Stricken – Gathering clouds
by HoD Ro' Matlh & Ne' Leah Vien

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Title   Gathering clouds
Mission   Stricken
Author(s)   HoD Ro' Matlh & Ne' Leah Vien
Posted   Thu May 13, 2010 @ 5:19am
Location   ISS Cygnet
Tag   Vien
"Lock it down!" Gerrat bellowed down the long companion way, "If we loose the crate, we loose half the pay that made this trip worth it!"

Engineers and miners alike scrambled to stablise the ventral catches that secured the remote cargo pod to the Cygnet's central support spine. The ship lurched again and the engines whine increased in pitch. Gerrat stormed up to the Bridge where Emmit and Leah were struggling with the flight controls.

"I thought you said we had a clean path through the flares," he growled.

Leah winced as another flare lit up the viewscreen “We DID, sir, but that was an hour ago”. Leah again took a firm hold on the controls after a side glance to Emmit who was conveniently staring straight ahead. “Your boys back there managed to incompetently lock up the last of the cargo just after the time window I set up.

The area was littered with asteroids broken off the main body they where extracting the mineral from. As if it wasn’t bad enough to try and find a way through a moving field of space rocks what made it even worse was the cargo itself.

“I swear if I end up with half a ship due to this I’ll make sure I only keep half of this crew” Gerrat barked. The ship lurched again to the side where Leah heard a distinct crash as the captain lost his footing and went sliding into the bulkhead. With a smile Leah adjusted the course by .3 degrees and back on track.

This was a dangerous gambit for all involved. The mineral was very, very valuable but it had a dear price. Radioactive by nature, the mineral would react to the slightest energy fields. This quality made it very good for an energy source, demolition, or an improvised weapon. The main problem was that to collect it you had to “coast” into the field without shields.

Leah stretched running her arms behind her head and crossing her feet up on the control board as Emmit announced a ten minute countdown till clearing the field. Leah had been up for the last 24 hours watching for a path back out of the naturally occurring minefield and wanted a slight shut eye till the feel of someone watching over her caused her to shift and sit up slightly.

Gerrat was up again and hovering over her and Emmit, even though Leah was sure his eyes where not on the viewport. “Finally” he grumbled “lets get going on this I’m not too comfortable with keeping this stuff for long”.

He raised his line of site till he met Leah's eyes, "Set a course for the Ubatti system."

"Gerrat, we don't have a full shipment. You know the Scarlene are very particular. When they count it they will..."

"If, Emmit, if they count it. Notoriously unstable stuff, Ditrium Silicate. Can blow up during shipment without any wraning."

He turned his back and moved out of the bridge, "Especially if each crate has a remote detonator. We take payment, they take a fall."

"Business as usual," Emmit muttered.

Gerrat Jones stoped and turned to his XO, "Not this time. I am expecting to pick up a VERY valuable piece of cargo from Ubatti."