yes Sir... all systems are a go and fully operational." Replied the young petty officer, brushing a strand of her long black hair from her round and slightly chubby face.

His Tactical Officer turned slightly and pointed out that the 'Lilith' was still low on Lancers and only at sixty percent on Gatling rounds.

Rawlings was almost to his chair.

"Didn't we get ordnance at the same time as the Cadets?" he growled out in annoyance, pissed with himself for not checking before they left the main fleet.

Harry Newson shrugged his wide shoulders, he had been Rawlings tactical officer for three years and knew that the 'Jean-Paul' was often stiffed when it came to things like this.

"Yes Sir, standard compliment only... just enough to fill us... Ermmm... but not enough to resupply the 'Lilith' to full capacity." He said formally. Keeping himself professionally detached because he knew he had re-tasked the supplies to ensure the 'Jean-Paul' got a full inventory first.

Rawlings was about to reply when he spotted his PG walking towards him.

"Karen?" he asked, a little puzzled as to why she was on the bridge.

Karen was about twelve feet away from him, not close enough for what she had originally intended, but because he had noticed her she panicked and lifted her arm.

Rawlings eyes widened as he saw her point the small HG9 at him, with time he could have reacted, she didn't give him more than that moment of recognition of what she held.

Karen pulled the trigger and kept twitching her finger on it, firing every round she could in the time she had.

Blood sprayed from his chest from the first round and splattered over the bridge, small dots of it hitting both his tactical officer and COMM's officer.

"FUCK." Screamed Hiller as he dived for cover.

"NOOOOOO." Shouted Rawlings as he was spun to the side.

Miller snatched at his side arm as the PG emptied her mag at Rawlings.

The Chubby faced Duty Officer had only been on the 'Jean-Paul' since Eurasia six, at only twenty one she had never seen blood or been in the line of fire like this. But She ran forward as the first shot was fired and hurled herself between the PG and her Captain, throwing her arms around him as he spun from the impact of the first round and grunting softly as the second bullet slammed through her chest and onward into Rawlings shoulder.

Both fell to the floor as Marine Corporal Hallick tackled Karen, the rest of her rounds hitting the bulk head as he pushed her arm upwards and slammed an armoured knee into her stomach.

Karen retched from the impact of the knee and squeezed off the last round harmlessly as Hallick wrenched her arm around and disarmed her. A leg sweep and an arm lock followed with a heavy blow to her temple. His heavy armoured fist hitting her so hard that her neck snapped violently to the side and she blanked out.

Chaos reigned for a few seconds as Marine medic Taylor ran forward and slammed a nanite needle into Rawlings while Miller holstered his side arm and ran to Rawlings too.

"FUCK ME." ... "what the hell?" ... "is he?"... "nooo... hit bad.. threw and threw... armour piercing rounds."

Numerous voices jumbled together.

"Delany?" ... "Stay with me Delany." Groaned the Medic as he hit her with a nanite needle and looked down at her now very pale face and her cute chubby cheeks, raven black hair a stark contrast.

Miller turned to Hallick.

"That bitch dead?" he growled out after he was sure the nanites were doing their work on Rawlings.

Hallick had a knee on the back of the unconscious Karen.

"No Sir.. want me to?" he asked as he drew his HG12 and placed it at the back of her head.

Miller was tempted and about to give the order when Choi stepped onto the bridge.

"Hold fire Marine, information is what we need." He growled out and then looked at Miller sternly, "That's right... Isn't it SIR." He said to Miller.

Choi had heard the commotion over his COMM's and since he was close by had rushed towards the fire.

Miller frowned and nodded in agreement with Choi's fast assessment.

"Stow your weapon Corporal, check her for any others and get her to the Brig." Miller growled out to Hallick.

Corporal Hallick did as he was ordered, his blood was still pumping fast, but he was calm enough as he slapped a pair of MagCuffs onto an unconscious Karen and searched her for any other weapons.

Lieutenant Hiller was getting to his feet, embarrassed by his reaction to the gunfire, he stepped back to his COMM's station and wiped blood off his readouts.

Marine Medic Taylor ran a Medical scanner over Rawlings and then Delany, noting that nothing vital had been hit with relief.

"The Captain and Delany need to be taken to Medical Sir." He said to Miller. Stowing away his Scanner and leaving the still emptying nanite syringes in both of them. The initial nanites had done their work and the secondary ones were now flowing into the two injured bodies from the syringes reserve tube.

Miller nodded at Taylor.

"Good work Taylor... Team on it's way?"

"Yes Sir... Medical is already alerted." Said Taylor. Hoping they would get here soon, he was a Marine Medic, not a doctor and with it being Captain Rawlings, he wanted to hand over as soon as he could. The responsibility weighing heavily on him.

"Captain Miller... " COMM's officer Hiller tried to interrupt.

Miller was talking to Choi and waiting for the XO to arrive. He didn't hear Hiller's first attempt.

"Captain MILLER." Said Hiller more forcefully.

Miller shot him a look of annoyance.

"What?" he snapped out to Hiller.

"Reports coming in, numerous attacks on ships Captains... over forty so far." Hiller paused briefly, the information was staggering in its implications.

"All by PG's... the PG's are killing us." He said in a slightly unbelieving tone.

*****

General Niles looked out over his fleet. Admiral Ketterick at his side. They had dropped out of FTL a short jump from where the Holy Company had staged their fleet and were making last minute adjustments according to the latest intelligence reports. Reports that could now arrive in real time with no delay this close to the Companies Fleet. Niles's spy network using the best and latest burst transmitters available. Now they could and did inform him how well his sisters little surprise had gone.

Abigale Niles sat in what was rightfully Ketterick's chair and twirled a finger through a lock of her hair as she read the rapidly incoming reports with a mixture of glee and sadness. Happy her plans had worked and yet sad at the cost of what she considered her babies. Many of the PG's she had recruited had been designed by her when she had worked for the company and others were made from her original genetic codes. Codes that she had written and had to leave behind. Often she could recognise he own work when she saw a Pleasure Girl and if not she had the help of a small medical scanner to verify if one had been made using her coding.

Sixteen Captains were dead and numerous others wounded. Some had been unharmed but had suffered losses of at least one crewman. Her brother congratulated her and Ketterick gave her a nod of approval before looking at the man that had basically saved his life.

"Shall we?" asked Ketterick after sending a final few orders to his Fleet. Orders that only slightly adjusted their formation to take into account the accurate information of the way Admiral Jensen had deployed his ships.

General Niles grinned.

"Take us in Admiral." He said with anticipation.

*****

Ketterick gave the order with every intention of honouring his debt to Niles.

He briefly thought back to the moment that had changed his life forever and placed him in this position.

Nearly twenty years ago he had been a highly successful pirate. He paid informants all over six systems and raided through them all with well planned attacks that netted him a fortune in credits and ships. However the end was in sight as the Holy company updated it's vessels and started to equip them with the new and far more effective 'Lancer' torpedoes.

Boarding ships became suicide missions too. Highly trained Marines responded almost instantly to alerts that came from any section where a breach was made. While at the same time the Company expanded it's fleet and started to actively hunt down pirate's in packs rather than lone cruisers sent out in response to raids.

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