Hellhawk – Episode 17

< Back to Episode 16

Date: 1601110 through 1751110

Location: Where the crew having left Walston, get to know each other and the Urutu. The ship sets course to Flammarion and stops at Faldor, a small backward planet, for refueling along the way. As they enter Flammarion space trepedation is thick and expectations are high.


  • Martin Clairmont (Pete Cooney) – Security – Marine Lieutenant C65645 Age 30
  • Gaetan Boucher (Billy Lenoir) – Engineer/Navigator – Retired Navy Captain 835B8F Age 46
  • Drusill Telyn (Robyn Nixon) – Pilot – Navy Lt Cmdr 3455BB Age 42
  • Steac Malabru (falcores) – Captain/Owner Hunter 9A88B8 Age 42
  • Kafla Thingvellir (npc) business executive Age 48
  • Shaki Khuudaarma (Vargr?) – Commander – A79798


  • Kninaae ‘Chief’ Saghzror (npc) – Second Officer and Chief Engineer – 685845
  • Hephestus ‘Hep’ Tsizkaear (npc) – Engineer’s Mate – 796766
  • Taezllo Ouzra (npc) – Navigator – 565976
  • Ensign Asheaar Kamidaa (npc) – Pilot – 796778
  • Urkoksou Kharrghse (npc) – Security Detail – 89A654
  • Gzanggvek Kangso (npc) – Security Detail – A89565
  • Lloa Kferr (npc) – Steward – 123456
  • Azkorr Kferr (npc) – Steward – 123455
  • Director Earla (npc) – Administrator – 5A799D

Scene 1

Dinner, Day 3

Having jumped into hyperspace heading toward Faldor, routine is quickly established by the entire crew. A week of discussions and meals give a person plenty of time to get to know each other.

Martin spends several hours early in the voyage with each new crew member, getting a feel for who they are. He privately expresses his concern to Steac and Gaetan about having so many new crew on board with so little screening.

Martin gives Chief the easiest interview, though he does question the older man conversationally about his political and religious background.

Chief has very few strong opinions. He sees politics being above his station. He does have religious beliefs that he shares with some hesitancy on questioning. His one love appears to be equipment. Any time conversation touches on engines or repairs his encyclopedic knowledge is evident. Martin soon bonds a bit with the old fellow over a love of gadgets, particularly weapons.

He grills Hep pretty thoroughly, less because the fellow turns out to have any revolutionary tendencies and more to establish a notion of pecking order in the young Vargr’s mind. He gives much the same treatment to Asheear, but actually asking this fellow more substantial questions to determine what really motivates the fellow.

Hep lives in Chief’s shadow. It’s hard to get Hep separate from the Chief for long enough to ask him a few questions. He seems to refer anything he’s not sure of back to Chief. He does express some interest in how things will turn out on Walston, now that there are more opportunities for Vargr there. He doesn’t seem to see the preceding years as being particularly hard and is on the whole an optimistic young man. He does allow it to slip, to his own embarassment, that he has a young Vargr girl-friend back on Walston. Late in the week, when some of the repair work has died down, he is struck by feelings of home-sickness.

Asheear is harder to read. He gives short answers to most questions. He does seem a little hesitant about answering questions about his politics, but Martin can easily divine that Asheear isn’t too happy that the Vargr have been given more freedom. It’s not that he begrudges them their freedom, he feels it diminishes his opportunities. He holds these cards close and doesn’t seem open to sharing his opinions on this. On a positive note, he does seem to be warming to Lloa, but the the way to a young man’s heart, was always through his stomach. Partially to humor himself with a bit of irony and partially as a precaution, Martin has Urko watch Asheear discreetly periodically and report back to him.

As it turns out, Martin takes a liking to Taezllo. He appreciates the fellow’s detail-oriented personality and takes it a bit easy on the fellow.

The kitchen staff get a particularly grueling questioning by Martin, as he intends never to have to ask them questions again. The two are obviously in love. It’s difficult to separate the two of them. They have been together long enough, that they often finish one another’s thoughts. They answer any questions asked very honestly and with a sense of seriousness.

Lloa is very motherly to everyone she meets. She often answers questions about herself with questions, and ends up discussing the concerns of the questioner. She expresses concerns about Martin’s diet and seems concerned about a visible scar on the back of the neck, wincing when he flexes the muscles and asking him if it gives him any trouble. Azkorr seems much like Lloa, only quieter and more fatherly. He eventually tells Lloa to stop asking Martin about the scar on his neck. “It’s obvious he doesn’t want to tell you how he got it,” he chides her.

Urko and Gzang are then called into the mess hall and have a long sit-down with Martin. Martin hands them a hitherto-un-seen security schedule and gives them their orders just as if they were in the Marines. The Vargr seem a touch taken off guard by this discipline but soon snap into the routine that Martin gives them, particularly as he rebukes them in low tones a couple times when they are somewhere besides where their schedule dictates.

Finally, Martin gives the Director only a polite interview, but then proceeds to keep an almost constant eye on the fellow, giving the excuse that he’s the “ship bodyguard.” The director is the most difficult to interview. It’s difficult to get more than short responses, like “Yes”, “No” and “Maybe”. At one point during the interview, he corrects Martin on his questioning technique. Telling him he should have asked some questions in a different order, so as to trap him in a lie, were he inclined to give false answers. The Director indicates he did not give any false answers, but the questioning would be more effective in that case.

Lloa and Azkorr have quickly put the crew of the Urutu into a routine of meals. Generally the whole crew eats together in the crew lounge. Lloa and Azkorr have decided that everyone should eat together, unless there is some reason for separate meals. Their fine cooking has put almost everyone in a fine mood, except Martin, who once or twice finds something odd in his meals at first, no doubt due to the “entertaining” interview earlier.

One exception is Gaetan. He is at first very distant but attempts to distract himself, by throwing his effort into the continuing repair work on the Urutu. He assists Chief and Hep with a quite long list of minor repairs to the ship. He has on more than one occasion lost his temper and shouted at Hep and even once at Chief. Chief was quick to set Gaetan straight on some minor technical point and Gaetan later apologized, but it’s been a difficult few days for him.

Director Earla has been mostly absent from all crew gatherings. He will occasionally appear at a meal when Lloa’s requests it, although he remains quiet.

Urko and Gzang have been spending much of their time in sparring to keep themselves in shape and following Martin’s routine, which they perform very efficiently, leaving them with plenty of free time. During their free time, they usually push the tables and chairs to the side in the crew lounge and end up wrestling on the floor, until Lloa makes them rearrange the area for a meal.

Three days into the journey at dinner, Chief asks at dinner, “Will we have enough time at Faldor for me to flush the coolant system on the emergency power system? It will delay us about 6 hours, but I’m not happy with some of the readings on system efficiency.”

Urko and Gzang ears perk up “Hey that would give us enough time to do a quick hunt for fresh meat for the table. Captain Malibru, could you organize a quick hunt for us on Faldor? We would love to see some of your techniques.”

Martin raises an eye. The thought of losing his “crew” doesn’t seem to wash well with him on first look.

Steac stops and thinks for a little bit “Well six hours isn’t going to delay us much, and who knows if we might need that when we reach Flammarion. Gaetan, we didn’t even have a reserve power plant on the Hellhawk, did we?”

Gaetan answers, “Yes, that’s true. The power distribution systems are much different on this ship than the Hellhawk. Design principals have changed some, since that ship was built. It’s similar to an old Escort ship I served on once. It was retired after that tour of duty. I don’t know why the Chief is concerned about that reading, most of the systems on this ship are out of spec, or in need of overhaul. I’ll trust his judgment on that.”

Steac says “Gaetan and Chief, take care of it when we land. Can we refuel while you guys are doing it, or do we have to shut down completely? Otherwise, let me look at the xeno-database and see what we could hunt on this planet. Who wants to stretch there legs and go a hunting?”

Martin shrugs. “Well, if you’re goin’, I’m watching your back. And I guess that means U and G can go, too.”

While Urko and Gzang seem thrilled at the chance to get off the ship on an alien world, Taezllo and Asheaar politely pass on the opportunity. It seems they are not the “hunting” type. Lloa and Azkorr seem interested in the new opportunities alien food stuffs will provide, but their place is with the ship. Director Earla, who is attending dinner at Lloa’s request visibly shudders at the thought. He says, “I’d rather be roasted in the Celepinan Oven.” He quickly collects his plate, cup and ever present briefcase and disappears into his cabin.

“Hhmmm…I would not mind giving this hunting sport a try.” Shaki states. “I read a few stories of safari journeys when I was a kid and always dreamed about doing the same back then; but Walston was sorely lacking in game…good fishing, yes. but nothing outside the seas, unless you fancy swatting insects.”

Martin grins. “Well, then, time to live for that new horizon or somethin’ like that.”

Drusil looks up “I’m going to supervise the extraction of the sea water refueling and make sure that the fuel purification is working well, since this is the first time we have used them. I’ll make sure we are topped off before we have to leave.”

That means Steac, Martin, Shaki, Urko and Gzang will be going.

Taezllo takes the opportunity to go to the computer terminal in the crew lounge. He calls up the available information on the Faldor system on the Wall-Screen in the lounge.

Taezllo calls up statistics about the world first:


Diameter: 9,378km

Orbital Period: 1160.9 standart days

Average Main Distance: 386,000,000 km

Axial Tilt: 17 degrees

Atmsphere: Pressure 2.2, 79% Nitrogen, 17% Oxygen, 4% other

Gravity: 0.64 Standard

While outside the standard orbit for a habitable world, Faldor has a greenhouse effect that makes it comfortable for human habitation. The atmosphere while breathable is tainted by an airborne disease that makes filter masks a necessity, unless regular doses of a local medicine are available.

A single natural moon called Diloran.

Diloran: Diameter 1810, orbital distance 56,270km, 72 hours orbital period.

The human population is estimated to be slightly above 5 million, divided among several nation-states. The states are continually at war with one another. There is a sentient race native to Faldor called the Otarri. These creatures are very reclusive and inhabit only the most remote areas. Martin makes a point of getting information about the Otarri to everyone in the crew, not just the hunters. “No hostile actions against one of these,” he tells everyone, “unless we’re provoked first.”

The system was until recently an amber-zone. Off limits due to studies by Imperial anthropologists. This restriction was lifted recently and a very small amount of trade has begun with this system, although this trade has been limited due to the xenophobia of the native population.

The tech level of the system is limited to late medieval earth (c.a. 1400). This allows the use of gunpowder for cannons and very limited use of smaller weapons.

There are no landing or repair facilities in the system.

The map of Faldor in the database, is suprisingly simple. There are no references to population centers, suggested landing sites or other details. Just a simple overview of the landmasses.

Martin scowls. “This is crap. How do we know where not to go when hunting?”

Tazello then seems to stumble on a news article of interest. It references the “Tapperheten Incident”. The article from last year, tells of the Zhodani Heavy Cruiser Tapperheten that was discovered and destroyed in the Faldor system by an Imperial Patrol. No other details or explanation of the event is given in the article from the Imperial database, but several other sources give editorials or speculation about the event and ask why the Tapperheten was in the Faldor system. Most speculate that there are Secret Zhodani bases sprinkled throughout the sector, including in the Faldor system.

“Now remember this isn’t a tourist stop and there shall be no contact with the local population.” Steac commands “We can set off beside one of the small uninhabited islands rather than the continents. I would have much preferred to skim a gas giant, but this system doesn’t have one. These people seem a little xenophobic, but a small island should be good hunting for some small rooter/herder beasts. A lot of people state that they typically taste like pork.”

Martin nods. “Arright. And everyone remember: don’t shoot at one of these.” He holds up the printout of the Ottari again for good measure.

To reinforce this idea Lloa, very stearnly, with arms crossed says, “What ever you do, DON’T BRING one of those back to my kitchen.”

Martin grins. “But what if he’s hungry?”

Azkorr snickers behind Lloa, but quickly hides it when Lloa turns to give him a menacing look; as she turns away from Azkorr she winks at Martin.

Arrival at Faldor

After seven days in Jumpspace, the Urutu emerges in the Faldor system. The sensors quickly take in the space traffic in the system. For a system that is so remote and low tech, there is considerable traffic in the system. Approaching the jump point where the Urutu just emerged is a Jump ship, without cargo.

In addition, there is a partially complete space station orbiting the planet. This station is broadcasting some type of message.

At Gaetan’s instruction, Taezllo quickly calls up the message that the station is broadcasting. It appears to be on a loop and repeats in several languages: “This station is the property of Sharuyshid LIC. Do NOT land here. Any unauthorized landing or attempted landing will be construed as hostile and punitive measures will be taken.”

Martin squints and frowns. “What in THE hell….”

Gaetan suggests, “Not uncommon for unmanned outposts to broadcast instructions. Insures everyone knows the rules. Who knows why Sharuyshid is building here? It’s difficult to know the reasoning behind Mega-Corps at times. It’s certain that they see profit somewhere in this system.”

The Urutu is currently 800,000 km from Faldor, the safe jump distance from a world of its size. It will take a little over two hours to reach orbit. Taezllo indicates he has a course programed to put the Urutu in orbit around Faldor. He and Asheaar are awaiting instructions.

Steac points to the map, and gives coordinates for a secluded little bay on an island far from the main continent. “Ok, we will do a scan to ensure that there are no inhabitants on the island or signs of habitation, and sit down in that lagoon. Make sure our entry path and orbit come no where close to the orbital facility. Scan for any other communications and any attempts to contact us. Got that?” Steac looks at his bridge crew. “I want no contact with locals or other parties. We are in and out.”

Gaetan, Asheaar and Taezllo consult pouring over the sensor images and pointing out various features of the planet. They eventually arrive at an agreement and turn to the captain.

Gaetan begins by calling up a map from the sensors and says, “Captain, most of the human settlements cluster around the rivers of the planet. If we avoid the rivers, we should not encounter many humans.” He points to an island on the display and continues, “Here is an island near the equator, several hundred kilometers off the coast of the main continent that should be far from any human activity. This will be a safe place to refuel and conduct the repairs.” He points further north and says, “Here is a forested region about 2,500 km to the north, away from the larger rivers, that should be an excellent hunting spot. I don’t know what schedule you intended, but we can drop the air/raft and anyone that’s going on the expedition on the way in. If we use a polar insertion orbit, we should safely avoid the equatorial orbit of the space station. Given the altitudes and longitudes, we should be within communications range. Does this sound agreeable?”

Martin defers to Steac.

Steac starts “Should we be be doing two seperate landings? I would be more comfortable to land as a crew as this is our first one! The safari is a simple excursion to keep those not busy with refueling occupied. I expect us to hunt on the island we land on. I don’t want us on seperate continents if we have to bug out!”

Steac concludes “Make is so gentlemen, I have no patience for dilly dallying at this point. We have had enough of that in Jump space.”

Gaetan consults the maps again, with the assistance of Asheaar and Taezllo.

Gaetan says, “I had hoped to avoid bringing the Urutu down in a wooded area, but there are several islands to the far south where we could refuel the ship and hunt in the same area. Here’s the close up of the area.” He calls up a close view.

Gaetan continues, “I would suggest the island the furthest east. That keeps us away from the human habitation.” Gaetan gives the idea a few moments to sink in, then mumbles, “Silence is Assent.” and instructs Asheaar and Taezllo to begin the landing.

Martin starts a bit at this. “Hey, don’t go speakin’ for me when I’m not speakin.” He looks a bit pleased with himself after that double entendre.

About 3 hours later, the Urutu is in a slow orbit around an island in the southern ocean of Faldor. The island is about 50 km from end-to-end at it’s widest.

Gaetan instructs Drusil and Ashear to land the ship, in the bay, near the lagoon at the center of the island. Within a few minutes, Dru sets the ship gently down in the water, to float in the bay. As the whine of the main thrusters dies down, Gaetan announces, “We’re here. We should all begin our tasks. Dru, if you’ll help me, we can begin the refueling. Chief and Hep can begin the repair work and those going hunting can leave when they are ready.”

Drusil starts the pumps that suck in the water into the purification plant, shunting out the various impurities, animals, and plankton that are not needed back into the water of the other side of the ship. The purification plant kicks in separating Hydrogen from Oxygen, replenishing both the onboard environmental system and the power plant fuel cells.

Hunting Expedition

Members of the crew begin readying the ships boat (air/raft?) to begin a quick survey of the island, before forming up the hunting party on the beach. Steac stretches his legs on the beach sand, getting his bearings and calibrating his comp/sensor, scanning for life signs in the area. “Get your weapons and load up everyone it looks like Moosuid hunting. Load up with Large calibre.”

Martin pulls out a rather nasty-looking rifle. “Do you want anything left of mine, or can I use this?” The rifle looks capable of blowing the snot out of even the biggest Romp-Rat.

After the sensor sweeps of the planet and more detailed scans of the island, Steac understands a little about the fauna of the island. There is no human or Otarri habitation of the island. There is evidence that humans occasionally visit the island, and some abandoned rudimentary structures, but it appears to have been years since the last visit. Given the relatively low gravity and dense atmosphere, Faldor has developed a very diverse aerial population. Some of the birds are surprisingly large by earth standards. Unfortunately this island with it’s location near the pole, is home only to a few smaller bird species, many of them aquatic. There are also a few smaller ground dwelling and tree dwelling species and small predators to match. The species that catches Steac’s attention is a cross between a large moose and a wild boar. It is large and quick to avoid some of the larger predators on Faldor. Large males can occasionally reach 200kgs. Its primary diet is plants and roots. It has a distinctive set of horns and antlers, and would make a nice addition to Steac’s trophy lounge. It is known as the Faldorian Moosuid.

The sensors indicate a group of these animals, clustered around a watering hole about 2kms up the valley that divides the two sides of this island. It will be difficult to land the air/raft in the immediate vicinity, but there is a clearing about a kilometer above the animals in the same valley.

Steac tells everyone “Bring your hiking boots, energy bars, and lots of water. We will be hiking a bit to get to the animals hunting grounds. We are going to head up valley from them to allow us the high ground.”

Even through the filter-masks, the air is fresh and clear. It is an enjoyable change after being cooped up on the ship for the past week. The short, 3 km air/raft ride up the valley is quiet. Urko and Gzang enjoy being in the open air and off the ship. They are quietly noting every new thing they see to one another, in the language of the Vargr as is their habit. They occasionally look to Shaki, as if they are afraid they will be in trouble. They are unfamiliar with hunting, so they also watch Martin and Steac for clues to what they should be doing.

Martin is careful, while piloting the air/raft to take a route that does not fly the air/raft near the clearing. He avoids spooking the grazing animals.

The clearing above the watering hole is covered in low ferns. The ferns rustle as the air/raft approaches as if some small unseen animals scurry about. At the edge of the clearing, the ferns become taller and more tree-like, if that’s possible, with thick trunks that stretch up 10 to 15 meters to a canopy above. As the air/raft touches down, a large flock of small birds startle and fly away. Even in the confusion, Martin is able to safely land the craft.

As the noise of the engines whines down, everyone notices the beauty of the strange landscape, and now they hear the quiet that is difficult to find aboard ship.

Urko and Gzang hold their weapons ready and crouch waiting to spring from the ship. Their eagerness is difficult to miss. Martin nods at Steac. “Ready, sir?” he whispers.

Steac directs Urko and Gzang to proceed down the flanks of the valley. “Try to stay as slient as possible. The remainder of us shall proceed down the center of the valley, toward these readings. Is everyone’s earbud coms working?” Steac had issued short range com devices to everyone (earbuds and throat mics) . “Remember no one rushes forward unless directed. Keep you eyes peeled. I want everyone in position before anyone shoots. So no firing until I give the clear or your life is in danger.” Steac double checks his hand scanner to re-orient himself to the life sign readings. He communicates with Martin and the remainder of the hunters via hand signals, marking the direction that they should follow him. He demonstrates by example where to walk and how to travel silently, looking at everyone to make sure they understand. He turns off the audible channel to the ship, setting the alert to vibrate.

Urko and Gzang listen intently to instructions and are eager to get into the underbrush. Once instructed to move forward, they disappear into the foliage. Urko down the left flank and Gzang down the right flank. Even knowing where they are, it’s difficult to spot them. If they are making noise, no one in the group hears them, although once along the way, there is a quiet noise of something falling off to the left. Perhaps dead limb, or some precarious rock. Almost immediately Gzang’s quiet voice is heard on the comms, not in Vargr for a change, “Why don’t you tromp a little more quietly Urko. We’re supposed to sneak up on the Moose, not wake it. I think you’re going to owe me 20 credits.”

After a short walk, through thinning underbrush, there is a break in the fern-trees, and everyone sees the light reflected off small quiet pool. There are several smaller Moosuid, on the near side of the pool, wading quietly and eating from overhanging vegetation and rooting in the muck. Judging by the sizes, there are two females and several juveniles. On the other side of the pool, are several similar animals, in addition there is a much larger specimen with very large antlers, horns or whatever they are named on this animal.

All of the animals appear to be oblivious to the approach of the group, until one of the closer juveniles turns quickly and looks off to the left of the group, in the direction of where Urko should be.

Steac whispers into the microphone “Martin, show me you can take the big boy, I want the antlers for the trophy room, Gzang, you are Martins backup, if his shot does not take it down, shoot for the neck. Urko take down a juvenile for its meat, thats dinner tonight.” Steac aims for lead bull, just in case his two proteges miss. “On my mark….”

<acknowledgements (can be simple like clicks)>

Urko and Gzang are already prone and aiming at targets. They acknowledge the orders with quiet responses, shifting their aim points appropriately.

Martin is prone, using the ground to steady his body and aim. He take full measure of each of the beast, but sights in the Big Bull, ready to respond to Martin and Gzangs shot. Ready to add his to the recipe if necessary to bring the beautiful beast down.

Several of the animals take notice, of something, but they don’t bolt. All the animals are watching the trees in the general direction of the hunting party. The females and younger animals all begin slowly moving away, but the lead bull moves forward.

“Three, two, one, Mark” Whispers Steac.

Martin pauses for a long moment–about twenty seconds–and then an enormous roar erupts! His big poni-gun–its massive recoil dampened by the gyro-stabilizer–delivers a massive slug right into the “big rat…”

The large male stumbles and falls, causing Gzang’s shot to miss. The beast is gravely wounded. Urko is more successful. He scores a direct hit on one of the closer juvenile beasts and it falls to the ground. The remaining animals pause for a brief second, surprised, then flee from the clearing. One of the females, pauses at the far side of the clearing, surveying the scene as all the other animals run. She waits until the clearing is empty and they slowly turns and leaves also.

Steac moves forward quickly and examines the two downed beast. Using his knowledge of anatomy of beasts (and the com link to the library database), he aims his weapon at the large male and performs a coup-de-grace to put the beast out of its misery. He then goes over to the juvenile and does the same procedure. “Great job guys!!” Lets get the air-raft over here and take these back to the cargo bay to field dress them out.” He leans down to slit the throats of each animal to bleed them out before transporting them (as much as possible).

Martin pats his poni-gun lovingly. “Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.”

Urko and Gzang follow Steac observing and assisting where requested. They’ve switched to speaking in Vargr again, but it’s very obvious from the gestures they use, that they are describing their shots with some excitement. Urko won the bet they mentioned earlier and Gzang reluctantly passes credits to Urko.

Martin “barks” at the pair. “Snap to it, you two! Help Steac with those carcasses.”

Urko and Gzang stiffen at Martin’s rebuke, like a recruit caught slouching by his drill seargent. Urko starts to salute Martin, before catching himself and stopping mid-salute. They stop talking in Vargr and become more serious about assisting Steac. Both of them make quick glances to Shaki, when they think no one is watching, almost as if they are checking whether they are in trouble with him also. Martin notes this exchange wordlessly and files it away for “use” later.”

Urko watches Steac prepare the animals with some interest at first, but seems to be less excited the more Steac does with the carcasses. He’s looking a little green. Gzang seems unaffected. It becomes obvious to everyone that Urko is having trouble keeping his lunch down. He eventually turns to Martin and asks, “Shouldn’t we go get the air/raft?”

Martin nods stoically. “Agreed. Go get the cart.”

Urko turns and begins walking in the direction of the air/raft. After a dozen steps, he turns back to see if anyone is going with him. Martin turns to Gzang. “Go get the ‘craft with Urko. Go!”

Gzang turns and looks a little shocked. He says, “You want me to get the air/raft?” Urko laughs aloud and catches himself. He wipes the smile from his face, and says to Martin, “He’s never learned to Drive. There weren’t many opportunities to drive on Walston. I’ve never flown an air/raft, but I have driven a ground car.”

Martin rolls his eyes. “No, I don’t want you to DRIVE. I want you to watch Urko’s back when he goes. Go on!”

Urko says, “I understand. We are just going for the sled. We’ll be back in a few minutes.” The two of them continue up the side of the hill, toward the air/raft.”

After Urko and Gzang are gone for several minutes, everyone remaining, hears gunfire in the direction of the air/raft.

Martin starts and looks at Steac. He then tears off toward the raft, poni-gun in hand…

Steac immediately calls out on the radio com channel. “Everyone report in! STAT!” and he anxiously awaits to see that everyone reports in. He grabs his rifle and scanner, beginning readings of the area of life signs.

Urko answers, beginning with a short word in Vargr, then continues in Vilani “Everything’s okay. Everything’s okay. Gzang saw something coming out of the underbrush. He over reacted a little. It’s either dead or gone. I’m not going to check.”

Gzang responds after Urko’s explanation, with a sheepish, “Sorry”.

Steac’s scanner and Martin’s eyes, soon report that Urko and Gzang are about 300 meters up the hillside. They have stopped and are looking off to the left of the path, weapon’s ready. Steac’s scanner can better penetrate the underbrush. It reports small life forms, less than 5kg, everywhere as before, but filtering the scanning for larger animals it reports several animals between 40 and 50 kgs off the trail in the direction that Urko and Gzang are looking. One of the animals is gravely injured.

Martin opens his comm channel. “Gzang, Urko, bring the raft around to me NOW. Drop all pursuit of native life forms and let’s get the frag out of here.”

Gzang and Urko continue up the side of the hill toward the air/raft. They see the wisdom in Martin’s suggestion about leaving and double-time their return with the cart. They reappear at the pond after several minutes without incident.

Martin goes back to get a carcass or two after getting permission from Steac to do so, taking Urko.

Martin, Urko and Gzang load the carcasses after they are prepared. They transport them back to the air/raft. Steac notices that the creatures Urko and Gzang encountered before have not left the area and continue to shadow the group, although they keep several hundred meters away.

It is with some relief that everyone boards the air/raft for the short ride back to the Urutu. The air/raft arrives back to find the refueling and repairs to be progressing well on the Urutu, although Gaetan mumbles some about Chief not following standard procedures. He must admit that his repairs are sound. Chief counters that he’s been repairing ships since before everyone aboard was born and he’s never had one fail.

Lloa and Azkorr take charge of preparing the newly acquired meat for storage and cooking, leaving the preparation and storage parts needed to stuff and mount the animal to Steac. It’s not long before the smell of a good dinner fills the ship.

Lloa decides it best to leave Director Earla in his cabin and sets a place at the table for everyone else, except the two stewards who will be busy with their duties. The center piece of the meal is savory Moosiud steaks.

Martin saunters in and takes his place, looking abnormally pleased with himself. He says nothing, however.

Gaetan still seems distracted and spends a lot of his time mumbling about Cheif’s procedures, but everyone knows his troubles lie elsewhere.

Steac begins work on mounting and stuffing the beast heads. This was the real first opportunity for his team to work together on a common project, and he is proud of what they occomplished. He looks forward to displaying the new trophy in the common area.

Martin, meanwhile, settles down in his bunk. He looks stoic, even grumpy, but there is a certain air of satisfaction as he polishes his poni-gun, perhaps from the knowledge that he’s making another jump not in cold sleep….

After 24 hours, the refueling process is complete. Several hours later, Chief announces that the repairs are complete. It takes very little time before the ship is in space again and headed for the jump point.


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  1. […] Hellhawk – Episode 18 <back to episode 17 […]

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