Prelude: “You are sure it them?” asked Ravenburg, looking away from the piczoom aligner screen. He flipped to switches on the master auspex console and the main screen of the bridge displayed a blackish, reddish space marine type gunship. The slender female figurine next to him, mute as ever, nodded slightly. Fascinating Capitain Vandir Ravenburg thought. The colours on the gunship are not at all unlinke the shades of skintight leather and latex his friend always wore. An interesting non-fact. He beheld the gunship intensively on the pict. What a coinidence that the imperials authority who made everybody flee the space port was now in such close proximity. Ravenburg had organized a bulkhauler hold to fit his vessel. A necessary evil as he his warp drive was not yet repaired. Had the Deathwatch not interrupted the business of the pirate haven, he would have surely found someone to pay for the repairs. How Lady Luck has recently disavowed him!
Their was sudden movement beneath the gunship. Hushed, shadowy but broadly and muscular these many armed shapes were. He used the slider on the command cosloe to zoom in a little more on the grainy picture.
These were vile Xenos. He did not know their name but every spacefarer had heard the legends of vile multiarmed creatures tearing space crewa apart. Another lucky strike to hitch hike on a warp vessel that was infested with these. He was sure Mortimer on the other sight of the gigantic vessel did not know about this. Nobody ever did invest a lot in his bluk freighter and it showed. The underside, was pockmarked with level deep impact craters, and the small camera that Poole had placed earlier showed one of these Craters, only about a kilometer form the hangar that stored (C)ravenfoot. Which, for Vandir put size into perspective. He had easily steered his ship into the lower cargo hold right when the evacuation alarm chimed everybody out of bed and into panic on Space Station C12-232-12. And his ship was not big for a warpgoing vessel but still almost half a kilometer long. He promised Mortimer half his collection of ancient paintings to make him take the (C)ravenfoot aboard his Slumbering Jenny in the hope of not being associated in imperial records with the pirate haven and their star port. Who knew what reports the Deathwatch send to the inquisition. Vandir bet, they marked all vessels that were docked and in orbit around the place. After all it was a famous sprawl to mingle with xenos and trade in stolen imperial tech with them. Something no body of imperial authority would or could take lightly. So Vandir was willing to pay a high price for the damn coincidence that imperials had found Space Station C12-232-12. the one time he had the guts to visit it. Had his coffers been fuller he would not have done it anyway, but there was the downward spiral of lady lucks favor once more. To make ends meet he risked something and now he had to give his private fortune away just to survive. Had he just sold the paintings three years ago to this stupid vice governor. He could have payed the crew for years and get a solid gold bathing room into the mix.
But long shots of ‘what if’ thinking was never his forte. Forward and onward we must! he thought while watching the shadows on the screen ripping open a maintenance chute on the Deathwatch ships port lower hull.
“Servitor, make the pic cleaner! Yes, like this. Now see what do we have here. They are ripping out some part….” the setvitor chimed through a speaker grille were his mouth should have been. “Aluvial Dampeners are behind this.” Sometimes it pays to buy old Imperial Guard Pilot a Servitor treatment Vandir thought. “If we can get this part from the xeno, we have something to trade…”