Warning: to readers this story features themes of slavery and rape. Finally all characters engaging in sexual activity are over 18 years old. Due to the constantly changing rules I will not be listing ages. Galactic Vendetta Part 01. Mission preparations. The freighter captain watched the man disembarked his ship he remembered the first time he saw the man.
Never before had he seen a man that so longed for death. That was saying a lot considering all the refugees that have booked passage on his ship. They all have had a hopeless look but this man was something else entirely.
This man didn't hold himself the way they did. Then there was a darkness in his eyes that he couldn't describe. When he first saw it he was worried that the man was a danger to his ship and crew. However that fear diminished when the man found a quiet corner of the cargo hold and lay down. From that moment on the man could always be found in that spot only leaving to eat or use the restroom. Increasing the mystery with this passenger was the fact he hardly spoke and when he did he would only say a word or two.
The captain was sure that the man had said only five words the whole month he was on the ship.
The captain was shaken from his thoughts as the man turned a corner and disappeared from view. The captain turned to his first officer and said how he hoped the man found the peace he was looking for. As the man disappeared from view he pressed a button on a box hooked his belt and vanished all together.
No one noticed the line of footprints that headed towards the many spaceship bone yards that lettered the planet Hendricks. Admiral Thomas Stilwell was just returning from a walk around the base. Recent reports out of the former Kingdom of Heliopolis had really disturbed and angered him. One thought kept going through his head he had to do something. Unfortunately that brought up the who, what, when, and how questions. He didn't know he would soon have his answers.
As the admiral sat at his desk he saw him.
Standing in the corner of his office was one of the most dangerous men in the universe. He briefly thought about going for the blaster in his desk but realized if the man was here to kill him he would already be dead. That left only one other reason why the man would be here and what he wanted. As he stared into his eyes he had to ask himself if he could he unleash what he saw before him. The man was lighter the he remembered like he had been sick. Then there was the fact that his left arm was obviously a prosthetic.
The face behind the scraggly beard was of a man with one foot already in the grave. It wasn't the man's physical condition that made the admiral ask himself. It was the anger he saw in the man's eyes. He knew whatever this man's anger was focused on was in serious danger. Finally he had to speak "Do you have a ship?" To this the man simply nodded his head. The admiral pulled a comm from his desk and tossed it to the man.
"I'll contact you in a few days after I make the arrangements." He told the man. As the admiral bent down to close the desk drawer he took his eyes off of the man for a second.
When he looked back to where the man was he was gone. His eyes immediately searched the room but there was no trace of his visitor. It was as if he was never there. The admiral thought it was a performance fit for a ghost but then again that is what the man was now a ghost. His thoughts returned to what he saw his eyes. The rage and anger he saw worried him. He had read the reports and seen the videos. He knew what happened on Orion 3, Elysium, and Heliopolis.
This was a dangerous thing he was dealing with. This man was different then the one he knew. He knew what that man was capable of but not this man. His decision was made for him when the report came in. Another massacre at the hands of the Death Squads. This may not stop them but at least he was doing something.
A month later Admiral Stillwell was making his way through one of the many spaceship graveyards that covered the planet. These bone yards always depressed him. As a fleet officer he never liked seeing a ship die this way. He still had his concerns about the man and what he could do but these had calmed down some. This was his second meeting with the man since the encounter at his office and preparations were proceeding nicely. He figured at least another month before the ship would be complete.
Testing would take another month. So he should calm down some by then.
He should calm down what was he thinking. The man lost everything and he's thinking he should calm down. If any man had a right to hate then it would be that man. What they did to him and his people was unforgettable.
In a old maintenance ship not far from where the admiral was having his mental of debate Matthew Morgan was hard at work.
His physical condition had almost returned to what it was before Orion 3. Also the ship was nearing completion a lot faster then the admiral was aware. He had found the ship the day after he arrived on the freighter.
When he had laid eyes on her he knew that he had found his ship. The only issue would be he had a lot of work to do in a short amount of time. She was a old cargo transport that was missing her engines.
On top of that most of her cockpit had been stripped as well. This wasn't a problem for him though as he had planned on replacing all of that anyway. He then found the maintenance vessel a day later The first thing he did was get many of the systems of the maintenance vessel operational.
He then moved his ship over. At that point he went to work updating systems and replacing key components. The main problem he faced was the engines. He didn't know if the machinery on the maintenance ship could handle what was on the file. So those would have to wait till he could dig up the right stuff. Two days after his visit to the admiral's office he had found the equipment he would need to build what was on the file. So now the engines were nearing completion.
His biggest hindrance was he had to halt work on them whenever the admiral checked in on him. For this he kept two engines he had salvaged from a similar transport as decoys. It wasn't that he didn't trust the admiral but he could expose what was on the file. If the Alliance knew what was on the file they would try and take it and he had already been through enough as it is to keep it safe. Thinking back to that mission still made him shiver.
The commander had been right he wasn't up to it but it had to be him. The commander was to important to their people to risk on a possible suicide mission like that. He had just escaped from that dammed hospital. He had made it clear that he wasn't staying a minute longer. So with much grumbling they discharged him and took him to his unit. The minute he walked into the safe house he knew something was going on. The looks on the men's faces told him everything he needed to know.
When he entered the commander's quarters he had his final answers. He was preparing for a mission and he was going this one alone. He had to argue with the commander for twenty minutes before he got the whole story.
He then had to argue with the commander for another twenty minutes about sending him in instead. He finally had to take steps that he never thought he would need to ensure his safety. He hoped the commander would forgive him for stunning him but it had to be done. Steven was the last of the line and couldn't be risked no matter what.
He then had to steal a ship to get to the planet. That was the easy part. The hard part was evading the Confederation warships guarding the Jumpgate. He then had to hide the ship and evade the search teams on the planet. He had hoped he could get the two scientists out as he didn't like the alternative. He was also thankful that the lab was in a deserted area. Because what he was planning would cause a lot of devastation.
Getting to the lab took a lot out of him since he was still recovering from his injuries from Orion 3. Hell they had only installed the arm three days before he left the hospital. Once he was in the lab he then had to argue with the fools about leaving.
He finally got them to go without trying to take everything with them. Even then he had to watch them closely as they downloaded the comps onto the file. He remembered almost shooting them when they insisted on taking some of the prototypes with them.
The small handheld super comp he didn't mind. When they told him the device the size of a ancient smartphone could access any comp. He was fine with taking it. It was the other device that he was going to leave till he found out what it was. It was a cloaking device that would make a ship invisible to all sensors and the human eye. They also gave him a small box. The same one wore on his belt to this day. After he got the scientists taken care of he went to work on the lab. He set the reactor on overload.
He then had them grab the cloak and got out of there. They then made their way to the ship. That was when his luck gave out. They had got to the ship and he had put the scientists to work installing the cloak when the sensors detected a search team approaching. Unless he intercepted them they would find the ship before they could take off.
He remembered running to close the distance.
Taking cover behind the tree. Then drawing his blaster, dropping to a knee, and waiting. The next seconds seemed like minutes. The four man team coming into view. Him then taking aim as he fired as fast as he could. Unfortunately this is when the fatigue from his injuries struck. One of the team got a shot into him. It thankfully was only a glancing blow that wasn't bleeding badly but it broke a rib. After stopping the bleeding he made the return trip to the ship.
Unfortunately the broken rib slowed him down and gave a member of the Death squads time to get to the ship before him. He remembered entering the engine room and seeing the scientists dead with the man kneeling over them. He then remembered rapidly firing as he charged the man. Morgan snapped out of the memory when the chime sounded announcing that the admiral was at the airlock. As he went to greet his guest he thought about the rest.
Engaging the cloak and running to the cockpit. Him then taking off in the biggest rush of his life. He thought about how he had just cleared the atmosphere when the reactor detonated. How he snuck by the warships in the chaos of the explosion. When he reached hyperspace both the pain from his rib and the realization that he had failed hit him like a ton of bricks. The scientists were dead he hadn't been good enough. The file was safe but the scientists were dead. He remembered spacing the assassin's body first thing.
He then sent the coded message to the commander telling the lab was destroyed and the data was safe but the scientists were dead he also reported what his plans were. Then first chance he got he landed and buried the scientists. As soon as he was back in hyperspace he got the commander's reply. It was short and succinct. "Keep the file safe and make the bastards suffer." Admiral Stillwell was led to the office Morgan set up and prepared to handle the business he came here to take care of.
He gave him all the intelligence on all known and suspected military supply routes and manufacturing centers.
He Briefed Morgan on his new identity. He then turned over the documents he would need for his identity and the ship. With that done the admiral turned to his favorite part of these meetings. Inspecting the progress on the ship. He was a fleet officer after all and if he hated seeing a ship in one of these graveyards. He loved seeing one come back from the dead. He especially loved seeing one that was being improved the way this one was. He knew Morgan was concealing the real potential of the ship but wasn't about to call him on it.
He knew what was going on and wasn't about to make him give up any state secrets. Despite his concerns about him. Morgan was an asset and if he forced the issue he could drive him off. You don't get a highly trained individual like him everyday. The ship was coming along nicely. The cockpit had been rebuilt and updated. Key structural points had been reinforced to handle the more powerful engines and unknown to the admiral the computer systems where enhanced thanks to data from the file.
Another thing the admiral didn't know was the ship would be ready for testing in a week and not the month Morgan had told him. Morgan did this mostly so he could focus on a different preparation during that time.
After the inspection was complete and the admiral had left Morgan was once again in deep thought. Though this time it was about the meeting and not his past. So I'm now John Erickson. Matthew Morgan is dead.
He died with his men on Orion 3. He thought as he got back to work. Two months later a jump point formed four days away from Hendricks. But strangely no ship emerged at least one that could be detected anyway.
Unknown to evertone John Erickson was performing the last of the testing on the Independence. This was final test on the independent jump capability of the engines. With engines performing better then expected. He was now ready to set out for Confederation territory. There was shipping that needed raided and he had a score to settle.