04 July, 2010

On the New Frontier...Chasing Darkness Part IV

Day 7
     Jumping out of hyperspace, I entered an asteroid field.  Following the guide beacons, I settled into orbit around a large asteroid.  The data I acquired indicated this spaceport belonged to the Free Trade Guild.  Hopefully, I thought darkly, this meant I would not have to worry overmuch about people looking for me.
     Scanning the spaceport, I scanned the place intently.  Finding a clear location, I teleported myself down, glad my luck held.  No one noticed my arrival, and no alarms sounded.  Smiling, I set off for the nearest trade shop, in search of gossip and rumor.
     In minutes, I located one.  Entering the dim confines, I noted several other beings.  Dialing my forcescreen to maximum intensity, I poked about the place.  Looking through trinkets and artifacts, I became conscious of one of the beings following me.  Groaning lightly, I freed my ion blaster from its holster.  Drawing a breath, I waited, not wanting to initiate hostilities.
     The sound of projectiles being fired caused me to leap into the air.  Diving for cover, I happily realised I was not being shot at this time.  Coming up behind a battered crate, I peeked about.  Watching gunfire and knives flying, I yanked out my ion blaster.  Hearing a scream, I saw the creepy being who tailed me through the shop, pinned to a wall.  A tall girl stood before him, tagging him with a device.
     Smiling anew, I found myself struck by the girl's appearance.  Tall and redheaded, she appeared humanoid and damn attractive.  Snapping myself out of staring, I rose and continued my investigation of the shop.  The scanner hummed merrily, recording every detail.  Satisfied, I strode out of the shop, biding farewell to the keeper.
     Once on the street, I wandered aimlessly.  Try as I might, not an idea of how to proceed presented itself.  Skipping past thoughts of how to return home, I could not even fathom how to precisely survive in my current location.  Not one contemptible thing amounted to any form of sense.  Mood darkening, I searched for a spot to contemplate.
     Finding an observation deck, I entered, delighted no one was about.  Striding the the glass, I stared off into the alien space and asteroids.  Perhaps, I mused bitterly, revelation would just present itself in these blasted stars.
     "Would you mind explaining what you are?"
     Cringing, I revised my estimate of safety downwards.  In the reflection I could dimly make out a figure behind me, cutting off obvious escape.  Playing nonchalant, I said coolly, "I am afraid I am not following your question.  Mere trader am I, humbly scraping out an existence."
     The female voice behind me wasted no time.  "Acting suits you not my friend.  Again, "a fine edge colored her voice, "would you mind explaining what you are?"
     Sighing ruefully, I turned to face my questioner.  To my astonishment, the redheaded girl from the shop studied me.  Tilting my head, I spread my hands.  Waiting for a count, I said sincerely, "My fair lady, I am nothing more than a lost traveler looking for a way home."
     Flinching under the unfathomable gaze, I stood my ground.  I lost count of how long we stood there, before she casually flicked a wrist.  Puzzled when nothing occurred, I opened my mouth to speak.  Another wave of her hand stopped me, trying my patience.
     The door behind her opened.  Her senses and reflexes better than mine, she already had hit cover before I noticed an object bouncing into the room.  Exploding, my forcescreen took the blast, the kinetic force tossing me against the observation window.  Sliding down to the floor, I jumped as projectiles blasted at me.  Angry now, I ripped out my ion blaster.  Dialing in to maximum intensity, I fired at the offending wall where the shots came from.  A pair of gurgling screams later, no more fire issued forth.  Looking about, I spotted the women on the floor, a trail of jade blood behind.  Hearing shouting and klaxons, I grimly tapped commands into my palmputer.  Kneeling beside the woman, I activated the teleport, removing us both from potentially bad explanations.
     Onboard, I dragged the barely conscious woman into the medic booth.  Laying her on the table, I hoped the bloody thing could do something for her.  I sat impatiently, tapping feet in alternating rhythm.  No doctor, the readings puzzled me, but the basic diagnostic stated the bleeding and shrapnel had been removed.  Assuming that constituted good news, I waited for her to regain consciousness.  tiring of staring at her form laying on the medic table, I retreated to flight control.
     Punching commands, I shifted the Stellar Rush to a position affording easy escape.  Sitting, my thoughts returned from the place they bolted to in a crisis.  Feeling depression kick in again at the tangled mass of questions, I leaned on my hands.  My thoughts mocked me, the puzzle stretching to an infinity of stars.  Each piece seemed further and further away, eluding me.

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