Chapter 1: Taking a hold

Jen Fahlger, first mate of the Unshakable, ran for her life.

They hadn't known what hit them, one minute her and her crew were enjoying their frozen dinners (you make due with what you have) and within the span of seconds their ship had gone dark. Loud sirens and blaring red warning lights ignited, and the ship's AI warned them that their hull had been breached.

Jen remembered the sound of someone screaming coming from up above and then, to her horror, the body of her captain fell from the top deck.

She remembered more of her crew falling around her, cut apart by an unseen foe as she fled to the escape pods.

"Deliveraaaaaaaance…" something hissed in her ear, and she turned and shot at it with her light pistol.

Whatever it was, it hissed in pain this time, but Jen didn't stay to finish it off, her instincts told her she had to get out.

As it had turned out, she'd made the right call.

Even more dark figures slithered from the darkness after her. They hissed and scrapped at the metal, anger emanating in their hushed voices as they chanted.

"Deliveraaance…. Deliveraaaance… Deliveraaaance…"

Jen finally reached the escape pods and smashed her fist against the door panel behind her. The automatic door slammed closed, locking out her pursuers. This only saved her a few seconds, however, for as soon as the creatures got to the door they rammed against it with abandon, denting the metal and slowly making it give way.

The last thing Jen remembered was screaming at the top of her lungs as the creatures finally made it through.

She jumped for the opened escape pod, but it seemed she was too slow. Something hard hit her in the back of her head with enough force to knock her out almost instantly...

Hours later

Jen woke up to the feel of a soft bed and faintest smell of Algae Lager.

She scrunched up her nose, not particularly fond of alcohol and its various odors, and turned on her side hoping to snuggle a little deeper under the covers.

The former first mate didn't remember having beds this comfortable on the Unshakable, her captain had refused to splurge on decent mattresses due to budget constraints but she had always suspected it had more to do with making sure his crew was never too comfortable.

"Wait" she said aloud, sitting up in the bed. "This… This isn't my ship" she felt a dull ache in the back of her head as she raked her brain to remember why she'd be on someone else's ship.

Jen leaned forward, but upon doing so the dull ache in her head from before grew into a full on migraine causing her to clutch at her skull in an attempt to stop it from feeling like it was going to split apart.

"Captain" a female voice said, "it would seem our 'guest' has woken up".

It was odd, Jen could tell it was obviously an AI speaking but for some reason it seemed… sassy.

"Thanks ADA" a deeper voice called in response, "I'll be down in a moment".

That must've been the captain of this vessel, Jen surmised, apparently he was used to the AI's attitude. It was weird though, she could've sworn he sounded familiar.

Jen heard heavy footsteps coming down the corridor to her room, and held her breath in anticipation for what was to come.

When the Captain had finally reached her door and looked inside her eyes widened to almost comical levels.

"Hey I-"


Meanwhile, on the shattered remains of the Unshakable

"Sire, we've sent the girl away as you've aaaasked…."

"Hmm, so it seems" a deep, ominous voice replied.

"Will he really come? Does he dare to be so foolish as to challenge us?"

"He'll come" it said, "he can't resist playing the hero…"