ST: Beta Part 2

PART 2

His name is Captain Aldus Banks and he is stuck in a tropical paradise with a glass Y’thulain grub wine in hand.

From the exterior planet 903884-11 looked like any class-M planet capable of supporting life. Its endlessly fractured map comprised of rolling green hills surround vista’s that grew lush vegetation. Rivers from endless aquifers and streams feed into a deep crystal blue ocean. A fine place for anybody that isn’t Banks. To him it was giant round cage.

Aldus stood at the zenith of it all from the beach head where Zig, his mini-escape pod landed. Space debris from the Zigguratt was still falling into the upper atmosphere. He knew from the behavior of most planets defencive systems that this one would be on high alert. So, trying to break orbit in a sub-warp class vessel was out of the question. For a man who spent so much of his life in space on a ship eating re-sequenced protein meals, a few days retreat in a desert island planet would, to a normal human, be a welcomed vacation.

Sadly Banks knew better than to allow himself a moment of tranquility because 903884-11 or  DASH ELEVEN as he thought of it now was not part of some vast celestial prairie. Dash Eleven was the sole property of a Real Estate magnet. An inner-galactic commercial dictator named Brene owned the entire solar system and several others just like it. The planets and their sun’s were nothing more than monikers of his wealth and the alarm has been tripped.

So the countdown had started and his options were few. He thought about the amount of time he had, divided it in half and sternly walked back aboard the Zig mini. On board the sexy Y’thulian politely pointed out an in coming ship. His blood ran cold. Aldus asked what class of ship; which she replied:

“Zethin class luxury vessel” Banks held his breath “it does not seem to notice us captain”.
Zig continued to track the ship as it hovered around orbit scanning the parent ships wreckage. Aldus marveled for a moment at the Zigs computational prowess. Never before had a ship, to his knowledge been, capable of expressing concern over a situation with an almost emotional concern.

The reason for being boarded just hours before may have actually been for his escape pod. A ship of this capability probably HAD to be smuggled through the Y’thulian system if it was going to be safe from pirates and spies.

The Y’thul systems are not a criminal safe harbor, any more that is. They are in-fact a cruel and methodical commercial oligarchy. The Prime solar systems, of which there are 3 rest at the nexus of 3 mega systems. Each of the Prime systems grew and traded with its neighbor for nearly a thousand years, spreading their trade and economical wisdom like seeds across the galaxy. Today the Y’thulian are more like a royal family. Their offspring are just as crude as their forefathers but now competition between the three families has dissolved into land disputes and patent lawsuits lasting entire lifetimes. So its no surprise that technology smuggling and industrial espionage was the favorable career path in the this part of the Beta Quadrant, as opposed to peaceful space exploring federation.

Aldus, now an unfortunate part of said espionage had to figure a way off this planet. Fast. No matter how intelligent his new ship was, it couldn’t hide its power signal or the heat trail its landing generated. He boarded the Zig, its hatch closed automatically. Her voice came in through the hidden speakers felt like a real person standing on the bridge with him.
“So you’ve made a decision captain?”
Aldus looked around for a speaker or display to respond to but couldn’t find one so he just glared out the front window. “Ship, can you take us closer to the planets defensive platform without being fired upon?”
“I’ve already plotted that course as one possible scenario. Along with accessing the defensive administration system.” she replied.
“Great, can you program its system to let us get away?”
“No, its system control is on a closed circuit and cannot be over written by remote systems.”
“Then how did we avoid bombardment on our decent?”
“It would seem that we temporarily confused the planets computer into thinking we were wreckage.”

Banks wondered what a ships computer was doing making assumptions. Even more disturbing was the fact that this computer was making assumptions he himself had made. “And obviously there’s no fooling a computer into thinking that ship wreckage falls upwards.”
“Obviously, captain.”
“You can call me Aldus ship, there’s no crew here to warrant a title.”
“Very well, Aldus. You may call me Idyll, and the ship I control goes by Ziggurette.”
“Okay Idyll, take the Zig and pilot us to the defencive tower. Keep it as low to the ground as you can.”
“As you wish sir.”

The Zig promptly lifted its landing gear back up into its hull cavity and floated away at a terribly fast and low speed barely keeping its body feet away from the desert island fawna.

Aldus rumaged through the hull for a life suit and any weaponry he could find. Each case seemed to unlock one more treasure trove after the other. It worried him more and more with every click of every latch. The pessimism of space adventure he thought.

Finally he found what he’d hoped for. A full panic survivor suit.

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