“What do you mean you’re attached to another ship?” Captain Faro shouted into the communicator.
“Well, you see captain,” Seamus repeated slowly as if talking to a child, “I tried running the blockade, by heading right into the hunter’s Firefly and rolling to the right at the last possible second, but the idiot pilot of the other ship decided to evade in the same direction, and well, our right engine is stuck in their cockpit.”
“So what are you really saying Seamus?”
“Gamer’s Choice is stuck in orbit, sir. I can’t enter the atmosphere even if I could get the ship loose. I just don’t trust flying in planet with a single engine, plus there might be hull damage, and my fish…”
“Yer mean we’re fucking stuck in this shit-hole of a planet—that’s what you’re saying,” interrupted Viper into the communicator.
“As far as me going to get you yes, but before the accident, I managed to force one of the other ships down—I think it was a shuttle. The sensors, if I remember how to read them right, show the ship landed a few miles from your current location.”
“Just perfect,” retorted Faro as he shut down the communicator in disgust. “You’re never leaving that fucking ship again, you hear me Viper! That’s where you should have been in the first place, rather than trying to get yourself blown up down here. Damn it!”
Viper held his tongue, not wishing to point out that it was the captain’s idea for him to come planet-side in the first place.
“Ah, Ta Ma Duh! Not the fooking horses again, Alex, my feet don’t even reach the peddles.”
“Bee-Jway Viper! I swear I’ll tie you to the damn horse and stuff your mouth shut with horse shit myself to keep you quiet! I’m in no mood.”
“Alright, alright,” cowed Viper his arms up in the air as to ward off an attack, “I love the beasts, no worries, Alex, I’ll ride the lovely horse.”
Carson and TNT finished loading the horses in no time and the group headed to the coordinates Seamus was able to decipher from the sensors.
“Let’s hope your lunch-and-learn session on sensors with Seamus pays off Viper or we’re going to be wandering from one side of this planet to the other looking for that shuttle.”
“We really don’t have much choice do we Cap,” TNT chimed in, “If any of those hunters got away, they may be bringing the whole god damn alliance down on us soon.”
After several hours of travel, the group saw smoke rising from the distance and headed in that direction. Soon they found the shuttle about a hundred feet from the trail they were riding on. The shuttle appeared to have crash-landed in a field of tall grass.
Viper, Carson and TNT moved into the tall grass and stealthily approached the ship, cautious to any signs of life. Annie and the captain remained behind to guard the horses.
About fifty feet into the grass, Viper and TNT noticed what appeared to be animal bones. TNT crouched down to investigate while Viper continued his stealthy approach to the shuttle.
“Most likely coyotes,” thought Viper, “With any luck they’ve taken care of any survivors in that shuttle. Damn me to a life of peace if I can see over this damn grass!”
Before he knew what hit him, Viper was swung around in the air, his shoulder ripped open by sharp feline fangs. “What the fook—a lion!” thought Viper in the split second his life flashed in front of his eyes, and screamed “Why does it always have to be me!”
Suddenly all hell broke loose. Lions pounced everywhere out of the brush. Feline roars and gunfire exploded in a cacophony of action, pandemonium everywhere. The lion that got Viper dry humped him while ripping his shoulder open, a horse whinnied in terror as a lion’s claw’s ripped into his side and brought it down. Captain Faro, screamed like a little virgin girl on her wedding night and fired his weapon at a charging lion like its the fooking Chinese New Year.
“Oh no!” Carson yelled, “its got Viper’s horse!”
“At least there is a bright side to all this!” smiled Viper despite being abused like a sex kitten.
TNT got his own lion and brought him down, while Carson shot the ear off the lion on Viper. Either because it was done with him or because of Carson’s shot, the lion let go of Viper and ran back into the brush. The battle was over. So much for surprising anyone on that boat.
As the crew got closer to the shuttle, Viper smelled fuel and saw electrical sparks close to the source. Without hesitation, shoulder bleeding, leg hurting, and a little sore, he valiantly ran into the cockpit and started shutting off systems.
“What’s going on Viper?” shouted TNT as he entered the shuttle. “Oh, don’t worry lad, I got this. Just sit down back there is tha passenger section and take a load off.”
TNT shrugged and headed to the passenger section, “Do you smell fuel?” he shouted back at the cockpit.
“Nah, nah, just yer imagination kid! There’s nothing to worry ‘bout, just have a sit and relax. You’ve had a long day.”
“Wu de Mah!” TNT screamed as a lion pounced at him from the coach section. As Carson entered the shuttle, another lion rushed out from behind another seat. TNT nailed his lion with a fierce hit with the butt of his rifle, while Carson fired his six-shooters at the other.
Viper’s butt puckered at the sound of gunfire so close to dripping fuel, but determined to not be stuck in this shit-hole planet, continued to frantically shut off systems.
Finally, the last of the systems shut off and there was no explosion to be had. The group inspected the shuttle and while its in rough shape, it could be repaired and made ready for space. Annie and Viper get to work on repairs and after several hours of work, thought the ship was space worthy. Not wanting to risk the entire crew, Viper volunteered to wear the only available space suit and do a test flight out of the atmosphere to make sure the ship could handle it. Checking the fuel supply, he determined that there would be enough fuel to do the test.
Viper took the shuttle and it flew well enough, but when he left the atmosphere, his fears were realized. There appeared to be a breach in the hull and the ship was not maintaining life support. Viper contacted Seamus aboard the Gamer’s Choice and asked him to get all the available space suits while he docked on to the side of the ship. Of course, our HOE-tze duh Pee-goo of a captain had only two suits aboard…one for him and the other for Annie.
Viper contacted the captain and told him what he discovered. The crew decided to have Viper inspect the shuttle for more damage and to repair the hull. Several more hours of work and the hull was successfully repaired and one of the landing gear was removed because of heavy damage.
Viper took the shuttle back to the planet, picked up the crew, some lion pelts and the surviving lion TNT knocked out, back to the Gamer’s Choice.
Seamus was excited about having a pet lion to help him guard the ship while everyone was away, and quickly went to work at securing the lion steaks and pelts.
Before long, TNT, Viper and Captain Faro got in their space suits and did a quick recon of the exterior of the hunter’s ship. After some brief discussion on how to breachit, TNT lead the group to the rear of the boat, and hot wired the cargo bay doors open.
The crew entered the ship, and began a thorough room by room search. They found a girl from Whitefall in the hunter captain’s room, chained to the wall, dressed in black leather, and obviously harshly treated. The trio rescue the girl and promised to take her back home…of course, for a price.
The crew continued their recon of the enemy ship and made it to the engine room. TNT and Faro swept the room and deemed it safe. Viper approached the engines for a quick inspection when a 400’ long boa dropped on top of him and began a not-so gentle hug.
“TNT, you fook, you said the room was clear! Why does it always have to be me!” Viper’s muffled yell could hardly be heard. TNT moved in and smashed the serpent’s head with the butt of his rifle and after what seemed a purposely long time, managed to pull Viper out of the coils.
The enemy Firefly seemed in good shape less the gargantuan freaking engine through is bridge.
Viper headed back to the Gamer’s Choice and used his superior piloting skills to pry the ships apart.
The crew decided that they must return to Whitefall with the weapons for Abner and to collect on rescuing the girl. It’s decided to take both ships and to jury rig the Firefly’s cockpit to fly into orbit and land in Whitefall.
Annie and Viper attached an escape pod (a “coffin”) to the Firefly’s cockpit and hooked up life support to it. The crew load up the Firefly with the weapons, mounted the mini-gun on the mule and load it as well on to the Firefly and head to Whitefall.
Viper piloted the ship safely into orbit and headed toward Abner’s’s farm.