Starlight Antiquities

by

Spacerin

Chapter 16 - On the Good Ol' Freighter

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Timothy’s mind spun around, and every time he tried to get up from the floor of the transporter, he would get so disoriented, his knees would tremble, and he slipped to the floor again. Marv picked him up as if he was a baby and tried to put him into a chair, but the spinning did not stop and Timothy skidded down to the safety of the floor again.

“Don’t move me, please,” he said.

“Fuckin’ Shadow Men,” Marv groaned, looking helplessly at his friend.

“It does not make sense,” Slicky said.

“What do you mean?” Sornia asked.

“I mean, his wound, yes… But this…” Slicky answered, and pointed to the blue screen that still engulfed Timothy and would follow it anywhere he stumbled to. “That does not make sense. It can’t be coming out of his wound, can it? I mean, this screen… structured and informative. It looks alive, almost as if it is of some kind of biomaterial.”

He approached the screen and put his hand next to its side, then slowly inside. “It's soft and warm, like a pillow... I have never seen anything like that before. Have you?”

“No.”

“It’s not some crazy-shit tech Mith have, is it?”

“Nope.”

“It sure as hell is not Union’s… So, then, it must, be…”

“It must be the box then,” The three of them said almost in Union and stared at the box that they swiped from the battleship and had left sitting on the back seat.

Marv would not even come close to it, and Sornia turned around and looked at it, examining its smooth surface from every visible angle.

“Well, I carried it,” Slicky said and lifted it in his hand. He pressed his fingers against its edge, but there was no opening or any other kind of markings there.

“Do you guys know what it is?” Slicky asked.

“No. We were just hired to get it. Do you?”

“No, Idea. It’s just a metal box.”

“You think it works as a projector?”

Slicky run his fingers all around it, looking at the blue screen that did not flicker. “I don’t see it. But, there might be some stuff inside that’s causing this.”

“How?”

“I have no clue,” Slicky said and shook the box just a bit.

He heard something make noise inside.

“Maybe I can just pat it with my fist,” Marv suggested, already raising his hand to do some major smashing.

“I don’t think that would be smart,” Sornia said.

Slicky shook it again, harder, bringing it straight next to his ear to hear better the rattling sound inside.

“It’s gone!” Marv jumped up, and Slicky turned to see that the blues screen suddenly disappeared around Timothy.

“Great, now you broke it!” Marv said.

“I did not! I just shook it a bit.”

“If you broke it…”

“Hey, guys,” Timothy called their attention, suddenly able to stand straight without wobbling around. “What the fuck was that?”

“Did you see that?”

“I was fucken’ in it. What do you think?”

“And you're feeling good now?”

“Perfect.”

Sornia got close to him and looked at his foot. “Your wound is still sipping green shit out.”

“I know. But I’m feeling great now.”

“And how were you feeling a minute ago?”

“As if I was inside a blender like Rummy said a minute ago.”


The knocking on the transporter’s door brought them around.

When they opened the gate, they saw a teen kid, his face covered in pimples, staring nervously at them. “What the hell are you guys still doing inside?”

“A long story, Rummy,” Timothy answered.

“And who is that?” RUmmy asked, pointing at Slicky, still wearing his blue Captain’s uniform

“Rummy, meet Slicky.”

“Hi,” Slicky answered and, as he cast the inquisitive look around their cargo area, not knowing where to turn next, he finally turned to look at Timothy. “Do you have a place I can refresh here? Like a restroom or something? I really need to relieve myself.”

“Sure. Two doors to your left. Also, you will find some clothes there. Not the top fashion, but it might look better on you than that uniform you’re wearing now.”

A shadow passed across Slicky’s face and he stopped himself from saying, 'But I liked my uniform', as he realized that he may never wear that uniform again.

After he left, Rummy turned around to look at Timothy. “I didn’t know we were picking someone up. Who is he?” he asked.

“He’s a captain.”

“What?”

“Yes,” Timothy answered, noting Rummy’s sudden uneasiness. “He’s a captain and he came here as your replacement. Didn’t the old Goat tell you anything about this?”

“No, no, he didn’t. Shit. Fuck. Shit. Fuck, fuck. Nobody tells me nothing here.”

Marv and Sornia both smiled seeing how Rummy got all worked up.

“What, what the fuck do I do now?” Rummy aid, raising his hands up to hold his head in disbelief.

“Yeah, he’s feeling better,” Sornia said as she looked at Marv.

“What do I do now?” Rummy almost begged to know.

“Nothing, Rummy. Just go and do your fucken job. If we had a problem with opening the back gate, I bet there are more problems in the system. Why don’t you worry about finding what is wrong and fix it? Run the diagnostic, and let Marv know what you find. I would not dare risk going into a jump now. And the Union is probably all fired up now.”

“Okay, I can do that, Mr. Timothy. I can do that. But it was the liftoff from the planet. I've had all sorts of red alerts since then. Mr. Timothy.”

“What did I tell you about calling me that?”

“O.. Okay,” Rummy said, mouth moving but words still not coming out, still unable to call him just by his name. “I did fix that flyer good for you didn’t I?”

“Oh, good, I almost forgot,” Timothy said as he stopped dead in his track, and then turned around to face Rummy. “Don’t you ever fucken’ mention that flyer to me again! Ever again!”

Sornia jumped between them to say something and defend Rummy but then a spasm of pain had hit Timothy and, instead of scolding Timothy she took his cramped, unable to move body and placed him on one of the stairs they were ready to climb.

“You’re not fucken all right,” she said.

“I’m fine,” he said after the pain spasm has left and he was fine again to climb the chairs to the bridge center.

“But, you’re going to die in… like nine hours now.”

“No, I’m feeling better now. Not planning to die anytime soon.”

“Wait,” Sornia said, watching him limp, and then sprayed the wound with RDBS foam and placed a cast over it.

“Let’s see what that does,” she said with a voice full of concern.


“Slicky is proving rather resourceful, don’t you think?” Timothy asked Marv as they walked into their bridge, each going for their own comfortable seats to rest in.


“The kid has talent. Didn't name him Slicky for nothing.”

“But, you guys know why he wanted to come with us?” Sornia asked from behind them.

“To get this box back,” Timothy said as he held the box in his hand. “And win back favors with the Union.

“Probably bring us all to justice in the process,” Sornia said.

“Of course,” Marv added. “What else could it be? You don’t think he fell in love with Timothy, do you?”

“Nope. That’s not a possibility with a statistically significant probability.”

“Auch, words that hurt,” Timothy said.

“So, what do we do? What do we do with him?” Sornia asked.

“Well, I promised not to kill him, and he is proving… interesting. And…”

“Yeah, proving interesting till he cost us our heads.”

“Yeah, maybe best... to take him to the old man and see what happens then. Let the old Goat bleat out what he thinks.”

“Oh, yeah… I like that,” Marv said with a coy smile on his lips.

But Sornia was more concerned. “We’ll see,” she said cautiously.


“And in case he is trying something funny,” Marv said after thinking about it for a moment.. “I’ll take his uniform and throw it inside one of the probes. Then send it in the direction opposite of us.”

“You think he may have some kind of tracker?”

“He’s got a comm in the button of his shirt collar. I bet that can be used as a tracker.

“Good. Do that. Except, don’t send it flying in the opposite direction. Send it to the nearest planet. Let them go there. If they just find it in space, they may figure out… what we did.”

“Yeah, that’s smart. Also, I powered down the transporter. But I do not have a clue if they can locate it in through some other means.”

“I don’t think it will be a problem as long as it stays powered down, but…”

“Might as well fix it good now.”

“Yeah, what are you thinking about?”

“We can sell that thing for like hundred g easy. But I need to completely rework its inside system.”

“Would you know how?”

“Well, I thought about just taking out its AI-”

“Oh, you love to do that, don’t you.”
“And replacing it with something… something Mith.”

“As long as you can get us a hundred g, I don’t see that Sornia would have a problem with it.”

“I don’t plan to share anything of that hundred g with the old Goat.”

“Of course not. The old fucker does not even need to know. But… Maybe we should give a bonus to Rummy and Slicky… in case he is proving valuable to us. Give him some money and send him on his merry way.”

“Yeah. That sounds about right. Although, he has started to grow on me.”

“Shit, where is he? I’ll go and check on him.”

“Are you sure you okay?” Marv asked, still concerned.

“Never better.”

“You know, maybe the old Goat would know what to do with your wound.”

“I don’t know.”

“He knows an awful lot of shit about shit we have no clue about. Maybe…”

“Look, even if our jumps work best, it would still take us like what… three days to get to Manor? So, I can’t think about him now. And if Sornia has no clue what this shit is-”

“She’s looking for it on her comm. I bet she went straight to her room to look for the solution. She’s worried, man.”

‘Well, I’m feeling fine now. Let’s go and get busy. Get this ship up and ready for the jump,” Timothy said as he got up from his chair. “Slicky? Slicky, where are you,” he called.

 

Timothy found him in the restroom where he was supposed to be. He opened the door to see Slicky twitch in surprise, his upper body being shirtless.

“Hey,” he said in a protest, but Timothy did not care and just walked in.

He looked at his milky white upper body interrupted with bruises all around his shoulders.
“You squeezed me too hard when we flew out. And my back, it hurts when you slammed me against the transporter. I’m in so much pain, I don’t think I can move.”

Sornia walked in behind Timothy carrying some jars in her hands.

“Oh, come on,” Timothy said. “That was nice, you’ve got to admit, the way we flew together. The sparks, space, stars around…” Timothy said in a soft, lover’s voice.

“Fuck off. Your armored gloves imprinted in me. I had no armor!!”

“Should I have just left you go in space? I had to hug you, hug you hard. Should I have jus tleft you go?”

“No, but-”

“So, admit it, it was nice,” Timothy said and passed the tip of his finger across his naked back.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” Slicky answered as he twitched back. “I’m, I’m straight.”

“I’m straight too. I was just saying. It was nice.”

“Finally! Someone else around to be the target of your- whatever you want to call it,” Marv said as he showed up.

Sornia smiled while she opened one of the containers and started to apply some kind of cream over Slicky’s bruisers.

“Oh, you’re jealous. Can’t believe it,” Timothy answered Marv, all surprised.

“He’s got some serious hidden issues,” Slicky told Marv, pointing at Timothy.

“You have no idea,” Sornia answered him.

Marv chuckled.

“Next time, you go and hug Marv,” Slicky said, getting upset seeing the never-leaving little smile on Timothy’s face, his finger dancing in the air, ready to touch his skin again.

“Nope. I did my share. You’re a new guy. It’s your fucken turn,” Marv answered as he picked up Slicky’s uniform and headed out to do his choir.

“Hey, guys,” Rummy’s alarming voice made them all stop. “You better come to the bridge."

"What?" Timothy asked.

"They, they found us. Holy fuck!” he screamed.

“What? What is it?” Timothy asked, already leaving the restroom and heading to the bridge.

“There are like…” Rummy started to mutter in an almost crying voice. “Twenty ships coming at us!”

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Spacerin

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