I hate runners. They think they're gonna get away. They think they're special. They couldn't be more wrong.
Ducking under a low hanging ledge I pull out my electro-whip. The damn halfling I'm chasing after disappears down a hole just as my whip crackles just above his head, sending sparks flying off of it's tip. With a curse I get to the hole. It leads to a waste chute. Specifically, a sewage line. Even on a damn space station there are sewers. I hate sewers. Always takes me a week to get rid of the stench. I drop down. I look around and start walking forward. Sloughing through nasty water and things completely unmentionable. Slowly moving forward I sense more then see movement out in the distance. A blue bolt of energy flies in my direction. I dive into the water and come up in a kneeling position pulling out my Armelic LX-21 Plasma pistol. I fire a couple glowing orange tear drop shaped bolts which just happen to fly by the little guys head. Illuminating his position. He drops back around the corner with a curse and I see quick as a whip his little hand comes out and tosses something that splashes down in front of me. I have just enough time to voice my dismay when it explodes violently. Its enough to activate my personal shield. Throws me backwards a few yards. I see motes of light from the shielding in front of my face. It fades and I hear splashing in the distance as he runs away. I get up and start to move after him then I stop. I look down at the water and chuckle evilly. Pulling out my grav-grappel I shoot it at the ceiling. Pulling myself up I hold myself completely out of the water and with one hand I pull out my electro-whip again. Unfurling it I lower the end into the water and casually thumb the weapon on. I watch electricity flow down the braided metal cord that makes up the whip and into the water. At the moment electricity flows outward in a nasty radius. Hooking around the corner and catching the halfling in its wonderfully burning blue light. He screams. I hold it a few seconds and finally I release the button. I disengage the grapple and drop down.
I head kind of quickly to where hes floating. Luckily he's on his back. I check him with a quick scan using my tac-com on my left arm. After finding he's still alive. I pick him up by his belt and toss him on my shoulder. I make my way out of the sewer. I toss him on the ground. I put his hands behind his back and slap magcuffs on him. I stand up shaking off some of the more...unmentionable bits from the sewer and that's about when three security officers surround me.
I raise my hands and stand up straight. I look closer at the officers and see that they're all equipped with standard issue EMP stun pistols. Silver segmented armor. All of them humanoid. Two Hobgoblins and one Lizardman. Wonderful.
"Release the hostage and lay down on the ground Orc," The lizardman hisses at me.
I chuckle and gesture back at the halfling with a thumb." That's no hostage. That's a payday."
They come closer.
"Get down on the ground. Now!" The lizard commands me in a louder voice.
"Now hold on. I'm a licensed bounty hunter. Names Felix Owenson and for the record. I'm only half orc."
The officers look at each other then at me.
Continuing,"He's a thief. He's wanted for stealing quite a few valuable items from the merchants guild on Galen Three. If you give me a moment I can show you the paperwork on it."
They stand five feet from me. Allowing me to see their bloodshot eyes.; Along with the mana line crows feet from mana potion addiction. People who don't use magic don't need mana pots. However when regular people make use of them they get a euphoric rush as the energies of creation enter their bodies. Can be highly addicting. Also makes you more susceptible to magic. Both arcane and divine. What does that tell me about these guys? Most likely corrupt cause magic potions are expensive. Damn.
"Hands on your head and lay on the ground. Now!" Hobgoblin one yells at me. I raise my hands to my head. Slipping a hand into a wrist pouch on my right wrist. I pull out and palm a small glass bead.
"You guys aren't gonna let me go about my very legal business are you?" I ask rhetorically.
Hobo two smirks,"Didn't you know? Only security personnel collect bounties here." The other two laugh.
I sigh," Hard way it is then." I throw the bead on the ground. Activating the contingency spells inside it. First a bright flash of light followed by a thick fog. Tapping an implant on my right temple A blue holographic like band crosses my eyes connecting with the twin of the one I just pressed, The magic kicks in and I see my bounty through the magically thick fog as the sec officers start firing randomly at where I was. I scoop the little bastard up and take off as I tap a control on my wrist. My tac com turns myself and anything I'm carrying invisible. Pulling out my grav grapple I launch myself and my burden up to the highest cat walks of this open area of the station. I don't stop though. I start running down the cat walk. From two pouches I pull out a couple pills. I toss them in my mouth and once I swallow them two things happen. My muscles bulge and thicken and then condense so I'm able to still move easily. Better even.
Gaps of twenty to thirty feet stop being a problem for me as I make my way to the dock my ship is berthed in. Hopefully those officers wont push things.
"Alert. Dangerous fugitive at large. An Orc of average size wearing a long coat. Hair pulled back into a long tail with shaved sides. Considered armed and dangerous. May already have one hostage."
I hear this announced over the station wide coms system.
"Oh gods damn it. Come on shorty. Luckily this isn't the first time I've had to do this crap." I lift the Halfling onto my shoulder again. I get to just outside the dock where my ship is. I drop to ground level. Making sure I'm around the corner from it. I tap my implant again but a different button. I feel it draw on my energies as shimmering fireflies cloud my vision for a moment. I pull out a shiny chrome plated vibro knife and check my reflection. Human. Short blond crew cut. Perfect.
I pick the little guy up again and walk out and across to my dock. Act like I belong. Act like the bounty is drunk. I head to the dock. No trouble. My ship isn't Orc make, It's Dwarven. Smallest class of frigate available. Simple and diamond shape with triangular wings off the back holding the thrusters. Using the retinal lock on my ship I enter. Tossing the halfling into the shipping container I use as a brig. Hit the TS field and head to the bridge.
I call out. "Garock!"
A posh sounding synthetic voice come over the intercom,"Yes sir?"
"Start up the ship. Skip the pre flight checks."
"Sir, if I may. The pre flight procedures are-"
I cut off the gentlemanly A.I. "Emergency Protocol Alpha-two Authorization code Bat outa hades."
"Authorization acknowledged. Initializing."
The ship starts up just as a team of security personnel come into the bay. Armed with EMP launchers they fire on my ship. Luckily my shields hold since they're Techno-sorcery based. So electro magnectic pulses only work slightly.
Within moments we are in the air and hitting space and pulling quickly away from the station. After burners kick on and we are into the asteroid field and out of range of the station's interdiction tech.
"Damage report?" I ask tiredly
Garocks noble sounding voice answers me," Mostly minimal sir. However the port stabilizer for the FTL drive will need recalibrating. With your permission I will do with our nano assemblers.
"Granted" I answer as I strip my equipment off placing them in the locker near my bed.
I'm almost to the bridge when his voice comes on again,"Sir, calibrations will take fifteen minutes."
I step into the bridge or cockpit if you prefer considering the size of the ship when I answer," Good, take us into the asteroid field. We can use it as cover while the calibrations work.
Ship shudders as if hit by weapons fire.
"What the Hells was that?!" I yelled and strap into the command seat..
"Mithral-nickel sabot round impacting on our rear shield sir. That section down to thirty percent."
"Son of a shaved Dwarf. Might have been lightly enchanted too if the shields are that low. Give me control we'll lose 'em in the field. How many hostiles?"
I start flipping switches, charging my rail cannons and booting the missiles targeting suite.
I swing the ship close to one of the large rocks just as the closest pursuit ship fires on me. A few moments later my ship lurches again. I look down and see that the structural integrity of the back of the ship is weakened and nearly destroyed. My shields gone. One more hit and I'm gone.
"Equalize the shields. And tell me if that was a shot or not."I call out as I hug another asteroid testing my piloting against the field and my pursuers.
"Negative sir. It would appear that the asteroids are actually filled with an element that would seem to be quite volatile. They are the reason the station is actually here. "
Flying through a hollowed out asteroid "Remind me to do more research on the places we go in the future. Give me more power to shield and get some assemblers on the damage sections of ship!"
"Sir, we are going to have to sacrifice power from auxiliary systems to give that power to the shields. I would also recommend using some of that power to the engines. "
"Get it done. Also I want a full simulation created of this if we survive. "
Garock responds in the affirmative and I get a boost of speed.
"Incoming missile on approach sir."
"I see it. Watch this!" I turn the ship sideways and fly between two passing asteroids. The missiles strike and after a moment the giant rocks explode. Setting off a chain reaction of shattering explosions creating a conflagration that only one of the three ships survive. It hails me.
A small screen appears on the lower left of my ships HUD. An older man. Human. With piercing green eyes stares at me.
"I am sergeant Thomas Bodick of the Cygil VII space station security services. Stand down and prepare to be boarded.
I obviously don't stop but as I spiral around one of the asteroids trying to lose this guy. I do respond.
"On what grounds?"
"Assaulting law officers. Kidnapping. Illegal mods and worst of all murdering two port authority officers in this chase of yours."
"First, I never touched those mana fiends. Second, I'm a licensed bounty hunter. So the kidnapping is legal on the grounds that he's a bounty. Third, I have no illegal mods of any kind and finally your law officers? They died due to environmental hazards. Not my fault."
He cuts the feed and starts firing at me. I avoid the majority of the fire. Luckily my shields hold for the rest.
"Fire at that big one in front. Then gun it before it blows."
I nod to myself before realising it's not Garock talking. I turn my head and there is the halfling. Holding
what looks to be a Vyper hold out laser pulse pistol. To my head.
"How-" he holds up a hand cutting me off
"Please do keep your concentration on us not exploding, hmm?" He says simply.
Figuring I'd deal with him later I turn back to the task at hand. I actually use his plan.
"Garrok. Give me extra power to the weapons. Target the big asteroid at our two o'clock. Soon as the reaction happens dump all power to engines."
Soon as we get in range I wait. At nearly point blank range I unload . Missiles and nickel plated depleted uranium rounds impact the rock. Glowing lines begin appearing across the fissures and impact points.
I yell out,"Now Garock!" The thrusters get a 150% boost in power as we veer past it. When it explodes we are just barely out of the blast radius. Thomas Bodick however is not.
"FTL drive is re-calibrated sir."
I let out a breath I didn't realize I'd been holding," Get us out of here Garok. Destination, Pegasus three.
Soon as we hit FTL I spin my seat around and look at my prisoner who is holding me at gun point.
"How did you get out?" I ask unconcerned with the pistol in his hand.
He raises his unarmed hand showing his bracer with a ridge that sits on his hand and slows down and flat at the forearm.
"Molecular destabilizer. Let me make a hole in the side. Then I walked out.."
"Very nice, I say appreciatively and tap a button on my chair arm. The deck plate he's standing on glows a dull purple and suddenly hes flat on the floor. He struggles and groans in pain. He manages to look up at me in confusion.
"What..ugh..is this?!" He forces through pain clenched teeth.
I chuckle,"Gravity plate. This is surprisingly not the first time someone has tried what you just did. I learn from my mistakes though."
I reach out and pluck the gun from his hand.
"This is a nice piece. Ceramic?" I ask rhetorically as I deactivate the plate and draw my stunner. He starts to get up when I casually pop him with light blue stun beam knocking him unconscious.
"Oh, Jeremiah is gonna kill me if I lost money on this job. Bleh."
I pick up the halfling and carry him to sick bay. I strip him down and strap him to a bed. On a terminal nearby I set up treatment as "keep sedated". The medical Golem gets to work. I head to the cargo bay and assess the damage. The container has an absolutely massive hole in the side of it. Big enough for three halflings across and three high.
"Of course its unnecessarily huge. Gods damn it. Garok!"
"Did you make the simulation?"
"Just finished a few moments ago sir. "
I smile,"Edit the vid for anonymity the post it for sale on the IIN."
"Done, video uploaded to the Interstellar Information Network."
"Thank you Garok. Maybe sales of it will cover if we go negative on this job. Tally our damage and estimated repair costs. Send it to my personal terminal. I'm going to bed. Wake me if something important happens. Like if we're about to die maybe. Or the prisoner wakes up."
I make my way to my bed and slump down on it. I close my eyes and think I really hope Jeremiah doesn't kill me when I report in. Then I close my eyes and know no more.