Part 21 in my Insurgency series. My entry into February's challenge for the Marauders. This is also the first part in a cross-over with Griffin! Please comment, rate and enjoy!
About this creation
Corresponding text underneath each picture.
12th February 2095: Present Day
As we hurtled through the inky blackness of space, I had plenty of time to read through the data files that Mr. Grey had sent to my datapad.
After spending the second half of last month hiding out in my parent’s old apartment with Tracks at Mr. Grey’s request, he had finally sent me something to do.
Yesterday he had contacted me on my holo-com…
Mr. Grey: “I have a new assignment for you. I will send all of the details through to your datapad, but the brief is simple. I assume you’ve heard of the pirates that have been gathering over Etrion recently?”
Mr. Grey: “Well I want to know what they’re up to. I need you to infiltrate their ranks and get me some information.”
Chain: “Oh, so nothing too difficult then.” I replied sarcastically.
Mr. Grey: “Quite.” He either didn’t get or chose to ignore my sarcasm.
Mr. Grey: “Now, they seem to be gathering over Etrion, however they are recruiting all over the galaxy. I’ve received some Intel from a contact on Zarus, who has told me that the pirates arrived there yesterday and are signing up the locals. I need you to go and find out what they’re playing at. I will send the co-ordinates through to your datapad along with the rest of the information.”
And with that he had ended the transmission. Short and swe…. well… short.
So now here we were, heading for Zarus.
According to the files, pirates had been gathering over Etrion for the past few weeks. Their numbers had slowly been increasing however despite their increasing size, attacks on the planet had remained fairly minimal. Yes there had been attacks and more so than usual, but nowhere near the amount that would be expected when a gathering that large shows up. It was like they were holding back. Resisting attacking.
It didn’t make sense.
Well, clearly Mr. Grey thought the same and so that was pretty much what he wanted me to do. Find out what the hell the pirates were playing at.
He had received some intel from a contact among the pirates on Zarus, saying that more pirates were due to arrive in about a week to begin a massive recruitment drive, promising riches and glory.
Those who signed up are fools.
Those who didn’t would become prisoners of the pirates.
The red planet appeared ahead of us and we gradually drew nearer to it. I’d never been to Zarus before but I had red in Mr. Grey’s files that the colouring was due to dense iron-filled cloud cover.
The files had included some co-ordinates of a safe landing zone not far from where the pirates had been spotted and so we approached the planet, heading straight in that vector.
Tracks grumbled something in his gear-grinding and clicking as we rattled through the dense cloud cover.
Chain: “Yeah, I know.” I replied as I adjusted a couple of the controls.
After a few minutes we burst through the clouds and into the gloom of the planet’s lower atmosphere. It looked like a very barren place. The landscape was dotted with mountain ranges and pretty much nothing else other than valleys and trenches that criss-crossed the surface.
Chain: “I wouldn’t like to find out how deep those are.” I muttered aloud as we gradually lost altitude and headed towards our destination.
Chain: “Here we go. This is the place.”
We arrived at the co-ordinates and as we hovered there for a second, there was so much dust in the air that I couldn’t see where I was meant to be landing. But then Tracks whirred and pointed over my shoulder. He clearly didn’t have any issues with seeing through the dust. It took me a moment but then I spotted it; a partially concealed cave in the base of a small hill.
Chain: “Hmm.” I commented jokingly as I began our descent. “This seems familiar.”
Just a short time later, I had landed the Viper in the cave and Tracks and I had gathered our equipment and were setting out into the dusty, rocky nothingness.
I pulled my bandanna up over my face as we made our way to the second set of co-ordinates; the ones where the pirates were meant to be gathered. However, as we grew ever closer, because of the dust storm, I still couldn’t see anything. We made it to a rocky ridge and I checked the tracker on my datapad. The location was dead ahead, just in front of us, but I couldn’t see anyth….
I nearly fell as Tracks suddenly grabbed my arm and stopped me from moving. He growled softly. I was about to ask what was wrong but then I noticed that the dust storm was clearing and as the clouds parted, there in a shallow valley just in front of us, were two enormous cruisers and around them, several smaller ships of varying types and classes. On the ground between them were a good couple of hundred people.
Chain: “Bloody hell…”
Tracks grunted in agreement.
We crouched low and watched the proceedings for around ten minutes. There seemed to be some sort of queue in the centre, leading up to a desk or something. Once people had visited the desk, most of them were escorted into the back of the nearest cruiser, however, some were roughly dragged away in the opposite direction and after that I lost track of them. It didn’t look good though. Twice in the time we were watching small groups of people were herded into the lines by armed pirates.
I grew bored of watching and decided that now was a good a time as ever to head in.
I instructed Tracks to stay put and keep watch. I knew that when I got down there I would be searched, so I hid my comlink in a rather uncomfortable place, gave Tracks my satchel and sniper rifle and then headed on down into the valley.
Once I got there, there were so many people around, I managed to slip into the crowd with ease. I made my way over to the nearest line and joined the back.
After that it was a pretty boring slow trudge forwards as I gradually got closer to the desk. I was stood in the queue for a good few hours though, just shuffling forwards slightly every now and then.
My boredom was suddenly interrupted when there was some shouting and everybody started getting uncomfortable. I frowned, unable to see the cause of the commotion, but then a man was dragged past by two burley looking pirates, shouting his head off.
Man: “I’m not a spy! I’m not! I hate the Imperium! Please, believe me!”
I couldn’t hear him after that as he was dragged too far away, but he left me with plenty to think on. What if I was caught? Was I a good enough liar to get away with it?
Well, I guess I’d find out soon.
Well, I say soon. It ended up being more like an hour later when I finally reached the front of the queue and ended up face to face with the ugliest looking alien I’d ever seen, with just a wooden plank on some crates, acting as a desk, between us.
Alien: “Name?” he grunted jabbing some keys on a datapad.
Chain: “Rocco Guidè.” I lied as I pulled my bandanna down to my neck.
The alien typed the fake name into his pad.
Alien: “You are now going to be subjected to some tests. Only by passing them all will you be allowed to join our forces. Clear?” he recited.
Alien: “Good. Firstly, why are you signing up?”
I pretended to think for a moment before I gave my actually well thought-over line.
Chain: “The GI took my father away from me when I was ten. I have never forgiven them. I joined Aurelia when I left home at sixteen but they wouldn’t let me fight on the front lines because I was so young. So I ran away and have been an outcast ever since. I want back at the Imperium.”
The alien stared at me as I gave my answer and then typed something before moving on.
Alien: “Next my assistant will take your stats.”
Another alien stepped forwards with an ancient looking measuring tape and took my height and chest size. Why they only took those two was beyond me but I didn’t question anything.
Apparently I fitted their criteria, whatever it was because the first alien continued.
Alien: “And now you will be measured for your pain tolerance.”
I was a little shocked by that one. I hadn’t seen anybody before me have to go through this one. However I didn’t show any reaction on my face, because both aliens were watching me suspiciously. I couldn’t afford to give the game away now.
Chain: “Fine.” I grunted non-committedly.
The assistant came and shoved a needle into both of my arms. Each needle was attached to a wire which fed back into a power box under the desk. I had only just realised what was about to happen when suddenly electricity surged through my body and I jolted on the spot. It wasn’t a massive shock but it was still unpleasant. I grimaced but tried not to show much to the aliens who were watching me.
The first alien gave a slight nod and another, more powerful burst of electric shot through me. I gasped and clenched the desk this time. I gasped for breath but before I could recover, a third, more powerful, longer blast jolted me. I gritted my teeth, resisting the urge to cry out.
Then it was over.
The assistant alien yanked the needles out of my arms and the other one made some more notes.
Alien: “Search him.” The seated alien commanded and his assistant patted me down, removing my two blasters and tossing them into a pile of assorted guns a couple of meters away.
The assistant nodded once he was satisfied.
Alien: “Congratulations, you have passed the tests. Follow the others into the cruiser.” He gestured over his shoulder to a nearby boarding ramp. I nodded wearily and staggered away from the desk.
Behind me I heard him start on the next person in the line as I trudged over to the ramp. Those shocks had really worn me out. I was struggling to stay upright now, but I forced myself onwards, even now feeling the eyes of all of the armed pirates who were standing around watching me.
I stepped onto the boarding ramp, which had several pirates stood guard along it, and began heading towards the ship.
I got about halfway up when I heard a commotion behind me. I looked around and saw a whole crowd of people being shepherded towards us. They were surrounded by armed guards who were shoving and pulling at them to keep them moving.
There were women and children among them.
A child staggered and nearly fell but was pulled upright by her farther and made to keep walking as a brutal looking pirate closed in on them.
Chain: “Who are they?” I asked the nearest pirate guard.
Guard: “Locals who refused to submit. The men refused to join us and they would not give up their supplies. Now they are our prisoners.”
I stood back as the prisoners were led up the boarding ramp past me and into the belly of the cruiser.
Inside I was fuming, but I knew that I couldn’t do anything without blowing my cover.
I was here on a mission and that was what I was going to do.
As much as I hated it, I could do nothing for them.
An unedited version of picture 5. NOTE: The ships I used in that photo are all taken from images I had in an old folder on my computer simply named "Inspiration". I don't know who's they are, so credit to whoever built them.
The base that every build in this moc was made on!
As my series is going to be jumping around though time, I will include a date on each episode and add it to the timeline at the end of each episode so that you can follow it.