The Depths of Space

Saidruck and his crew stumble across and ancient wreck in the depths of space. As they begin to investigate it and try to find out who it belongs to, things start to go wrong and Saidruck realises there is more to himself and this wrecked spaceship than first meets the eye...

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2. Boarding

“Ready?” Saidruck asked, his voice coming over the comms in the helmets of the others. There were five of them, all suited up in armoured airtight suits designed for boarding actions.

            There was Saidruck, B78, a techie known as B103 and two of the toughest soldiers B758 and B759; all of them stood assembled in the corridor by the boarding rod which was positioned underneath their ship. The boarding rod itself was a narrow extendable tube like construction with a drill bit at the end, designed to bore through the hull of an opposing ship and disgorge troops onto it. Although in this case, they were just using it as a method to get onto the wreck without breaking what was hopefully an airtight seal.

            “Yeah!” chorused the others, B758 and B759 both checked their heavy rifles they carried.

            Their frigate was positioned near to the bridge of the wreck, over a point where there wasn’t too much damage.

            “Bridge, fire up boarding drill,” Saidruck ordered. There was a roar and the metal drill bit beneath them descended into the hull of the stricken vessel. There followed the most horrific rending screeching noise as the energised drill tore through the hardened plate armour of the wreck.

            Saidruck gripped the side of the corridor and waited. A few moments later and there was a ping in his ear. “Drill’s gone through.”

            The hatch in the floor opened up, revealing a ladder down through the centre of the rod; the drill bit had moved aside revealing a gap which led into the interior of the wreck.

            Saidruck nodded to the others then swung himself down into the rod and clambered down the ladder, dropping the last few rungs he landed in a crouch on the floor of the other ship.

            The edges round the rod glowed red, still smouldering from the violent entry of the drill. Saidruck swung his head round, scanning the interior. It was dark was the first thing he noticed, lighting had obviously failed. The second thing he noticed was there was gravity, clearly the artificial gravity generator of the ship still worked, assumedly it was a passive system and didn’t require power. The third was he was in a corridor several metres wide and about three tall.

            Saidruck moved to one side letting the others in, his heavy footsteps echoing eerily in the corridor. “Still got an atmosphere in here,” Saidruck remarked looking at the readout on his helmet.

            “Blooming cold though,” B758 replied his voice echoing in Saidruck’s helmet.

            “Okay, head towards their bridge, bridge do you copy?” Saidruck asked.

            “Yeah, loud and clear, we’ve got you on screen,” their own bridge replied.

            Saidruck switched his headlamp on and started off down the corridor, the others following close behind. It was eerie to say the least.

            “Saidruck, ahead,” B759 said pointing his head, and hence light, up the corridor. There, slumped against the wall, was a body clad in huge armour, a sword and shield lying beside it. Saidruck drew his energy sword and advanced cautiously; clumsily he thumbed (or would have thumbed if rabbits had proper thumbs) the ‘on’ button and the sword extended to full length and lit up with a crackle of green energy.

            Heart racing and sounding like a drum beat he drew up to the fallen soldier. There was a blast scar by its neck, the thick black armour blown in at that point. Gently Saidruck nudged it with his boot. Clunk! The armoured body rolled over; it was huge, if it were stood up it would be at least two metres tall.

            “What’s that?” B78 queried kneeling beside it.

            “Crew of the ship I guess,” Saidruck answered examining the massive sword of the fallen warrior.

            “Quite a blade,” B758 noted as Saidruck rolled it over in his paw, easily a metre long and made of a strange black metal.

            “Let’s move on,” Saidruck announced straightening and turning his sword off. He was nervous, not that he should be, but he was walking the corridors of a dead ship and it unnerved him. Shaking his head he continued down the corridor.

            Only a few metres ahead was a blast door, or at least the remains of one. Two huge sliding doors had been blown open, twisted by the impact of some weapon.

            “Whoever attacked this ship went this way,” B758 remarked, Saidruck nodded sagely picking his way through the gap, behind it was quite a scene.

            The corridor opened up into a chamber, consisting of barricades and turrets; obviously the crew had made a stand here. That they had been unsuccessful was immediately apparent; shattered barricades and wrecked auto turrets lay scattered on the floor beside the bodies of more giant soldiers. They looked almost like knights of old with their large swords and bulky shields. The room was liberally decorated with the blast marks of some kind of energy weapon, alongside dried blood splatters, clearly the strange knights had taken some invaders down with them.

            “I don’t like this,” B103 whispered nervously, his deep rabbit voice slightly higher than normal, Saidruck kept quiet, but was feeling equally uneasy.

            Then he saw something strange. “Guys... is it me, or are these suits of armour empty?” he said kneeling beside one of the knights whose chest plate had been torn in two. There was nothing behind it, no body, no skeleton, just empty armour.

            B759 nudged up a facemask of another one, “nothing,” he stated simply pushing it back down again.

            “Strange...”

            “Come on... let’s head back,” B103 urged.

            “We don’t know anything yet, I think that’s the bridge ahead, let’s make for that,” Saidruck replied indicating a flight of wide stairs that led up to another broken blast door. The others nodded and clomped up the stairs and through the door after him, carefully treading between the fallen knights, or rather, armour suits.

            The way ahead was barred by a barricade of fallen metal from where some of the roof had collapsed bringing down panels and torn pipes. Saidruck swung his headlight round looking for another way past, there was none.

            “Go back?” B103 asked.

            “No, we should be able to shift this,” B78 replied inspecting it. “Give me a hand you two,” he added, B758 and B759 walked over and took hold of a girder between them and pulled. Crash! The resounding noise echoed through the ship as bits and pieces collapsed.

            Laying the girder down they pulled metal plating and broken pipe segments out of the way. “That should do,” Saidruck announced throwing a small beam aside with a ‘clang!’ They had now cleared a way through one side and into the room behind.

            “Let’s see what their bridge has to say.”

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