The RIM Confederacy: Pirates!

Prologue

It was from deep space, that the Pirates came, each of them boarding with what could only be called glee. They had come up behind the merchant passenger ship from due aft, on the way back from the ringed planet of Eons to Juno, about 4 light-years off DenKoss, and had matched TachyonDrive speed with the quarry, and had used the newest weapon in their arsenal, to slow and then stop the merchant passenger ship dead in space. When they came aboard using the aft boarding port, but they didn’t open same, they simply blasted it open with magnetic mines and stuck a force-field in the hole once they were in.

The two boarding teams split up upon entry, with one heading directly to the cargo holds on this deck. Pushing thru the corridors with sleds for hauling away their spoils, the team burned off the locks on the cargo hold and entered quickly. Inside, they took an aisle each and searched for cargo chests with the correct bills of lading and finding the right nine containers, they began to load up the containers to move them back to their ship. One said “nine, right?” and got a nod in reply from the team leader who made a notation on his wrist mounted PDA as they began to manhandle the sleds out of the bay.

The other larger team had made their way up one deck and were moving from passenger room to room, where the passengers simply cowered and accepted the stunners that were applied to each of them, then lay like cordwood, ready for a fire. Not a one of these Issians had bowed or called on their own God to help; the devastating depressurization makes you imagine that you have only seconds to implode. As lambs to the slaughterhouse, they fell where they trembled. Even those among them that were Adepts – humans who had the power of reading another human’s mind, shrunk as they were approached and answered none of the questions that their families left unasked.

Within one passenger’s quarters, a small girl hid in the cabinet in her cabin’s washroom, burrowing under the collection of personal care products and towels. As an Adept she knew why the boarders were there, she knew they would take all on board and that her Aunt had already been stunned and lay paralyzed out on the sofa and she knew that she too would be found and cried into the towels with anguish. Where she was going, she had never even heard of, but judging by the feel of the name in the boarder’s minds it was a place that many went and none ever left. Her cries went unanswered till her cabin was broken into by the boarders and as they entered, she heard a snapped voice that simply said ‘Bathroom cabinet, bottom shelf’ She turned to stone at the image of that mind so close to hers, she tried to inch around it in her consciousness and watched in fear as the mind turned towards her. This too was an Adept, but she quaked at the power within that mind and tried to fight it, to push back, but she was losing ground she knew power wise her mind was not as strong. She felt the power of the Adept Pirate, and then had to shy away, trying to burrow back and into the shelf itself. Moments later as she was dragged out into the deck hallway, she looked up at a tall woman who stood watching her, a woman dressed all in black, her robe clinging to her slim frame. This was the mind that had scared her so much and she watched as the woman crossed off the name Roison on a list, and grunted in agreement and stunned her onto the floor and only then said in a low voice “powerful little one…too bad…” and moved out into the corridor again…

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