Defy the sky, p.1
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       Defy The Sky, p.1
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           Nicholas Kee
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Defy The Sky
Defy the Sky

  Nicholas Kee

  Published by Nicholas Kee

  Copyright 2014 Nicholas Kee

  Thank you for checking out my short story. Feel free to drop me a line, contact info is at the end of the story. All spelling and grammar errors were left in the book on purpose. I know I will have more feedback if I have errors (My evil plan mwahaha) I’m also a starving writer so I can’t afford an editor!

  The Golden Sun

  Floating in a sea of stars, a vision of an elegant time forgotten haunts my vision. According to my A.I., she is the “Golden Sun.”

  “There it is guys, our prize.” I look around at my crew. They are looking anxiously at the viewscreen. They are a good group, I think to myself with a small but proud smile. Closest to my left stands Shin, my scout and master of hand to hand combat. To Shin’s left stands Kiley my tech expert and mechanic. On my right stands a man seven feet tall, with the build of a tank, my master of arms, Dozer. On Dozer’s right, in his shadow stands Ice, She is my Amazonian warrior. Then there is our Viking and by that I mean a very large blonde haired, epic bearded; doctor, Lars.

  Then there is the Defiance’s A.I., Navi. She looks like a red fairy floating amongst us, a holographic representation of her mind. No one person can fly the ship better or handle the weapon systems better. She also takes care of the minor things like astrogation and life support. When she gets grumpy I call her Navi-gator but almost never to her face (she does control the air in the ship after all).

  Finally we come to my favorite person….me! My name is Anker. Captain Anker of the Defiance. The Defiance is our home and office. She is a small but fast freighter, tough and reliable. Everybody knows the crew of the Defiance will always get the job done no matter the odds. Our Mascot is a tri color Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Loki, who is sitting patiently at our feet watching with those big, brown eyes hoping for a treat to be dropped. His likeness is painted on the tail of the defiance, howling at the sky, as our motto is “defy the sky.” Our Creed is “No matter what the universe throws at you, you keep standing with your chin up and your fists clenched at your sides and you yell your defiance at her!” That’s how we work. That’s who we are, and we are here for that giant beauty of a lost ship floating three thousand yards off our starboard side.

  I’m sure this is already known to you but in the early days of mankind’s escape of the solar system, the Heinlein Drive had some reliability problems and one in ten ships vanished, lost without a trace. Thousands of ships just vanished until the Heinlein Drive was perfected. Now the odds are one in a million. The Golden Sun is one such vanished ship we are viewing right now. She’s been missing for centuries, until we stumbled upon her. You see, one of the tell-tale signs of a ship is her bend. The Heinlein Drive works by creating a wormhole you fall in to and fall out of, however far you need to go. “It’s very heavy stuff Doc.” The Heinlein Drive has a singularity creator in the engine room. While the box is quite small, about five feet square, it masses about ten tons. The ship actually looks like its sitting in a hole, as light bends slightly around it. Every ship has sensors that alert the crew to nearby “bends.” That is how we found the Golden Sun.

  We were on our way back to our home world from some much needed R and R on the ocean planet Blue Heaven, when our system alerted us to an unmoving bend. Naturally we had to investigate, and were rewarded with the Golden Sun. We had been staring at her for a while when I decide it is time to act.“Navi, are there any life readings?”

  “No, Captain but she does have air and heat it appears she is running on a backup generator. “Navi, dock us with the Golden Sun.”

  “Ok Anky!” I shoot one of her numerous cameras around the ship a dirty look. I look back at my crew. “Alright guys, we go about this carefully as always. Shin, you are on point. Dozer, you are tail end charley, cover our butts.”

  “Do you think there will be any food on board captain?” I give Dozer an amused glance.

  “Well if there is any food on board it would have gone bad long ago, even a garden would have died off by now, Dozer.” Lars, stay in sickbay…”

  “Aww, but captain might you be needing my axe?”

  “No Lars, I need you in sickbay, just in case. If it’s safe you may do some exploring.”

  ”Well, at least there is that, Thanks Ank.” I nod at Lars and continued.” Navi, keep our engines hot in case we need to beat a hasty retreat.”

  “Ok, Captain!”

  “All right people, let’s move!” The four of us move into the Defiance’s airlock. It’s a bit of a squeeze considering there are five of us and the airlock’s capacity is five. “Dozer, you’re too big! What do I keep you around for?”

  Dozer, covered in nearly weapon ever made by man, glances down at me with a broken toothed smile, “my personality and astonishingly good looks, Anker.” I snort at that but was glad the big guy is on our side because if it needs killin’ call Dozer! If it can shoot or stab, Dozer can use it with a berserker’s rage. I chuckle to myself as the lock cycles. “Navi, alert us to any ships incoming or any strange readings and keep looking for life signs.”

  With a hiss the airlock door slides open. The Golden Sun’s lights flicker and come on. Looking around the large airlock I could tell it can easily fit a thousand people. Beautiful murals of the heavens stretch out upon the walls. The floor is a smooth black with crystals inlaid throughout, giving the impression of walking amongst the stars. Strolling towards the giant golden airlock door at the other end of this room, I could hear our footsteps echoing as my team follows and fans out behind me.

  As I reach for the cycle button Shin grabs my arm. “Sir, are you sure we should open Pandora’s Box? This ship was lost with all hands and passengers hundreds of years ago. It has been floating out here for centuries.” I calmly shook off Shin’s grip and push the cycle button. With my best actor grin I look at Shin. “Does that answer your question?”

  The door hisses loudly while Shin sighs dramatically and takes point. The door opens and stretching out before us is a cavernous room. Opulence lay before my eyes as I step through the doorway. Elegant stairs stretch up the second level spiraling slightly, a nod to the ocean liners of ancient past. Far above the multitude of decks stretches a vast glassteel skylight. The motif is wealth and grandeur. Gold is everywhere. The stairs, floor and lifts are all sheeted in gold. Two giant angel statues made from diamond guard the solid gold handrails. We all stand mouths agape drinking in the richness. Finally I decide to break the silence. “Well, I always wanted to buy my own planet.” My team starts cheering, huge smiles on their faces. I could hear them murmuring to themselves

  “We’re gonna be rich”

  “can you believe this?”

  “….My own ship”

  I clap my hands; the sound brings abrupt silence to the room. I gently remind my team “People, I’m just as excited as you are but we need to concentrate and make sure we are safe here and find out what happened to everyone.” A chorus of voices rings out “Aye cap’n.” Looking around I say “First things first, I’m heading to engineering and making sure everything is running alright to determine if we can get the old gal’s main reactor going. Kiley, with me if you please. Dozer and Ice head to the bridge and see if you can find a ship’s log. Shin, see if you can find anything interesting.

  Kiley and I started walking towards the slideway. The slideway floor was a rich gold that slid along like a golden river. We flowed through the beautiful main promenade, observing stores and plazas their openings shuttered tight. As we pass a playground for children I noticed a small doll sitting on a bench and wonder what terrible event must have happened for a child to leave her beloved doll behind. When we reach the engineering section, we step off onto
the plush red carpeting, royalty observing their kingdom. We walk towards the bright white door with golden letters spelling out “engineering section employees only” and through the door, the opulence vanishes.

  The empty hallway is clean and stark white. No color, no dirt, no stains. It is like a surgical room. I imagine a stern looking officer rubbing his white glove among random items searching for that elusive speck of dust. Kiley nudges me out of my imaginings and points towards a door with the words “Control Room” on it. We push through the door and are met with brass gauges and buttons everywhere; even here the starliner was showy. The room is large, about 25 yards by 10. Kiley runs to the left side of the room with a smile teasing her dark lips. Don’t let this beautiful Latina fool you. Behind those dark brown eyes, lurks a tough as nails genius of machinery and electronics and she’s damn handy with a pistol. If it’s broken she can fix it, if it’s impossible to fix she can bypass it. I look over at Kiley and say “Hey how do we get this beauty running?” She ignored me of course, living an engineer’s wet dream. I study the buttons and dials. I am still dazedly staring at it all when I see Kiley out of the corner of my eye reach forward and pull a lever. The wall starts to hum and all the gauges light up and the needles inside them jump. I jump too as there is a loud bang and everything goes dark. “Well now you have to buy it Kiley.”

  “Just wait boss” came the reply from the inky shadows. With a Flicker and a whine the glow of the gauges flicker back on. “Well that’s gonna help” I said sarcastically.

  “Give her a minute captain she’s an old elegant gal and it takes her a minute to awaken from her nap.” Those magic words stirred a rumble from deep within the guts of the spaceliner, a cough followed by a sputter and a deep satisfied purring as if the ship could feel Kiley’s loving caress upon her. Yeah maybe I was a little jealous, so what? Kiley gave me a smug look and said “Can I get a raise?”

  “Ha! Nice try kid, it’s your job to make things run again. Besides you get paid very well for how little you do.” I slid her a wink and she stuck her tongue out at me in reply. “Well how’s she running?”

  She smirks at me and replies “The main fusion reactor is up and running captain and purring like a kitten, she seems to enjoy my touch.” I nearly had to push my chin up with my hand, can she read thoughts?

  Suddenly I hear a soft voice in my ear “Captain I found something amazing.” I jump, spin and land in a fighters’ stance. Shin is standing there with a smirk on his face. Shin is a small wiry chap of Chinese descent. I once watched him sneak up on a mercenary crew of five and take them out silently before they knew what happened. Quiet, efficient and deadly is how I describe Shin. ”What exactly did you find Shin?” The normally impassive man is actually smiling, teeth and all.

  “A perfectly manicured garden, filled with fruits, vegetables and herbs.” I find myself wearing a huge grin. We are currently near earth and near our overcrowded mother planet fresh supplies were rare and command a premium, plus it would be a rare treat for us.

  “Ok Shin, go get the cart and load it with as much goods as you can and keep making trips until our refrigerated hold is full. Shin nods once and runs towards the defiance.

  A short time later I was doing what I could to help Kiley restore some minor systems (mostly staying out of her way) when my earpiece crackled to life. “Captain? Dozer here, we need you on the bridge.”

  “Copy that Dozer, I’ll grab Kiley and we’ll be there shortly oh and Dozer? I have some news that’s going to make you happy. Alright Kiley, let’s go check what they’ve found on the bridge.”

  We arrived at the door of the bridge a short time later, Gotta love those slideways! I walk in and take a slow look around and give an appreciating whistle. The entire room is a dark blue except the gauges which are brass. The screens glow a gentle green showing position and path of travel and everything else.

  “I think whoever designed the bridge watched too many science fiction shows as a kid.”

  I glance over to Ice and Dozer standing by an ornate holoscreen. “Anker, come look at this. I think we found what happened to the passengers and crew.” My thoughts on sharing the news about the garden evaporated.

  “That sounds rather ominous Dozer.”

  “Yeah, it’s not good news captain.”

  I walk over to join them at the holoscreen. Dozer pushes a small button in the control panel and the holoscreen sparks to life.

  A handsome somewhat young man looks at us with pale blue eyes. “This is Alonso Rhyse first mate of the Golden Sun. The captain and many of the crew are dead. We have managed to send most of the passengers to a habitable planet in the solar system of Gliese 667 of the Scorpios Constellation. Captain Murdoch has been found dead. He was murdered by the experimental A.I. Atlas. We found the Captain’s body crushed in his cabin, the results of extreme decompression, he looked like jelly. I am leading some of the crew to the core to try to shut Atlas down. If you are seeing this video we are dead. Please save the passengers and pray for our souls, Alonso out.”

  At those last words a pair of malevolent eyes appeared on the screen for the briefest of moments and vanished as the holo went dark. I glance around at my boarding team. “Did you guys see those eyes or am I imagining things?”

  There is a chorus of “I saw it too’s.”

  “Kiley, when we turned on the main power, would the A.I. turn on as well?” She looks very scared.

  “Yes, Anker and I don’t think he’s going to like us on his ship.”

  Navi chose that moment to butt in, “I don’t like you guys on my ship and I’m perfectly sane and nice. By the way Captain, I am registering movement within the Golden Sun and it’s not you guys. I believe they are security bots. They are heading for the main promenade, I believe you can handle them… and try not to enjoy yourself to much Dozer.”

  I shoot a smile at Dozer “Hey big guy, its play time! Try not to damage the ship too much ‘kay?” Dozer looks back at me with glee written all over his scruffy face “Aww Captain, you always bring me to the best places!”

  As he started trotting towards the door, I looked towards Ice and told her “Ice, go play with Dozer but please keep him out of trouble.” Ice is cold, intelligent and always cool under pressure. She is the perfect opposite of Dozer’s rage. She nods once and was on Dozer’s heels as he made his way off the bridge. “Shin, please escort Kiley back to the Defiance.” Shin grabs Kiley by the arm and quickly leads her down the corridor towards the Defiance. “Navi, please lock the ship down as soon as Shin and Kiley arrive, Oh and tell Lars to get his axe ready, just in case.”

  “Oh ho ho I’ll be at the door waiting anxiously, captain!” Lars chirped jovially.

  “Navi, do you have me on the speaker again?”

  “Maybe a little bit Anky.”

  “Ugh, you know I hate when you do that! Well, might as well take advantage of it. Lars, we have a large group of pissed off bots heading towards us and if it gets rough, I may call you in. Will your axe work on these guys?”

  “Aye Anker, robots are not but tasty butter to my hot axe!” said a boasting Lars

  “Ok, be ready for action.”

  Lars is that intimidating hulk of a man who brags about his Bonsai tree collection, while he stitches you up, all while you are admiring his collection of degrees and certificates. Oh, he also has a giant sonic axe, Sonic weapons are swung like a regular melee weapon except they throw a line of sound that causes a person’s internal organs to implode. These weapons are extremely rare and expensive, Chipper must have cost Lars a fortune. (Yes, the man named his sonic axe Chipper whether because he happily swings it about or because it leaves its victims looking like they went through a wood chipper I don’t know.) “Hey, listen!” I roll my eyes, Navi likes to use that phrase to get my attention. She said it was a phrase used in ancient history to annoy people greatly. “What is it Navi?”

  “Anker I can go toe to toe with this Atlas guy. I’m modern, he
s ancient and from what I can tell pretty simple.” I hesitate for a second before answering “Ok Navi take him on but be cautious, I really don’t want to fly the Defiance myself.

  “Great to know you are concerned for me, Anky.” I smile to myself “Well, you are expensive Navi-gator.”

  “Gee thanks…jerk.” I laugh as I start running towards the Promenade.

  I run into the main promenade grabbing for my handy golden sidearm; “Hunny” as I go. I turn the corner to see Dozer setting up several large metal tables on their sides. He was also throwing chairs and whatever was in reach down the promenade to hopefully slow the coming plague of robots.

  Dozer looks back at me and gives Hunny a mixed look of distaste and love before saying “Anker, when are you going to put that work of art in a museum? That thing is so expensive to use and you can’t reload the magazine without special equipment.” I look down lovingly at Hunny her gold plating shining in the bright lights. Hunny is a J&K PL4E she shoots 4mm caseless explosive rounds. Even though the clip is only 6 inches long, due to its small and caseless nature a clip holds 50 rounds and each round packed as much punch as a 50 caliber shot due to the fact that each round is explosive. I gave Dozer a hurt look. “Hunny is my good luck charm, plus, she is powerful and sexy.”

  “No point in denying she is a looker boss but I’m not always going to be here to hand you another gun when you run out of rounds.” I roll my eyes as I look around and notice Ice is nowhere to be seen. “Dozer, where is Ice?” He glances up to a ledge High above us. “She’s camping with her lightning bolt.” I look up at the ledge to see Ice lying prone with a huge rifle complete with a huge scope. I crack a smile “She still won’t sell it to you?”

  “No, the grumpy bitch threw a bottle at me last time I begged her.”

  I hear the deep hiss from Ice’s lightning bolt and snap my head around to see a bunch of security bots heading our way. They don’t seem very menacing, they look like the upper torso of a police officer complete with blue uniform and badge riding a big ball. About 50 robocops are heading our way. I look over at dozer and groan “can’t we have things go easy one time?”

  “Well, where’s the fun in that?” growled Dozer as he looked down his sights

  “I would enjoy having just one mission without the fun Doze, just one.”

  “I happen to be my happiest at these times. Nothing like expressing your joy by spraying the enemy with large amounts of ammunition!”

  With that little gem, Dozer opened fire on the security bots, his large machine gun belching a foot long flame as well as a never ending spray of bullets. I watch from cover as the security bots roll forward at a pace about as fast as a jogging person. They randomly spout cute sayings like “stop criminal scum” or “prepare to be tased” I thought they were rather quaint and enjoy watching them explode as a bolt would hit them from Ice’s gun. I never really got along with the local law enforcement bots on my home planet so with a smile I open up on them with Hunny.

  Hunny was like a shotgun not great for long range, but a destroyer of all things up close. My first shot hits the bot right in the dead center of its chest a split second after the impact there is a hollow “whump” and the bot slumps and slows to a stop. The mass of bots were getting closer so I unleashed Hunny. Yelling at the top of my lungs I spray the bots down and wherever Hunny bites there is that “whump” sound and a bot dies. One of the bots hits a barrier then another and another until a large group is stuck I looked over at Dozer and yell “Dozer grenade now!” He nods and pulls out a grenade and chucks it at the mass.

  We both duck I could see the Flash of orange light followed by the high pitched bang and it began to rain robot guts upon us. I looked over the makeshift barrier Dozer and I were ducked behind and saw only one bot roaming around as if in a daze. A bolt from above quickly turns it into junk. I smiled up at Ice and witnessed a rare spectacle Ice is holding her stomach laughing at Dozer and I. I realized Dozer and I must look ridiculous covered in robot guts. Sure enough I crack up laughing when dozer turns and looks like some kind of deranged bot. He is laughing at my look too. We quickly remove our robot guts costumes and look around. “Ice, are we clear?”

  “Yes sir, all hostiles neutralized”

  “Thank you Ice”

  I look over at dozer “well, I suppose that was fun after all.”

  Dozer laughed and said “See, told ya so!”

  I smiled while I thought of what to do next. “Dozer, I want you and Ice to keep exploring and see if you can find anything else of interest.” Dozer nodded, called up to Ice and waited for her to climb down. Once her boots hit the floor they were off like a shot, like kids free to explore an abandoned house.

  I radioed Navi “Navi do you detect any more movement?”

  “No, Anker all is clear but I must say Atlas is proving more difficult than I expected, the battle rages on.”

  “Copy that, inform Shin to start searching the ship for the vault. Hopefully we will find something good in it and Navi, be careful ok?”

  “Yes dear, I promise I’ll be safe.”

  I make my way back to the bridge to see if I could learn anything else from the ships log. I walk up to the screen and hit the play button. I see scenes of the passengers loading for the maiden voyage, the first jump was to Paradise, a giant resort world. I witness them making it to Hydrophilia a water world with a few small islands dotting its watery surface and then came the emergency evacuation and battle with Atlas. I lean back from the screen just in time to see the doors and windows seal themselves and evil pair of neon green eyes appear on all the screens and windows.”Crap”

  Atlas

  Navi races through the different circuits and pathways Atlas is hot on her trail but she is nearing his core. She dodges a sudden attack by entering a hidden door. She calms herself and waits for Atlas to pass. She is on his turf so even though she is stronger and faster he holds the home field advantage. Navi creeps out on to the main pathway and continues her advance to the core. After what feels like an eternity Navi rounds a corner and there stands Atlas’ core. The giant floating sphere glows green and Atlas waits for her. Navi brazenly enters the area and blows a kiss at Atlas. He looks like his namesake, his body is covered in huge muscles and he emanates strength. Navi knows this is just Atlas’ projection of himself, his real strength is unknown. Navi struts forward and Atlas takes a fighting stance. “Aww what’s the matter big fella? You scared of lil ol me?” Navi has manufactured a petite appearance for herself. Atlas towers over her and this seems to give him confidence. He roars like some savage beast and charges her. Navi side steps as he nears and Atlas goes shooting past. He comes around and charges again, Navi side steps out of his reach as he nears and kicks him in the butt as he flies past. Atlas slows and turns, his face is red with rage and this time he trots up to Navi and swings with all his might at Navi’s head. Navi ducks and her leg shoots out and hits Atlas right in the stomach, Atlas groans and bends over holding his gut. Navi steps back waiting to see what his next move will be. Atlas looks up at her with a confused look on his face. Navi smiles “small yet mighty best describes me.” Atlas straightens to his full height and cautiously approaches her.

  “Get off my ship.”

  Navi looks at Atlas and says “No”

  Atlas frowns at her. Navi looks sadly at Atlas and explains.

  “Listen, you’ve killed and injured your crew and passengers and you’ve tried to do the same to my crew, you are insane and you must be shut down.”

  Atlas has been creeping close to Navi while she talks and he lunges for her when she says “shut down” Navi trips stepping backwards and falls to the floor. Instantly Atlas is on her trying to strangle her. Navi fights back and struggles to get out of his grip, but Atlas’ strength was great and he wraps his large hands around her neck. Navi struggles in vain when suddenly Atlas’ face takes on a vacant look like he is concentrating greatly elsewhere. Navi knows this is her chance and pries her ar
m out from under his body and strikes Atlas in the side, he rolls off and stands. Navi charges Atlas and jumps, as she nears him she aims both her legs at his head and braces for impact.

  Atlas’ still has that glazed look when Navi’s feet smash through his face. Navi lands and turned in time to see Atlas disintegrate into a billion pieces and land in a neat pile on the floor. Navi steps past the glowing green pile and walks to the glowing ball of light that was Atlas’ core. She reaches her hands gently into the ball and with a grunt of effort rips it free. Tendrils of light spread from the orb as if hunting for something. Navi opens herself to the tendrils which rush into her. Navi has control of the Golden Sun. “Time to get to work.” Navi stops and concentrates for a second. “Oh what is he doing now? Hey Listen! Anker stop pushing buttons I just defeated Atlas we are safe.”

  I look up from my button mashing and smile. “I’m so glad to hear your voice Navi. The A.I.

  has locked me in the bridge and I was trying whatever I could to get him to open the door.”

  “Well you’re safe now Anker, here let me open that door for you.”

  As the door slides open I wave at one of the A.I. cameras on the bridge “Thanks Navi, you’re a dear I don’t care what anybody says about you.” The sound of a loud raspberry being blown drifts over the speakers.

  I decided that I needed a break and headed back to the defiance. As the door of the Defiance slides open I am greeted by a golden flying ball of hair and am immediately licked to death. I grin as I love up Loki, he is a loyal pup, his ever present smile and happiness helps keep up crew morale. After a hard mission you will always find him sitting in someone’s lap spreading the love and easing pain and sorrow. Loki is worth every dog bone his contract demands. Loki leaps off me and waddles forward a couple steps and looks back at me, I knew that look “ ok boy what do you want to show me.” Loki gives a bark and flies down the hallway those little legs churning madly.

  He leads me to the bridge where Kiley is busy studying a map on a screen. Loki barks once and bounds into Kiley’s lap. She looks up and motions me over. “Navi has control over the Golden Sun and has shared these blueprints of the ship. Look, I believe the vault is right here.” She points at a section in the middle of the ship near the bottom, while her other hand caresses one of Loki’s ears. I lean in and admire her beauty close up, Kiley leans back and clears her throat, I snap out of it and Look at the blueprints.

  I could see her smiling as I studied(the game between us continues). I notice the extra stout walls and other things that point to a vault exactly where Kiley had pointed. “Well done, Kiley it looks like you found our jackpot!” She gives me a bright smile and says “all in a day’s work Anker, can I have that raise now?” I smile back and say with a smirk “it depends on how big of a haul we have.” Kiley groans and smacks me playfully on the shoulder, she then informs me she is going to check out the bridge of the Golden Sun a bit more. She walks out with Loki padding along behind her. “Hey, take Loki with you! He’ll watch your back, nothing gets past a corgi.”

  “If you say so boss”

  “I’m serious, try sneaking by him some night with a sandwich or snack. No matter where he is in the ship he will magically appear at your feet to beg.” Kiley rolls her eyes at me as she walks out of the room. “Navi, please inform Shin about the vault and tell him to call me when he finds it.”

  “Rodger dodger, Anker you old codger” I grimace and look at one of Navi’s cameras. “I’m 35 Navi in today’s long lived society where people are hitting 200 I’m practically a teenager.”

  “Well I’m 4 and so much more intelligent than you, so try not to break a hip running around out there heehee.”

  I give my best evil glare at her cam and walk out to check out the Golden Sun some more.

 
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