Escape to Paradise

The year is 3001. The Universe is practically in a full state of Anarchy. The only place that is still held in a tight grasp by the Government is the Center, the main planet, with the best technology and transport. My name is James Montgomery Renner, and I am the Captain of Persephone. My wife, Janie, died on a mission to the Center, so it's not surprising I now despise them.

My daughter, Lynn is probably the best Goddamn Mechanic y'all ever will meet, she's smart for a fifteen year old, pretty too. Our job; We fly through Space and Time, doing odd jobs, tying up any loose ends, finding old family heirlooms etc.
Persephone, as I call her is probably the best ship in the Universe and all pocket Uni's. If you ever are in need of our services; look towards the sky.

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1. Welcome aboard.

This planet was dark. Darker than the others that the crew of Persephone had visited before. James' feet  crunched underfoot. He turned back and jerked his head, out of the small cargo ship appeared a young girl, her brown hair short and spiky, her blue eyes covered by Victorian eye goggles. She stepped up to James, her long brown overcoat swaying slightly in the light wind.
"Where's Fortis?" James asked, curious. Lynn shrugged, "I think he's still sulking." She responded quietly as they advanced through the dark. It was quiet here on Fertain. Too quiet. 


The sound of gunfire sounded from Lynn's right, "Run!" She ordered firmly as she pushed James forward, the pair started running, trying their best to avoid the rays from the guns. 
They finally stopped, out of breath in a small dark section of wood. Their attackers ran past, shouting "After them!" in an unknown, harsh language. They were soon gone.


"God, you idiot!"  Lynn growled as she slapped her Father's arm. He recoiled, stroking his arm.
"Ow! What did I do?" He asked, his voice higher than usual. Lynn sighed.
"I told you to check for any life forms, especially one's that had guns." She replied, a hint of annoyance in her tone.
"The rotor is offline, it has been since The Stokes." He replied calmly. The two were silent for a moment, trying to regain control of their breathing and their heart beats. It was quiet on Fertain, as the wind gently blew through the trees and foliage. Wind and darkness were the only two of the three climates on Fertain. The third was rain which they rarely got, but if they were lucky they'd get at least an hour of frozen solid rain. Hint; stay indoors during that hour.


"We better be going." Lynn suggested as she started walking out, then James saw it, they were lucky to have missed it in their frenzy for cover. A small landmine, not too far from the clearing that they had hid in, and Lynn was about to walk straight into it.
"Lynn!" James roared, just as her foot came into contact with it. The explosion sounded through the clearing, the force sending James flying back against a tree.

He let out a sound of pain as he rolled to his feet in a defensive crouch. He tried his best to ignore the smell of burning flesh and the small fragments of Lynn everywhere. It must have been a specially made mine, usually they wouldn't have been that strong, not strong enough for the force to knock James off his feet, who had been a safe distance away.


 As he grew closer to the danger area, his stomach started to get tighter and tighter. By the time he saw Lynn he thought he was going to be sick. Something cracked under James' foot, he looked down to find Lynn's goggles, the red glass cracked.

He gently leaned down and scooped them up, and placed it in his pocket. When he reached Lynn, he got sick in his mouth. It was awful. The smell of burning flesh was the strongest here, the smell of burnt hair and clothes. 
Trying his best not to look at her, let alone injure her more, James picked her up carefully and made his way, avoiding the landmines, not wishing to have the same fate as Lynn, back to Persephone.

The loading door of the ship opened, 'Sir, the medical bay has been prepped and is ready to begin with the life support for Lynn Renner.' Said the cool and ever calm voice of Persephone, the animated life form that came with the older forms of the Center cargo ships.

You couldn't get this model anymore purely because of the artificial life the ship had, The Center (the main planet of the System) had been receiving reports from other Captain's from the older Cargo ship that they're ship had turned on the crew. It was unveiled as a scam, but not after all the ships were destroyed, minus Persephone.


"Thanks, Perse." James said out of breath as he jogged, Lynn still in his arms, to the Medi-bay. It was a small room, in the corner there was a machine, the ceiling dome shaped flat based floor. The dome was open and James slid Lynn inside, shutting the lid and fumbled in a command into the keypad, his fingers slipping, but he managed to keep on target. 


'Starting sequence 23; On right arm; Patella to Phalanges on right side; Right side of Torso; Needed approval from Captain James Montgomery Renner to continue surgery on Lynn Charity Renner; Continue or Abort?' 
"Continue!" Capt. Renners ordered, his voice hoarse and panicked. The machine began to make a whizzing noise and began. Half way it suddenly stopped; 'Insufficient parts to continue surgery on Lynn Renner.' A lump formed in James' throat, he raced out of the Medi-bay and began ripping parts of the Cargo bay, dust rising in his face as he did so, "Sorry Perse." He muttered as he stroked the ship tenderly as he ran back to the Medi-bay and loaded the parts into a small tray, which as soon as it felt weighted, was sucked into the gap.

As soon as the parts had been inserted the surgery begun again. James sat down on a chair, next to the Medicarrier. Soon, his eyes were heavy and drooping fast. He was woken by the blaring sound of beeping, he woke to find the door of the Medicarrier open, the water from inside dripping onto the ground.


He sat up to find  a trail of wet footprints across the room, the lights were red and the room dark. 'Surgery on Lynn Renner aborted.' James sat up as he heard Persephone inform him, standing in the center of the room, was Lynn.

But she was different. Her hair was wet and hung low in her eyes. But the alarming look of anger in her eyes wasn't what was worrying; Her right arm, was now a mechanical arm, the metal had been warped and smelted to look like the bone which had originally been under a layer of flesh. It was the same with her right leg, which was Mechanical from the kneecap to the foot. The right half of her Torso had also been replaced to look like ribs. 


"Lynn...?" James tried, she looked up, and unsurely walked over to him, James carefully placed his hands on her hips, keeping her steady. "Are you okay?" He asked, hopefully. Lynn didn't respond momentarily. "I'm...I'm different." She responded, scared. James nodded, standing he wrapped his arms up around her, laying his head on the top of hers. "Yeah...you're different. But you're still alive. You're still here, with me."

"But wouldn't it have been kinder to let me die?" She asked, her voice calm. James removed his arms and his weathered hands gripping Lynn's shoulders, he leaned down slightly so he could stare Lynn in the eye. "Listen to me, very carefully Lynn Renner, don't you ever say that again? Do I make myself clear?" James growled sternly. "Crystal." She replied coolly as she pushed James' hands off her shoulders, Lynn stalked out of the Medibay, leaving a trail of water behind her.
                                                                             *******
A tall dark haired beauty stood beside a beat up the Center Fertain Passenger Ship, inspecting the damage, she flicked her long black fringe out of her lazy brown eyes as she turned to her Customer. "I will be in need of seven solid gold platens for this repair." She replied, her voice thick with a Russian accent, the Customer looked up with surprise. "But that's more than the ship!" He exclaimed. Ursula De Portica walked forward, her heels clicking on the stone floor of her garage, she pointed a screwdriver at the customer, he recoiled jerkily.

"I give half this price. You don't want this fixed, you don't pay. I go lower no more." She responded with an air of disgust in her voice. The Customer held his hands out in front of him defensively, "Alright, alright..." He muttered bitterly as he pulled the seven gold platens (which were smooth, flat plates of solid gold with '1' engraved on their sides) from his briefcase. He handed them to De Portica, who took them with a gloved hand.
"This is greatly appreciated." Ursula responded, "Yeah whatever...just fix it." With that the customer exited the shop hurriedly. 
Later that day Ursula opened the door to her dingy apartment, the streets were getting rougher in Heliger and the Anarchy report had warned all businesses to shut, encase of riots. "I am home." She called as she made her way down the cramped corridor into the Sitting room/Kitchen/Dining area.

Sitting at the table was Malin, her long brown hair damp from the shower, Malin turned when she heard Ursula enter and smiled as Ursula walked forward and kissed her Wife gently on the lips, the kiss lingered momentarily but was broken when Ursula sat down across the table from Malin. In Malin's hands was a small slip of yellowed paper. 
 

"What  is that?" Ursula asked as she nodded to the paper, Malin looked up, "It's...It's an advert. Advert for a crew on a Center Celestial Cargo Ship." Ursula's heart skipped a beat. 'Center Celestial Cargo Ship!?' Her Mind screamed. "Please." She blurted out. Malin smiled as she took Ursula's hands in hers. "I've already contacted the Captain. He wants us at The Stokes at morning." Ursula's eyes twinkled. "Then we ought to pack." The dark haired Russian said, her lips curling into a smile.
                                                                       **********
Sebastain Martinsson had just been fired. Fired from his job in the Centre. "I'm sorry Seb." Henry had sighed, patting Seb on the shoulder as he departed from the cafe. Sebastian now sat there, dumbfounded he ran a hand through his manically curly blonde hair and re-adjusted his wire frame glasses and stroked his beard thoughtfully.

"What in God's name am I going to do now!?" He muttered to himself angrily. With what little bronze platens Seb had in his pocket, he bought himself a cup of Black Deffro. It was a bitter drink, good for sharpening the senses. Seb took his suit jacket from where it had been laying across the table, and began walking home.

Seb had reached his local shop when someone passed him a yellowed slip of paper; it wasn't uncommon for Anarchy-ridden nut-job's to hand out flyers about how the Government at the Center should be overthrew. Sebastian took the flyer, sighing slightly as he read the printed text;
Crew wanted for a Center Celestial Cargo ship.
Positions wanted;
Mechanic, Pilot, Doctor's and Weapon Experts.

Seb didn't know about the rest, but he knew damn well sure he was a Doctor. He had got his degree at seventeen. The job he had just been fired from had been his job since he had left college, and now at twenty-seven, he had to go out and try to find work; again.
And Sebastian thought he may have just found it.

  *******

"You owe me." Yannick growled as he forced the low life Gambler against the wall of the Fertain Casino. The gambler mumbled out an excuse of getting the money and Yannick dropped him, stepping out into the solid rain. It was painful to go home in, but Yannick didn't mind. He was sick of hearing about that teenager getting blown up out by the Forest and how they'd gloated on finding bits of her everywhere.
 

Yannick walked across the street, dodging in between rain covers. Yannick was half way home when he found a flyer, pinned up with a knife, against one of the wooden poles holding up the rain covers. Yannick tore it down as he studied the page; they were looking for fighters basically. Yannick stood there, weighing his options has the rain unfroze and gently wafted down, and then suddenly disappeared. Yannick ran a hand through his dark short hair, unsure. It said to meet in The Stokes. He could get there in time. Yannick walked to his shuttle and boarded it, setting course for The Stokes.
                                                                                *******
"You sure anyone's gonna come?" Lynn asked as she and James stood in the dusty desert clearing. Wrapped around Lynn's neck was a Pine Marten's tail. The little beaut, named Fortis, had tiny orange horns and could change colors. James had got the little fighter in the Center when he wasn't a wanted man, Fortis had belonged to Lynn ever since.

"I'm positive...and here's our crew." Simultaneously, One Hired Shuttle, and two personal ones dropped down in front of the two, sending a cloud of dust spiraling around them. The hired Shuttle opened first, the two that came out first were both female, one had long straight brown hair that stopped halfway down her back and had sharp features. The second was a Tall, dark haired beauty. The last and final guest on the Shuttle was a blond haired man, his curly hair slicked back with gel. Dust stuck to his wire rimmed glasses. 

Out of the first personal shuttle was a tall, broad man, his hair cut short and his skin tanned and weathered. He was obviously a warrior. And lastly, out of the last Shuttle came a small, dark eyed woman with her curly hair pulled back into a bun. 

"Limme guess," James said, as he pointed to each member in the order they arrived, "Malin," A nod, "Ursula," another nod, "Sebastian," another nod, "Yannick," Nod, "And Maverick." Nod. James smiled as Lynn stepped forward, "My name is Lynn Charity Renner and this my Father, Captain James Montgomery Renner, and this," Lynn gestured to the ship, "Is our ship, Persephone." 

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