Captain Joan Wade of the H.M.S. Devastator sat at her desk going over her day reports while the ship hurled through hyperspace, behind her the ten ships of the convoy follow in her wake. The little escort ship bounced and swayed in the currents of hyperspace. Taking a sip of her tea, she looked down at the evaluation reports and sighed, "You know James. I hate these damn reports."
Laughing Commander James Mendel looked up from his report, he was working on, and replied, "I know Joan, but they have to be done. At least you only command an escort destroyer, think of how you would be on a dreadnought, with five thousand people under you."
Joan groaned at that thought and responded, "I will stick with this, thank you very much."
James started laughing so hard that he knocked his datapad off his lap. Bending down to pick it up, he smacked his head on the table as the alarm sounded.
"Oww!" he said as he held his head. He looked over at Joan as she reached for the com unit.
Joan reached over and pressed her com button on her desk, and said, "Captain here. Give me a sit-rep."
"Ma'am, sensors have a ship ahead of us, identification scans show her as the Alderian freighter Dove, I've checked the records, and she was reported missing eight months ago, presumed destroyed by the Gormarian's."
Joan stood up and said, "I am on the way. Have you hailed her?"
"Yes, Ma'am. We have received no response from them."
"Ok, bring the crew to general quarters, and I am on the way. Shields up," she ordered as she walked towards the door, she said, "James, I don't like this, it's strange. Why now?"
She looked over her shoulder at Commander Mendel who was right behind her as they headed out for the bridge.
"I know Captain, but we will find out what is going on. If she's been captured, we will take her back from them. If she's gone independent, we can verify her owners still own her."
They walked down the ramp, and entered the small bridge. Walking over to her command chair Joan sat down as she looked over at Ensign Richard Whitecloud. He had his six foot four inch frame squeezed into his small communications station, she said, "Richard, put her on screen, let's see what we have here."
Richard turned slightly in his chair as he activated the screen. He then responded, "Yes, Ma'am, she's 1900 clicks ahead of us. No answer from any of the hails. I have scanned her hull and the scans show nothing out of the ordinary." Turning back to his sensor-communications board, he continued the scan.
Joan looked at the freighter and said as she rubbed her chin in frustration, "Contact the rest of the ships in the convoy, if it's a trap they are to separate and break off, and head for our destinations..." Sparks suddenly flew from one of the consoles and explosions started detonating along the shields.
"What the Hell?" came from the crew and the captain.
"Ma'am the Dove has open fired on us! She's been turned into a damned Q-ship."
Captain Raymond 'The Skull" Claymore watched the Alderian ships closing with his ship. "Mates, it looked like we have some new ships. Ready weapons, ready the scrammer, and let's drop these ships out of hyper."
Around the deck the men of the pirate ship Skulls Revenge jumped to their posts, arming the weapons. One of the first weapons armed was the stern lasers and the jettison launcher.
Charles Beeline looked at the rear scanner and saw the Alderian destroyer closing on them, checking the range he pressed a button, and fifteen hundred tones of scrap metal dropped from the modified storage bin. The metal spread out and started slamming into the shields of the Alderian ship.
Mitch 'One Eye' Velum adjusted the weapon scanner, and locked onto the destroyer and pressed the fire button. The heavy laser, originally meant for a battle cruiser, reached out and smashed into the Aldarian's weakened shield. An explosion detonated from the command tower right below the bridge, "That should have gotten her CIC and Computer core."
Skull watched the explosion detonate from the side of the destroyer, "Very good Beeline and One Eye. Toby, take us to half speed, let the destroyer go by us, take us towards the freighters."
Toby Hawke adjusted his course and turned towards a pair of freighters. He noticed the convoy starting to scatter, and he said, "Aye Captain, I have a nice pair of fat freighters lumbering along. They are scattering, if you want them, you better activate the scrammer now."
Skull watched the ships get closer and the destroyer still traveling ahead of them. Checking the range, he saw that the destroyer was out of range and reached down to pressed the button on his chair, "Scramming now."
The energy field went out to a five thousand mile circle and snagged the two freighters. Their computer cores crashed and all three ships dropped out of hyperspace and into normal space.
"Boarding crews to your shuttles. Get me those ships."
Captain Vickie Barlow of the S.S. Amsterdam watched as the explosion blossomed from the Devastator's bridge, "Helm, ninety degrees to port. Full speed ahead, positive thirty degrees. Get us up out of the combat zone!"
The thirty million ton freighter turned and started climbing to get away from the Q-ship, following Captain Wade's orders to the letter. The ship started picking up speed and exited the battlefield. Being one of the fastest ships in the convoy she started pulling away from the Devonshire, her sister ship. That was when all hell broke loose when the computer crashed and the ship dropped from hyperspace. Throughout the ship, crewmembers flew across the rooms they were in and smashed into consoles, people and bulkheads. The last thing Vickie remembered was flying over the helmswoman and hitting the wall.
Skull watched the two freighters drop out of hyperspace, and bellowed to his crew, "Shut down the hyper drive, and prepare for boarding. Capture the crew. Bring the women aboard for our pleasure."
The ship shuddered as the hyper drive went off line and the ship turned and headed for the stricken ships. Shuttles dropped from the hanger bay, and shot across to the two freighters. Within an hour, both ships were back underway following the Skulls Revenge to their new destination. Aboard the Q-ship the rapes of the women started, with Skull taking the young woman who commanded the former Alderian freighter Amsterdam, as his own.
Aboard the Devastator, Chief Petty Officer Shawn O'Doul climbed to his feet, and shook his head. His eyes settled on the damage control board, as the rest of his team waited for their orders. The first thing he saw, was a warning about the CIC. It had no atmosphere, nor was there any in the captain's quarters, the main sensors processing room, or the communications room.
"Listen up people we have no air in the following rooms, CIC, sensors, communications and captain's cabin, that means we have a hole in the hull. Get suited up and get out there. Find the hole and patch it. I will start contacting the other compartments and get a status report."
The crew jumped to their duties, and started scrambling out the door. While Shawn activated the internal communications and started getting the reports that the captain would need, if she was still alive on the bridge.
"This is damage control to engine room. What's your status?"
"This is the engine room, Lieutenant Saul Goldstein speaking, everyone is okay down here, a little shook up is all, all systems are up and running. Generator rooms one and two are online as well as hydroponics and environmental."
"Thank you, Lieutenant. DC out."
Contacting boat bay one, he started his requests again as he marked the indicated rooms blue, for active.
Joan shook her head, and stumbled to her feet, looking around the damaged bridge, she said, "What the hell hit us?"
She saw the crew getting up and returning to their stations, Commander Mendel was the last to get up, because Ensign Ai Sung had landed on top of him.
As Commander Mendel sat up, he noticed Ai Sung was unconscious, and laid her on the floor and checked her over. Noticing the small blood trail on the side of her head he checked and found she has a large knot there. Pulling his jacket off he covered her to keep her warm and stood up and moved back to his console and checked the scanners.
He said, "Ma'am, it was a heavy laser. Sensors estimate it to be battle-cruiser sized, or larger. It hit just below us and took out the CIC, your quarters, sensors, and communications. I have no data on the convoy or anyway to contact them until we do repairs. Outside cameras show, we have a six-foot hole in the armored tower. Also, Ensign Sung needs to be seen by one of the doctors, she may have a concussion."
"Damn it! Thank you James, get a damage repair crew on it. I want those rooms tight, soonest!" turning to Ensign Whitecloud, she ordered, "Get those communications back up, and..."
"This is Chief Petty officer O'Doul in damage control is anyone alive on the bridge? Please respond."
Joan pressed the com switch on her chair. "Chief, this is the Captain, we have some damaged consoles and one wounded that needs to see the doctor. What's the situation on the ship?"
"Ma'am, I am dispatching a repair crew to your location along with a medical team," he replied, as he took a breath, Shawn continued his report; "One of the pinnaces has been knocked off her cradle and damaged. We have damage to your quarters, sensors, communications, and CIC, additional damage to several berths, and one of the galleys. The ship's store is destroyed along with damage to laser one. There is a chunk of steel embedded into the gun turret. We will have to remove that and check the electronics to see if they still work. What the hell did they do? Drop a foundry on us?"
Julia listened to the chief detailed report. "I'm not sure on what they hit us with, but it took the shields down to minimum power, and then the heavy laser cannon hit us. Chief, I need those sensors and communications back up, I have to find out about the rest of the convoy."
"Aye, Ma'am. I have a repair crew working on the hole in the side of the ship. Estimated time of patch, is a little over ten minutes. I am also checking the back of the tower to see if the laser went out of the back side of the tower. However, since the towers emergency escape pods are reading green, I do not think it did."
As she is listened to the Chiefs report, several repair techs rushed onto the bridge and started pulling out the damaged cards from the consoles and replacing them. While they're frantically working on repairs, a medical team lifted Ai Sung onto a stretcher and carried her off.
"Okay, get the teams moving, ASAP. Pull the spares and have them ready to go in, as soon as we can pressurize the compartments. Captain out."
Thirty-year-old Vickie Barlow opened her eyes and looked around. Rolling over to her knees, she noticed she was naked and as her stomach heaved, she spotted a trashcan and scrambled over to it to vomit. After she was finished, she stood up and staggered to the sink to rinse her mouth out. Looking into the mirror, she saw a band around her throat and reached up to touch it as the door opened. Turning, she saw a large man standing there.
Skull walked down the hallway, in the prison cells he could hear the females from the two ships screaming as the crews raped them repeatedly. Opening the door to the room his new slave was in, he stood there admiring her beauty.
Then he said, "On the bed, slave."
Startled by the man's orders she replied, "What did you call me?"
Walking over to her, he slapped her, "Don't ever question my orders again, bitch; or I will kill the rest of your crew that we captured. Now get on the bed."
Vickie slammed into the wall, and stood there with blood leaking from her mouth and listening to the man's words. On trembling legs, she staggered to the bed and looked at it. She started to back away from the bed, and then she was hit again, which made her fall onto the bed.
Skull slapped her again when she did not move fast enough for him and then reaching down, he flipped her over onto her back with her legs spread. Unbuckling his pants he shoved them down and fell between her spread legs."
Vickie screamed as the man's large size phallus literally tore her as it was forced all the way inside. The rape went on for what felt like hours until he came in her. Standing up he zipped his pants up and looked down on her.
"Now listen to what I have to say, bitch. The collar around your neck, well it can kill you if you piss me off. Not only does it have an anti-tampering device, it also can electrocute you. So go ahead, disobey another one of my orders and see what happens. You perform for me, do everything I say, and I won't sell you to one of our whorehouses; or worse, give you to the crew to use. Think about it, be with me, pleasure just me; or go to the whorehouses, or the crew, and be used. It's your choice to make."
Looking down on the trembling woman, he noticed the blood, and said, "Were you a virgin?"
Dropping her head in shame, she knew she has no choice and responded to his question, "Nooo ... master. You tore me inside."
"Good, you're learning," he said. Reaching down he lifted her chin, "You will be a good pet, just don't piss me off, and you will come to love your new life. However, piss me off, and I promise you will wish you were dead. I will send a doctor to you to heal you. Just so you know, tonight you will be performing all night, so rest up, I will have food sent to you."
Turning he walked out the door.
Vickie watched the scum leave. She turned, and started crying into the pillow. Her sobs wore her out, and she fell into a deep sleep.
Skull whistled to himself as he walked down the hallway, around him the screams of the captured females was like music to his ears. Stepping up to the elevator doors, he activated the panel and stepped in.
"Bridge!" he said.
The elevator started going up and came to a stop thirty seconds later and the doors open. Stepping out of the elevator, he took a left and started walking towards the bridge passing a group of slaves mopping the floor.
Timothy Shane looked up as his master came alone down the hall. With a quick look to see where the guards were, he flicked the shank out and lunged for the pirate.
The sudden movement caught Skulls attention, and he snapped out with his right hand. Lifting the skinny man up, he slammed him into the wall several times. The guards seeing the Captain under attack started clubbing the remaining nine men to the deck.
"Attack me scum. How dare you!" Skull said with an evil grin. He lifted his left hand, placed it against the man's throat, and started closing the bionic fingers slowly crushing the windpipe.
Timothy gasped as he was slammed into the wall and the shank went flying from his numbed fingers, then another hand grasped his throat and Timothy started grasping at the hand as he felt his throat being crushed, and he cried out, "Master forgive meee."
With an evil grin, Skull replied, "Of course I forgive you, slave."
Turning he slammed the man into one of the garbage chutes doors and the impact opened the door. Lifting the man up, Skull shoved him head first into the drop chute of the incinerator.
"Have a nice trip!" he snarled.
Timmy felt the tractor beam lock onto him. It started pulling him into the chute.
"Master! Noooo... " came from inside the chute.
As his feet disappeared from sight, Skull turned on the rest of the slaves. Looking at the guards, he said, "Kill them all."
The guards jump to obey their master orders and quickly slit the slaves' throats and begun disposing of their corpses.
Skull watched as his men did his bidding on the nine remaining slaves, and then dumped their bodies into the garbage chute as well.
"Get some more slaves up here, and clean up this mess."
"Yes, Sir," replied one of the men.
Walking onto the bridge, Skull looked around at the crew, and then at the holomap. The display showed the three ships in convoy, as he snapped out his orders, "Status report!"
Val 'Bloodface' O'Donald looked up from his communications board, and said, "Sir, we have uploaded the new computer cores, the captured ships are underway. We are ready to hyper for home."
Skull sat down in his chair and a slave brought him a goblet of wine, "Good take us home."
The three ships boosted to hyper speed and disappeared into the depths of space taking the crews and their ships off to captivity.
Behind them, the H.M.S. Devastator dropped out of hyperspace and started scanning for any sign of the missing freighters. Finding none it boosted back into hyper.
Joan looked at the scanner and hit the side of the board.
"Damn it!" she snapped out as she looked over at Richard Whitecloud, she said, "Ensign Whitecloud, how long until sensors and communications are back online?"
"Ma'am, I will find out." Activating his com, he said, "Chief O'Doul. The captain wants to know what the statuses of the repairs are." Listening to the Chiefs report, he turned to the Captain and repeated what he was being told. "Ma'am Chief O'Doul reports the hull has been patched and repressurized. They have replaced the sensor panels, and are booting up, but the tower sensors are not sending the information they are gathering. He has a crew checking the trunk line for damage. Communications are back up. You may contact the rest of the ships of the convoy. They are shunting the signal through the secondary communications array. The main communication dish is a write off.
"Your cabin is a total loss, and they have found Chief Holloway in his pantry. I'm sorry, Ma'am, he's dead. We also have a casualty report, we have nine dead, sixteen wounded and three missing and presumed dead from laser turret one."
Joan sat back in her chair and felt the sudden loss of a man she has known for nine years.
"Thank you Ensign Whitecloud. I was afraid he would not get out in time."
Joan rubbed her forehead and thought of Chief Benjamin Holloway, and how he would surprise her with her favorite meals, or be there with some item she needed or was looking for, without her needing to ask for it.
Richard sat up straighter as his board lit up and a sensor data feed poured in to his holographic screen.
"Ma'am I have a sensor reading on the convoy. I have the Orient, Jefferson, White Light, Dragon, Vermont, Ohio, Valkyrie, and the Blue Herron. The Devonshire and Amsterdam are missing."
'Damn it, two ships gone, ' she thought as she stood up.
She walked over to Richard's screen, and looked at the data.
"Richard, contact each ship. I want their sensor data. I need to know what happened to those two ships. Also order to the convoy they are to reform at our location."
"Yes, Ma'am. Sensor data is coming in now." Highlighting the area where the Amsterdam and Devonshire were when they disappeared. Touching the screen, he made his report. "They disappeared here, Ma'am. 39.5 North, 25 degrees azimuth, they were climbing away from the convoy when the Q-ship did something and all three ships disappeared." Looking at the sensor data, closer he ran the scans through his filter and saw that there was a powerful energy pulse from the Dove "Ma'am, it looks like a powerful energy pulse knocked them out of hyper. How, I don't know. I have never seen anything like this."
Leaning in she watched as Richard played the data. She was mystified by the scans as well, and said so.
"I don't know what happened, either. Prepare a full data burst for every ship in the convoy. The admiralty must know about this."
Walking back to her chair, she looked at her bridge crew and her eyes settle on Lieutenant Corry Yu, and she said, "Lieutenant Yu, shut down the hyper engines. Ensign Whitecloud, prepare your sensors for full scan. I want to know where those freighters are." Turning on the ships com system, she addressed the crew. "All hands, this is the captain. Man your battle stations, this is not a drill. Set condition red throughout the ship."
The alarms sounded, and the crew rushed to their battle stations. Weapons went active as the small warship dropped to normal space. Scanners went active, while weapons sensors looked for a target to lock onto.
Richard stared at his scanner data and found a trace of the ion trail from the freighters. "Ma'am the ships were here, I have a hyper-jump heading 216.98 Azimuth —65. They are heading towards the Salina Nebula."