By Saso Zitnik
Copyright 2016 Saso Zitnik
Shakespir Edition, License Notes
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The spaceship was motionless. All the lights were out and the hull was black. It was completely hidden in the black void of space.
“We are in position and stealth is on.” Branwen said.
She was sitting in the pilot chair. Dark blue light reflected on her face. She was intensively watching the displays.
“Check your equipment,” Jotham ordered his two teammates. “We can’t fail this one.”
They were in spacesuits in a small hallway. Dark blue light reflected on their helmets.
“The space yacht is right on time,” Branwen said coldly. “I will bring us closer.”
“Do it,” answered Jotham.
The dark ship started to move slowly, like a predator in the night. Another spaceship became slowly visible. It was bright and had a slick design. These kind of ships were built for rich people as personal space yachts. The dark ship was closing on it.
“I’m disabling their engine,” Branwen said.
An invisible electromagnetic beam hit the space yacht.
“Stealth is off,” Branwen continued.
The alarm went off on the yacht. The dark ship was still closing on it.
“Engine disabled,” Branwen said coldly. “We will be in attack position in 3…2…1…now.”
A small hatch opened on the dark ship. Three figures in spacesuits with their jets on propulsed out of the hatch. Jotham propulsed himself to a big door at the back of the yacht. His two teammates went for a small hatch below the yacht.
“Remember, there are five bodyguards on board,” Jotham said while he was manually opening the door. “Wait for my signal.”
Jotham opened the door and propulsed himself into the room. The air and other non fixed stuff from the large cargo room behind the door were sucked out into space giving him some cover.
“Now!” he was ordering as he was taking cover.
Three bodyguards in spacesuits started to shoot at him immediately. He fired back.
“I have three of them here,” he told his teammates.
Piers and Sayer opened the hatch below the yacht, went quickly inside and closed the hatch behind them. Piers pressurized the short hallway. Sayer opened the second hatch.
“We are in,” Piers said.
“I’m taking over,” Branwen informed them.
They all memorized the complete layout of the yacht. Branwen was also constantly scanning the interior of the yacht so she knew all the time the exact location of everyone on board.
“The family and crew members are in the main living room,” Branwen said. “You have two bodyguards to eliminate. Split and I will lead each one to it’s target.”
Pier and Sayer went each in their own direction. Branwen was leading them. Soon both bodyguards were eliminated.
Jotham was still fighting in the cargo room. The bodyguards had closed the outside door and pressurized the room.
“Nice to hear the bullets again,” Jotham thought while hidden behind cover. “I will never get used to shooting in vacuum.”
Suddenly the inner door exploded. Jotham immediately jumped from behind his cover and started shooting. At the same time Piers and Sayer stormed the room shooting. The bodyguards didn’t have a chance. Jotham looked at his watch.
“Almost eight minutes, it could be better,” he thought.
“Branwen?” asked Jotham.
“The family and the crew are still in the main living room,” she answered.
“You two, go and kill them all. Get rid of all the bodies and take anything that’s valuable back to our ship,” ordered Jotham. “When you’re finished we’ll have a meeting.”
Piers and Sayer nodded and went out of the cargo room.
“I still think we shouldn’t do it,” Piers said.
“It’s an easy job. It’s not like we would be robbing something really valuable, that’s protected with high security systems.” Jotham threw an angry look. He was the only one standing at the table.
“We don’t have any experience with robbing space stations. We only rob space ships and we are good at it. Why take the risk,” Piers continued.
“Because the payment is really good,” Jotham answered.
“That’s another thing. Why should someone pay so much for such a normal robbery. It’s suspicious,” Piers argued further.
“Maybe it has emotional value. I don’t know and I don’t care,” Jotham was really angry.
For a moment it was completely silent around the table. Jotham looked at Sayer.
“I’m with him. It’s too damn risky,” said Sayer.
Jotham started to turn his head to Branwen.
“We should do it,” Branwen said indifferently.
“Good. Two against two and I’m the boss, so we’re doing it,” Jotham finished the debate. “The meeting is over.”
A small space station was orbiting a huge gas giant. It offered a spectacular view on the two planetary rings. That was the reason why the space station was orbiting the gas giant. Almost all space stations were in interstellar space. Only small private space stations from very rich families were located in star systems in places with extraordinary views.
Two spaceships were slowly approaching the space station. Jotham, Piers and Sayer were on the space yacht. They were all nicely dressed as rich people. Branwen was piloting the dark ship that was trailing the yacht. The dark ship was in stealth mode.
“I reached my location,” Branwen said. “I’m starting to scan the station.”
“Just remember, you’re our backup plan. If we can’t escape with the yacht, you’ll pick us at the designated point.” Jotham said.
“Ok. Everything normal on the station.” Branwen replied.
The security on the station checked the credentials of the approaching space yacht. They passed the check without any problems so Jotham started the docking procedure.
“We are docked,” Jotham said. “Don’t do anything stupid. We walk in, take the object and walk out. That’s all.”
They walked out of the yacht, trying to behave as arrogant rich people as much as possible. They went through the next security check. The modified personal access cards from the dead family worked and the scanners didn’t detect their special guns. Jotham was relieved, everything went by plan.
Access to such private space stations was always restricted. You had to be on their access list and then you got the access card which was used also as an identification card inside the stations. Rich people came to these stations for fun, for business and for different illegal activities.
“We have a problem,” Branwen said coldly.
Branwen was in radio contact with all three of them.
“What?” Jotham asked with a sinking feeling in his stomach.
“I’m scanning the station from the moment I was close enough. I have a routine which roughly analyzes the movements off all the people on the station in real time.”
“And?” Jotham was getting impatient.
“The moment you went through the security check the global pattern of all movements changed.”
“So what. Someone had a stroke somewhere and rescuers…”
“No, this change is more systematic and it’s spread through the whole station.”
“This is just some coincidence.”
“No coincidence. I’m starting to execute our backup plan.”
“Wait, you can’t… wait for my decision,” Jotham was upset, but Branwen remained silent. For her the conversation was over.
Piers and Sayer were looking at Jotham.
“Nothing’s changed. We continue,” Jotham said to them.
They were walking down the corridors of the station, but more nervously than before. Jotham was thinking intensively about what Branwen said. He didn’t quite believe her crazy systems but he wasn’t stupid. He had a plan and he explained it to his team.
They walked towards a guy that was walking in the opposite direction and intercepted him. Sayer pushed his hidden gun into his back. Piers threatened him to follow their orders if he wanted to stay alive. Jotham changed his jacket and access card with this guys jacket and access card. He also scrambled for a moment the security cameras in the vicinity. Piers and Sayer continued walking with the victim in the same direction as before. Jotham walked away in the same direction the victim would go if he wouldn’t be intercepted. Everything together lasted only a couple of seconds.
“If they are tracking us then they should track that guy now instead of me,” Jotham said.
“Nothing suspicious The trick worked.” Branwen said.
“Are you sure they can’t track down our communication?” Jotham asked.
“I’m sure. They don’t have the equipment for it.”
After a while Jotham turned around and started to follow his teammates. He was intensively checking if anyone was following them.
“I have your backs, continue with the plan,” he said.
Piers and Sayer came to the private area of the station. They quickly hacked the door and went inside. Jotham followed them after a while. Even with the access cards they shouldn’t be in the private area. It was reserved for family members only. Branwen was leading them through the corridors avoiding the security patrols. Luckily the patrols were less frequent while there were no high members of the family on the station. And there were no security cameras in the private area, the members of the family valued their privacy.
“Something new with your movement pattern,” Jotham asked.
“Nothing. I still can’t figure out what changed. To much data,” Branwen answered.
Piers, Sayer and their victim came to the destination office. They started to hack the door. Jotham was further away covering their backs.
“Change of movement,” Branwen said. “The security patrols are slowly closing on you two.”
“Ok, move me to a save spot not to far away,” Jotham replied.
Branwen didn’t hear anything from Piers and Sayer.
“You are blocking my communication with them,” Branwen said.
“Yes I’m,” Jotham replied.
“Smart,” she said.
“Was that a little admiration in her voice,” Jotham thought. “Maybe she isn’t such a cold bitch after all.”
“Is everything ok,” Piers checked with Jotham.
“Everything is ok, nothing suspicious, continue with the plan.” Jotham replied.
They opened the door and started to search the office. The object was exactly where it should be. Suddenly the security guards bursted into the room. Piers and Sayer started to shoot, but they didn’t have a chance. There were to many well armed guards. Piers, Sayer and the victim were shot down.
“They are dead,” Branwen said.
“Good, get me as close as possible,” Jotham replied. “And tell me immediately when the guards leave the office.”
The guards took the three bodies and left the office.
“Now,” Branwen said.
Jotham ran to the office.
“No guards left by the office…good. They think they got all three of us and that the threat is over.” Jotham said.
He quickly hacked the door, took the object and ran out of the office.
Branwen was leading him through the corridors.
“You have to be quick. They will soon find out that they killed an innocent victim instead of you,” Branwen said.
“Then they will completely close off the whole private area, I know,” Jotham replied.
“And then it will be over, you’ll be killed.”
“I will make it.”
Jotham finally came to the door that led out of the private area. He started to hack it. He was getting nervous while the alarm could go off any moment. He knew that he spent to much time in the private area, he was too slow. The door opened. Jotham stepped out and closed the door behind him. He was relieved. Then the alarm went off. He could hear how the door was hermetically sealed. A cold shiver went through his body.
“That was close,” Branwen said.
“I know,” Jotham replied.
“She sounded relieved,” Jotham thought.
Jotham found quickly another victim to change his access card with.
“This will help for a while,” he said.
“I will lead you to the maintenance. Act naturally,” Branwen replied.
The alarm was loud and the corridors were filled with red blinking light. Everywhere confused people who were trying to figure out what was happening and get to safety. Between them armed security guards who were looking for Jotham. The search was concentrated in the area that was leading to the docked ships. They were assuming that Jotham would try to escape with one of them. They were wrong. Jotham was inconspicuously moving to the maintenance area. He was getting relaxed again. His chances of escaping were good. He was thinking about Branwen. He never looked at her as a woman until now. She was always just a cold bitch. He was thinking that with the money they would get the two of them should take some time off. In his mind he was already searching for some nice place to go with her.
Jotham came to the maintenance area. There were almost no guards there, but he had to avoid the maintenance personnel. He found the spacesuits without raising any suspicion. He put on one of the spacesuits and with the helmet in his hands he went to the nearest hatch. He hacked the hatch, went inside and closed the hatch behind him. He depressurized the small corridor and opened the outside hatch. He went outside and closed the hatch behind him. He breathed deeply. He was relieved, he succeeded.
Jotham was standing on the hull of the space station. He could see the gas giant with its two planetary rings. For a moment he was admiring the spectacular view.
“I see you,” Branwen said.
“It’s a spectacular view,” Jotham replied.
“Yes it is.”
Branwen gave Jotham the exact coordinates where she was waiting for him. Jotham turned around and looked in that direction. He couldn’t see the spaceship.
“The stealth is good,” Jotham thought. “Even the light from the gas giant isn’t reflecting on it.”
He started his jets and propulsed himself to the ship.
Jotham was sitting in his chair playing with the object that he stole.
“You know, with the money we will get for this we could take some time off,” he said.
“I don’t think so,” Branwen replied coldly.
The tone of her voice made Jotham turn around in his chair. Branwen was pointing a gun to his head.
“Wait…” Jotham was shocked, “there’s enough money for both of us.”
Branwen didn’t reply, she was silently watching him.
“Don’t be stupid,” Jotham continued, “you need me, we are a really good team.”
“You have a contract on your head,” Branwen said.
Jotham needed a little time to process this information.
“What you are now a hitman or rather a hitwoman?” Jotham nervously joked.
“Yes,” Branwen replied simply.
Jotham stared at her with his mouth open.
“And you have the honor to be my first job.”
“Wait, wait…wait, we can make an arrangement.”
“Tell me at least who put the contract on me and why.”
“You crazy bi….” Jotham jumped out of his chair trying to pull the gun out of Branwen’s hands. The gun fired. Jotham’s body was lying on the chair with a hole in his head. Branwen took a small scanner out of her pocket and scanned the body. The scan was a proof that she killed Jotham.
Branwen was sitting in the pilot chair. She looked at the stolen object in her hand.
“This will be a nice severance pay,” she thought. “And my first job as hitman will also bring me a nice pay. Altogether is was a successful day.”
The dark ship was slowly flying out of the planetary system like a satisfied predator after a good hunt.
This short science fiction story is part of a collection of stories. All the stories share the same vast universe in the far future with the human civilization spreading through the deep and vast space of our galaxy. Some stories are/will be short stories some stories are/will be novels. All the stories are more or less independent. The main characteristics of the stories are: deep space, exploration, mystery and epic adventure.