tagSci-Fi & FantasyThree Square Meals Ch. 005

Three Square Meals Ch. 005


"What was that?" Alyssa gasped.

"We're picking up an emergency distress beacon" John replied over the din of the klaxon. He pushed a button reducing the volume to a much more subdued level.

John looked at the monitor for more information. "It looks like it's a freighter experiencing engine trouble. They need a tow or spare parts."

"Are we going to help them?" Alyssa asked, excited at this unexpected turn of events.

"It could be a trap" John frowned.

"They might be genuine though!" Alyssa replied, eager to ride to the rescue.

John tapped his chin with a finger, looking thoughtful. "Ok, let's be cautious. We can approach under minimal power, so we won't appear on scanners. If they look legit we can help, if not, we pass them by"

Alyssa's eyes shone with excitement as she clapped her hands happily. John smiled at her and rolled his eyes theatrically. "We can't stroll in there naked though, we will need to sort you out an outfit" he said to the delightfully nude teenager.

"Unfortunately someone blasted my outfit into deep space!" She grinned at him.

John smiled right back "I doubt it would have fitted you any more anyway!" he said, admiring her pert bust and shapely curves.

Alyssa arched her back and thrust her chest out, her perfect D cup breasts standing high and proud with no sag whatsoever. "Perhaps so..." she smiled at him, enjoying the attention.

They had a look through John's spare gear. Most of his outfits were much too large for her, sized as they were for his broad shouldered 6'2" frame. They eventually found a form fitting body sleeve, that he would normally wear under a space suit. It hugged the contours of Alyssa's body in most interesting ways, but at least she wouldn't be completely naked.

John then turned toward his weapon locker. "Have you got any experience with firearms Alyssa?" he asked the nubile young woman.

"I've never fired one before, sorry" The teenager replied apologetically.

He pressed his thumb to the lock and the locker door rolled backwards to reveal the racks of weaponry. He looked through the guns trying to decide what would be the most sensible to give to her. He eventually settled on the auto shotgun and made sure it was unloaded before handing it to the girl.

He pressed a couple of buttons on the grip to increase the auto-damper, which would reduce weapon recoil. "It's still going to kick some if you fire quickly" he warned her "so be careful!"

They went through reloading and clearing jams, the best way to hold the weapon and how to use the infrared scope. Alyssa was an eager student and after an hour of intensive training, he felt reasonably confident that she wouldn't shoot him accidentally.

John grabbed a dangerous looking assault rifle and loaded the bullpup magazine with hollow point ammo. You had to be extremely careful firing weapons inside spacecraft, as one stray round punching through the hull could depressurise the ship. Using armour piercing ammunition was asking for trouble, so he hoped they didn't come across anyone unfriendly in tactical armour. He held the high tech weapon to his shoulder and looked through the integrated scope to check everything was fully operational. He donned his own combat gear which consisted of a Kevlar weave jumpsuit with ceramic composite plates to protect his limbs and chest.

They headed back to the cockpit and powered down almost all of the ship's subsystems to keep as low a profile as possible. John let Alyssa plot the course and the darkened ship crept towards the source of the distress beacon.

An hour later and they were close enough for visual contact of the ship transmitting the distress signal. A large old freighter filled the viewscreen, but it seemed that John and Alyssa were not the only ones to respond to the signal. They could see a sleek Terran Federation Corvette had also docked with the troubled freighter.

"Oh, they beat us to it" said a deflated Alyssa.

"Hmm" John replied as he took in the scenario in front of them. "Something isn't right over there".

His finely tuned senses and years of ship to ship combat experience were all warning him that there was danger ahead. John had learnt to trust these instincts, as it was usually his subconscious picking up tiny details that all pointed to something being wrong. As he studied the scene, he realised what had been bothering him. The navigation lights on the Corvette had not been set for a docking manoeuvre, which would be unheard of, considering how most Federation Captain's were real sticklers for protocol. Unfortunately that meant the Corvette was in trouble and John had a certain number of obligations to the Federation, in exchange for some useful privileges. He blew out a deep breath in a long sigh.

"Ok. We're going to have to investigate and I'm sure there's going to be trouble" he informed his young shipmate.

Alyssa nodded in reply, looking wide eyed and apprehensive.

"Don't worry Alyssa, we'll be ok" he said reassuringly. "Just stick close behind me and I'll keep you safe".

John set up the docking solution to connect on the opposite side of the Federation Corvette to the freighter and the Fool's Gold slid silently into position. He led his young companion down to the cargo bay which housed the ship's airlock and they performed a final weapons check before he opened the door seal.

They stepped inside the airlock and John produced a small chrome device from a container on his belt. He hooked up the device and it hummed happily to itself when he placed it on the airlock door to the corvette. After a few moments there was a dull "Thunk" from the door in front of them and the sturdy airlock door rotated upwards, granting access to the ship. He retrieved the device and stashed it back on his belt.

John led the way and it didn't take long to find the first corpse. A Federation marine had been shot in a brief fire-fight in the adjacent corridor. They stepped carefully over the body and headed further into the ship.

The corvette interior wasn't large, consisting of a dozen rooms or so and it only took them 10 minutes to finish the sweep of the ship. They found 15 more dead crewmen and evidence of looting in most rooms. It looked like the crew had been caught by surprise and most of them had been killed during a hostile boarding action.

The only really interesting find was the ship's armoury. This room was sealed behind robust locked doors, which were scarred with the evidence of a number of attempts to blast them open. John hooked up the chrome device again and after a few moments of contented humming, the doors swung open smoothly. Alyssa looked on with a raised eyebrow as he uncoupled the device from the opened portal.

"It's legit, I promise!" John whispered defensively, before leading them in to the armoury and locking the door behind them.

A quick glance through the contents provided some interesting results. They found a number of suits of standard issue Federation body armour, which the crew had not had time to equip. John searched through the suits until he found one in the right size and had Alyssa don the protective gear. He also found some grenades which he carefully loaded on his combat webbing.

They left the armoury and headed to the cockpit. John was looking for the ship's roster and was also interested in finding some more clues as to what had happened, hoping that the answers might be found in the Captain's log. Unfortunately the cockpit had been badly damaged in a fire-fight, the grenade that killed the Captain and the pilot had also ripped through the command console, rendering it a broken charred wreck.

They backtracked to the ship's medical bay, Alyssa following closely behind him. "Why are we going to medical?" She asked curiously.

John had stopped at one of the computers in the medical bay and was tapping away at the keyboard. "Well if I'm lucky.... Yes! I've found the crew's medical logs. This will give us a list of actively serving crew members".

The personnel roster confirmed his fears. There were 18 serving crewmen aboard this Corvette, which meant that three were missing. Almost all the dead Federation crew they had found were men and after a quick scan of the crew listings, the missing crew were all women.

John turned to his young companion. "It looks like they took three women as prisoners" He confirmed, with a grim look on his face. "I've seen what happens in these kind of scenarios before and it isn't pretty. Are you up for mounting a rescue operation?"

Alyssa looked up at him with wide eyes and she nodded her head vigorously.

"This could get very dangerous, so follow all my instructions to the letter" he ordered.

The young girl threw him a quick salute, her face set in a determined expression.

"Ok then, let's move out" he instructed. "Stay behind me and cover our backs. If you see anyone, try and let me know before you start shooting"

They left the medical bay and moved quickly and quietly to the airlock on the other side of the Corvette, the one that was connected to the Freighter. The connecting doors had been left unsealed, leaving the way into the grubby interior of the other ship yawning wide open. The battered Freighter was in a terrible state of disrepair, with wall panels discarded on the floor and exposed power cables showing evidence of crude patching efforts. The corridors were filthy, which made John's lip curl with disgust.

He moved forward, carefully checking each intersection as they moved further inwards. This Freighter was old and battered, but it was also big and it would be easy to get lost in here. He motioned Alyssa to hug the wall a moment and the two crouched in the shadows. He tapped at the computer built into the vambrace on his left arm and a schematic of this model of freighter popped up on the screen. With a few more clicks he marked their current position and the route they would need to follow to leave. John nodded to his young companion and they set off again.

They had still not encountered anybody and John was beginning to wonder where everyone was, when he began to hear the sounds of some kind of commotion up ahead. They moved closer, listening to the sounds of many raised voices shouting raucously. John turned a corner and saw that the corridor to his right opened out to the top level of some kind of cargo bay. He could see dozens of dark figures on the overhead gantries, leaning over railings to look at some scene below. These men were clearly pirates and the baying mob were drinking booze and laughing at the evening's entertainment.

John held his hand palm upright to Alyssa indicating for her to stay right there, before he turned and crept closer to the cargo bay. As he approached the entrance to the room, he was eventually able to see through the transparent gantry floor. The dim flickering from the overhead lights illuminated a hellish scene below.

John could see two broken and violated corpses on the cargo bay floor, while a brutish hulk of a creature lurched around, it's back to him. He watched for a moment as the hulking shape moved to the side and a much smaller figure came into his view. The figure was a woman, clearly terrified, as she desperately tried to ward off the threatening creature with a short metal pole she was using as a makeshift spear.

The Largath, for thats what it was, was slobbering lasciviously while circling the missing crewwoman. Its rippling muscles flexed in its shoulders as it reared backwards and roared, cheered on by the pirates watching from above. The roar revealed that the creature was naked, a burgeoning, bright red, two foot long cock jutted out angrily from its groin, clearly intended for the unfortunate victim it was trying to corner.

John darted back to Alyssa, his presence unnoticed by the distracted pirates. "Two of the women are dead" He briefed her rapidly "We have to move fast if we want to save the last one".

Alyssa nodded silently, awaiting his orders.

"I'll use flash grenades to stun the pirates on the gantries, then I'll take out anyone still moving" he said, outlining his plan quickly.

"I want you to shoot the beast below with your shotgun. It's a big target so should be easy to hit. Just watch out for the woman".

The teenager raised her weapon to her shoulder indicating she was ready and John turned back to face the cargo bay again. They approached quickly in a crouch and he let his Assault rifle dangle on its strap around his neck as he grabbed a flash grenade in both hands. He depressed the timer on each grenade before rolling one along the gantry to the left and another to the right. He had just enough time to grab a third grenade which he lobbed in a graceful arc to land on the gantry opposite.

The pair ducked down, closing their eyes tightly as the three grenades seemed to detonate simultaneously. The room was suddenly filled with different sounding screams as the men reacted to the searing light from the explosives. John took in the chaotic scene before him. Two pirates had stumbled over the barriers and had fallen the 30' drop to the cargo bay floor below. A third was desperately hanging on to the railing to avoid a similar fate. Most of the rest were rolling around on the gantries, clutching their faces in pain. One however was still standing, a burly looking guy with a bulky cybernetic eye. He raised an ugly looking pistol in John's direction as John levelled his own rifle back at the figure.

John's assault rifle chattered, as his three round burst hit the cyborg pirate square in the chest. The figure keeled over, red fountains of blood spraying out behind him. The heavy slug from the pirates pistol hit John in the arm, staggering him slightly. The round hadn't penetrated his armour, but it would leave a nasty bruise. John heard the bark of the shotgun from behind him as his young companion announced her presence.

Alyssa had kept her head down, waiting for the sound of explosions as John had instructed earlier. After the grenades went off, she moved forward to find her target. The Largath was roaring in defiance, it's four eyes blinking rapidly to try and shrug off the sudden blindness from the grenades. She looked through the infrared scope, picking out the cowering form of the woman they were trying to save as she huddled in the corner of the cargo bay. Alyssa focused her attention on the Largath, seeing the blazing bright two foot phallus in her heat sensitive scope.

In the excitement of combat Alyssa made a rookie mistake, holding down the trigger on the shotgun and unloading the entire clip on the target. The recoil made the broad muzzle climb and half the shells sailed harmlessly over the Largath's head. Unfortunately for the hulking creature, the first few rounds had been viciously accurate and its groin was now a mangled red mess. The brutish creature keeled over on its front, squealing in agony.

John shot two more pirates as they struggled to regain their footing, the hollow point rounds painting the walls with copious amounts of blood. He looked over the railing and made eye contact with the terrified Federation crew woman. "Move!!!" He barked, pointing to a stepladder built into the wall to her side. The woman managed to gather her wits enough to stumble over and begin climbing the rungs of the ladder.

The pirates were beginning to shrug off the effects of the grenades and several of them had drawn pistols and were firing wildly in the rescuer's direction. John dropped to his knee, taking careful aim before punching the tickets of three more of the brigands. The last he dropped with a headshot, the man crumpling backwards as his head exploded.

Alyssa could see the woman was struggling with the torturous climb, exhaustion and injuries taking their toll. She was about to climb down to help, when she saw that the Largath had stopped its mad thrashing on the floor and was struggling to stand. It's four eyes focused on the climbing crew-woman, both sets narrowing with hate.

The scared teenager popped out the spent magazine on the shotgun and slapped in another with shaking hands. She realised that if she didn't do something, the crewwoman had no chance. She leaned precariously over the railing, to make sure she had a clear line of sight on the furious beast below. The Largath's heavily muscled arm flailed around, attempting to grasp the climbing woman's leg. Alyssa's finger pulled the trigger as she took careful aim at the creatures head, It's narrowed eyes exploding under a rain of shotgun shells. The beast tottered over to the side, it's ruined head a shattered pulpy mess.

Unfortunately Alyssa's jubilation was short lived as she was hit in the chest by a slug from the pirates. The round deflected off the armour, but the blossoming pain of the impact was enough to make her lose balance and she began to topple over the railing. Just when she thought she was doomed, she was hauled back by a firm grip on her shoulder. As she rolled backwards, she saw John firing his assault rifle one handed at her assailant. The wild spray of rounds caught the pirate across the chest and he was flipped backwards by the impact of the bullets.

Hearing laboured panting coming from just below where she lay on the gantry, Alyssa reached over to grab the exhausted crewwoman. She pulled her up and over the ledge on to the gantry, the woman groaning in pain.

"Help her back to the ship" John ordered from somewhere above, "I'll cover you". He crouched to her side, loading a fresh clip into his rifle.

The trip back to the ship was the stuff of nightmares. The crewwoman was exhausted and badly injured, which meant that Alyssa had to heavily support her as they staggered back along their previous route. They were hounded by the furious pirates and John paused at each corridor intersection to temporarily hold them back with bursts from his rifle. Stray rounds from the pirates ricocheted down the hallways making hugging the walls a deadly mistake.

They eventually reached the Corvette and John sealed the airlock door. "That should hold them for a few minutes" he said, before turning back to Alyssa and the crewwoman, who was leaning against the wall, labouring for breath.

John studied the crewwoman for a moment. She was favouring her left side, making him think she might have some broken ribs.

"Come on, we need some supplies from medical" He stated, before moving forward to gently scoop up the crewwoman in his arms. She moaned into his chest as they headed to the medical bay at a brisk walk.

"Grab that trauma kit please Alyssa" he asked his young companion, when they swung into medical. The teenager darted over to grab the satchel of medical supplies, which she slung over a shoulder. She also grabbed a half opened doctor's bag in her free hand, whilst carrying the shotgun in the other.

John led the way back to the Fool's Gold and they just arrived at the interconnecting airlock when the dull rumble of an explosion reached their ears.

"They must have blown the other airlock" John guessed. "Time to leave".

The trio entered his freighter and he set the wounded crewwoman on her feet, steadying her with one arm. He hit the button on the airlock to seal the door before turning to Alyssa "Help her to the passenger cabin, I need to get us out of here!".

Alyssa moved forward to help the woman as John raced off to the cockpit. He stabbed the button that would disengage the docking clamps and their freighter drifted free, uncoupled from the Corvette. He brought up engine power and the Fool's Gold blasted away into the blackness of space.

John strode into the passenger cabin to see what he could do to help the injured woman. The woman was sitting on the edge of the bed, being supported by Alyssa. John moved closer to see the extent of her injuries. She had deep lacerations on her back, probably from a whip. He gently touched the side of her torso, causing her to gasp in pain, confirming his suspicions about the broken ribs. Finally she had a broken nose and two newly forming black eyes where some evil pirate had smacked her in the face.

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byTefler© 12 comments/ 71479 views/ 78 favorites

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