Prologue , Part 1 : So You Wanna be a Spacer .
This space station, Blue Heaven, seemed to be a collection of the less reputable species of the universe. There were several of the small, green, and completely mad, Irkens. A group of the war hungry Klingons were gathered around one of the tables. Some Ctarl-Ctarl a few tables down from them, although they were technically classified as "humanoid", and so were given more rights and even a seat on the Terran Empire's Senate.
But there was no shortage of humans, as there never was. Blue Heaven really was a haven for the most unsavory people.
Gene smiled, this was his kind of town. After being stuck on that ship, for nearly a week, this was so much better. He used to love flying as a kid, but now just being on a ship made him nauseous.
He didn't remember coming down with any kind of space sickness his first time out, but he'd been so young then, too young. It was just supposed to be some fun little adventure every kid dreams about. He had been helping his dad fly his ship, on a journey that was supposed to take over a month... just him and his dad, enjoying the stars.
Gene didn't even know what it was they were transporting. His father was a simple merchant, so it couldn't have been overly valuable... someone thought otherwise. When Pirates attacked their ship, Gene was thrown inside an escape pod, by his dad, and launched towards the closest planet... which was near a month away.
He landed on a backbirth, named Sentinel 3, and was taken in by a hacker. The man was a good guy, a single father, but that didn't stop the police from arresting him a few years later.
Ever since Gene had been taking care of his son, Jim. Waiting for the guy to bust out of prison... he hadn't told Jim yet, kept putting it off... the man died in a prison riot nearly a year ago. Gene took another drink. Jim still occasionally asked to visit him.
Now they were out in space, helping some outlaw that tried to kill them. This wasn't the smartest play but it was his only chance. He wanted to get off Sentinel. He wanted to be a spacer like his father. He wanted to get back at those pirates for what they took from him. He wanted to be an outlaw... and this was his only chance.
For some reason this woman offered him and Jim a place on her crew, even a decent cut of the profits. This was his one and only chance... and he was sitting here wallowing because he had a tummy ache... Even on this space station he was a bit nauseous.
He got up, taking his bottle, and sat at Hilda's table.
Hilda looked up at him, studying him closely, with a smirk plastered on her face. She was dressed in brownish purple armor and an eyepatch. Which Gene could only assume wasn't there for a fashion statement, but who knows with this woman.
Gene chugged down his glass. Then refilled it with the bottle. Before passing it to her, "So what's the deal? We must have passed a dozen stations on the way here. If all you wanted to do was refuel there were cheaper places."
Hilda shrugged, smirk still in place. "I know I can trust Swanzo. Besides I have business here."
"Which would be?" Gene eyed.
"Not much really. Blue Heaven is an outlaw station, I'm in the need of a crew to pull off a job."
"A job?" Gene blinked, thinking it over. "So it's not something you can pull off by yourself... I think it's time you told me just what this job is, enough with the secrets!" he glared.
Hilda rolled her drink around in her glass, the gears in her head obviously turning, before answering, "Alright, I'm going after a certain ship."
"A certain ship?" Gene blinked.
"It's a very special ship, one with enough power to dive into an Ether Stream. It's called a Grappler."
"A Grappler spaceship!?" Gene's eyes widened, remembering the ship that killed his father.
Grappler ships were originally designed to do construction work in space. It was basically just attaching arms to a starship, but pirates tweaked the idea. Reinforcing them with stronger metals, and making them more quick and agile.
Grappler ships were used for combat now. They helped tear open a shuttle and could keep hold of it for boarding. Some pirates even added weapons for the arms to hold, such as swords and guns.
"If you're interested think it over, but make sure it's what you really want," Hilda grinned. "Cause it sounds to me like you're a bit of a space hater."
"Just mind your own business," Gene snapped, perhaps a bit too defensively.
The last thing he considered himself was a 'space hater'. He loved space. He dreamed about coming out here, and living as a spacer, ever since he was a little boy.
Back then he dreamed about living life out here with his dad, only landing on planets to pick up cargo. His childhood dream, of inheriting his father's cargo business, had morphed into being an outlaw, and hunting pirates, but it still involved living on a ship out in space.
He loved space, he'd get over this little phobia he seemed to have developed, once he got used to being out here again.