Chapter 8: Old scores (part 1)

Jen Fahlger awoke for the second time to the sound of a reverberating bang, followed shortly after by an alarm that sounded really close.

She tentatively sat up, this time fully aware of the fact that she'd probably sustained some sort of head injury. She felt a little faint, but she resolved herself to power through it and got up. As she swung her feet off of the bunk to stand, she realized that her body was incredibly stiff all the way up to her neck.

Jen took a moment to sort herself out, stretching and popping joints as needed. Once she felt confident enough she attempted to finally stand and, much to her relief, found it to be a much easier task than she thought it'd be.

"Alright so…" she started to say, but stopped when she heard someone shouting.

Realizing it was the voice of the man she heard before passing out, Jen paced over to the door and pressed her ear up against it in order to hear him a little better.

She thought she heard him saying something about preparing for impact but she wasn't too sure.

It would be just her luck that she woke up in a ship that was about to crash.

The former first mate tried to get the door open, but it was sealed shut. She wondered briefly if she was being held prisoner but reconsidered based on the fact that she wasn't being restrained in any way.

As she contemplated what to do next, she heard heavy footsteps behind her and felt a familiar chill creep up her spine when a pair of cold hands closed around her neck.

"Oh... how disappointing…"

X-x

*Aboard the Unshakable*

The sound of a heavy lever being pulled back was followed by a low sinister chuckle.

A woman, wearing a long black cloak with a hood obscuring most of her face, stepped back from the tractor beam controls with a smile on her face. To her relief it seemed that the Unreliable was able to stabilize itself just moments before crashing into the Unshakable's hull.

"Oh no, you're not dying that easily 'Hero'. You've got a lot to atone for…"

X-x

*Back on the Unreliable*

"Oh, we slowed down?" the Captain asked, shocked at how abruptly the huge ship stopped drawing them in. "ADA can we uh…"

"If you're about to ask me if we have enough power to boost ourselves away the answer is no" the AI responded, with no small amount of venom in her tone. "We're very lucky that whoever's doing this didn't decide to just kill us outright."

"Well then… I guess that only leaves us with one option" the Captain said, and when he only received a small 'hmph' in acknowledgement he decided it was time to get moving.

Grabbing the small microphone on his desk that was hooked to the speakers that lined the interior of the Unreliable, he began to check on the statuses of his crew members.

"Is everyone alright?" he said into the mic. After he received a positive response from down below, the Captain decided to start issuing his orders.

"Ellie please go to check on our 'guest', make sure she didn't get hurt by that whole fiasco. Then I'm gonna need you to suit up, you're going in with me. Same goes for you Max, we'll probably need your expertise hacking into this ships system."

After receiving an affirmative from both parties he hung up the mic and turned back to ADA. "I'm going to get changed now."

"By all means" the ship AI replied "your mini-gun should still be inside of your oddly spacious chest."

"Thanks, do you mind opening up the engine room? I have an idea on how to squeeze out a little more power."

"Sure."

"Uh… ADA?"

"Yes Captain?"

"We… are we cool?"

It took a moment for her to reply, but when she did she sighed resignedly and said "if you can get us out of this mess I'll consider us 'cool'."

"Hmm, alright you got it."

An awkward beat of silence followed the short exchange and was broken again by the Captain shifting on the spot. "You know I'm going to need some privacy when I'm changing ADA…"

"Of course Captain."

The Captain assumed this meant his ship AI had turned her surveillance systems off in his room for the time being and proceeded to strip.

He assumed incorrectly.