|EFS Normandy: Beneath the Face of Saturn
Author: Steel Magnolia PM
The EFS Normandy fights the pirate hordes at the moons of Saturn. Dr. Rhodes is captured. Rated PG-13 for violence and adult situations.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Angst - Chapters: 5 - Words: 14,895 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Published: 09-01-03 - id: 1504213
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author Note: This was written about 1998. I was involved with a group of people on-line reminiscing about a sci-fi cartoon called Exosquad and we decided to make our own ship and characters. Most of the characters in this story aren't mine, and the story line came from multiple people, although this is mostly told from my character's point of view.
For those not familiar with Exosquad: The background to this story is that the Homeworlds government (Earth, Mars, and Venus) has sent the entire space fleet to try and destroy the pirate menace that has been plaguing mining in the asteroid belt. A race of genetically engineered slaves called Neo Sapiens are exploiting the pirate threat to lure the Fleet away so that they can stage an uprising and take over the Homeworlds. This story takes place before the uprising.
The flagship of the fleet is the EFS Resolute. The EFS Normandy is the small frigate we created. E-frames are military ships that look like variations on the big robotic loader that Ripley used to battle the Queen alien in Aliens. Pilots use both manual and cybernetic controls.
This is a sequel to "First Battle", but it is not necessary to read the other first.
Beneath the Face of Saturn – Prologue
Lt. Crow Mengele, XO of the Sierra Three jumptroop platoon, whistled appreciatively. "You gotta love a woman in uniform," he told his two companions. "Or out," he grinned, leering comically at the blonde e-frame pilot walking past their table in the mess hall. Dirk Dagger gave a bark of laughter. Robert Preston merely rolled his eyes, concentrating intently on his food. Crow watched intently for the expected response.
The pilot, Trooper Nicole Montgomery, turned with outrage evident in the stiff lines of her body. Her brown eyes burned with anger and indignation. Her friend and closest confidante, Ensign Amy Hiatt, hurriedly caught up with her and laid a hand on the blonde's arm.
"Take it easy, Nikki," Amy warned lightly. She shot the blue-haired jumptrooper a venomous look on her friend's behalf. "He's not worth it," She raked him up and down with a pointed stare. "Unless he's got more than he's showing right now." Color rose and faded on the e-frame pilot's pale cheeks.
Amy tugged at her friend's arm. "Come on, let's go find a seat." She glanced quickly around the mess hall, and spotted two men sitting nearby. "Look, there's Elan and Lt. O'Muirdagh," she said with relief as she noticed their squadron mate and XO.
"This has nothing to do with David Wells," Elan Tedronai's voice was as cold as the untouched food on his plate. His XO Ratislav O'Muirdagh sat across the table from him and regarded him impassively with dark green eyes, arms folded across his chest. Both looked up, startled, when Amy gave a sigh of relief and plopped her plate down with a metal thud.
"Come on, ladies," Crow called over to them, "there's plenty of room for you to sit here." He shoved Dirk's chair sideways with a booted foot. There was a new gleam in his eye. "Don't tell me you would prefer those lazy flyboys over there." His voice carried well, and Tedronai and O'Muirdagh bristled at the comment. Crow grinned without humor. THIS was what he had been itching for.
"Somebody remind me why we give these apes a ride on our boat?" Ratislav growled. "They're more trouble than they're worth."
"Perhaps it would be best if we jettisoned them with the rest of the refuse," Elan added. He and Ratislav exchanged a rare look of commiseration.
"Definitely," Nikki said, glaring at the jumptroopers. Amy chuckled.
"I don't know," she said. "They're kind of cute, in a brutish, Neanderthal sort of way."
"Hey, I heard that slur on my good character," Crow called out. His chair scraped against the metal deck as he pushed back from the table and stood. He sauntered over to the table and leaned down between the two women. "Now, whenever you get tired of men who like it fast, you just let me know."
"That's just about enough," Ratislav bit out. Both he and Elan surged to their feet. Ratislav shot Elan a look. "I outrank you," he reminded him. Elan bowed ironically. Ratislav turned to face the tall, lanky jumptrooper, his green eyes narrowed in anger. Crow tossed his head, flinging his shoulder-length blue bangs back from his face. His surgically altered eyes were a flat white.
"All right, gentlemen," Nikki slapped her hands on the table and stood. "That's enough testosterone for one meal." Crow grinned down at her, enjoying the way her strawberry blonde hair seemed to crackle around her head and her brown eyes snapped with anger.
She narrowed her eyes at him. "I could have you up for harassment, Lieutenant, but you're not worth my time." She moved to leave.
"Has anybody ever told you you're beautiful when you're angry?" Crow asked, catching her arm. Nikki snarled. She jerked her arm from his grasp, using the momentum to whirl around and deliver a beautiful left hook just as O'Muirdagh launched himself at the jumptrooper.
Crow rolled with the punch, avoiding the worst of the blow, but was caught square on by Ratislav's attack. The two men crashed back against the table, sending the metal dishes clattering to the deck. They fell off the table, each rolling to his feet in a flash, crouched down with arms held up loose and limber for defense.
Crow's tongue darted out and tasted blood on his lip. He grinned and slashed a sidelong glance at Nikki. "And here I thought the only thing you'd break is my heart," he said.
Ratislav bared his teeth in a feral grin. "I should have left you for her. She'd do more damage then me, I think." He saw the two jumptroopers and Elan hovering out of the corner of his eye. "He's mine," he warned.
"As you wish," Elan said. He looked at the two jumptroopers. "I will not interfere," he told Ratislav. Robert Preston merely raised a brow and both he and Dirk Dagger stood calmly, confident in their own XO.
Nikki threw a chair at the two combatants. "Stop it!" she cried. Ratislav deflected it with an arm, and they continued to circle each other warily, looking for an opening. She growled in frustration, not wanting to draw a weapon and escalate the situation.
Amy glanced around. Nobody else seemed inclined to stop the fight. She winced as Crow closed with Ratislav, and she heard the dull thud of fist meeting flesh. As she dashed for the kitchen there was a flurry of blows before the smaller Ratislav was able to use his lower center of gravity to swing Crow over his hip. The jumptrooper flipped midair and managed to gain his footing, spinning to leap back at the pilot. The two of them locked together, grappling for a hold.
"Give it up, flyboy," Crow grunted. His white eyes gleamed earily. Ratislav head-butted him, both of them reeling from the force. They clashed again, and seemed locked together until Ratislav suddenly flew backwards to slam against the fallen chair. Crow laughed in triumph and advanced on the fallen pilot. Then he too felt himself picked up and thrown aside. He crashed hard against a table and gasped as the edge caught him hard in the ribs.
Cookie's huge bulk shadowed them both. The balding cook folded his massive arms across his chest, glaring at them both. His prosthetic left leg gleamed dully in the ship's light. A white apron stretched across his broad body. Somehow it didn't detract from the menace in his stance.
"Does this look like a bar to you two jackheads?" he rumbled. Piercing grey eyes nailed the two troopers until they both slowly shook their heads. "Then what are you doing brawling over dinner? This is my mess, not a gym... or a meat market." Crow flushed. "You kids need to learn to save your energy for the real enemy. Now get up and shake hands or else I'll make sure you can't."
Ratislav eased carefully to his feet, noting with satisfaction that Crow was moving equally as slowly. They eyed each other warily. Crow glanced at the cook and his mouth twitched. "Guess I'd better shake your hand before he decides to put too much salt in our soup tomorrow." He extended his hand. Ratislav looked at it as though it were a snake he'd like to blast before grabbing it in a strangle hold. The two men struggled not to show any pain as they felt bones grind together. Cookie grunted in disgust and turned back to the kitchen.
"By the way," the cook called over his shoulder, "Don't worry about that salt in your soup." Crow grinned. "You're both on quick meals for a week." Ratislav pulled his hand away and snarled at the jumptrooper before stalking away.
Nikki caught his arm. "I didn't need your help," she said. "But thanks anyways." Ratislav looked at her.
"I know you can fight your own battles," he told her. "That wasn't for you."
"Ladies," Elan pulled out a chair for Amy. "Care to finish dinner?" She smiled at him and sat, sighing with relief. She smiled more broadly when she found her food still warm. Cookie's seafood linguini.... She was interrupted by the First Officer's voice.
"All hands, general quarters. The Fleet has arrived at the moons of Saturn."