Tales of Deepspace

A webserial set in a lost sector of space.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

S1E4: Station Mnemosyne

Dead or alive. The words hung in the air like moisture on a humid summer day. Those words spelled out certain death to the one mentioned in a bounty call, because dead subjects are much easier to transport than live ones. Fortunately for Kiah, Imperial laws allow only one hunter to follow a call at any given time, leaving him some breathing room.

Although he was loathe to do so, Zeke called on the computer again. "Computer, connect me with Tali. Again."

Somehow, the computer managed not to speak when performing the requested operation. A few seconds passed, and the right screen flickered back to Tali.

"What is it now, Zeke? Can't you just leave me alone?" she asked angrily.

Zeke shuddered. The Imperials were still looking for the head of the last person Tali got angry at.

"I'm- I'm sorry Tali. But I found this call on DeepNet," he said. Hitting a few buttons, he sent the call to her. "He's my primary target right now, he's the one who was there when Mnemosyne got the finger! And now he's dead or alive!"

"I'm sorry, Zeke, but there's nothing I can do for you. The call has already been accepted, and by one of our own. Laha Vast'o, his name is. I'm suprised the Imperials let him take it, but they're pretty pissed at Kiah right now."

Laha Vast'o, Zeke's archenemy. The one who had betrayed him and handed over his partner to the Imperials. And now he was after Kiah.

"So be it," said Zeke, as he flipped off his screen.

During the course of the conversation, the ship had been traveling trans-dimensionally to Station Mnemosyne. According to the charts, he would be there shortly. In the meantime, he decided to watch the distress video again for anything he missed the first time through.

The computer read out the gibberish again as it tried to decipher what the scientist was saying, and an explosion rocked the bridge. Something seemed to grab at Zeke, so he paused and rewound the tape slightly. Slowly this time, he watched the first explosion.

There in the shadows, he saw something. It looked vaguely humanoid, albeit about nine or ten feet tall. But the way the light was hitting it was undeniable. Something was on the ship with the scientists, something that was not a scientist. Impossible. Nothing had ever been found proving life on other planets, only some circulating rumors of ancient ruins elsewhere in Deepspace.

The computer beeped as it approached the station, and Zeke tried to clear his mind from what he had seen. There was no way something had been on board that station. He slowly made his way to his space suit, preparing to take a walk out into the station.

After getting on the suit, the doors of the depressurization room opened, allowing Zeke access to the black void outside. Tethered to his ship, Zeke slowly drifted towards the station.

An entire wall had been blown off, revealing computer terminals, linoleum floors, and burn marks. Although the tape had only shown two blasts, nothing said that there hadn't been more after the camera was destroyed. Looking at the damage, Zeke estimated that it had been hit by at least four explosions.

He slowly drifted his way to what seemed like the main computer terminal. Attached to the wall was a camera, very badly damaged, and probably the one that recorded the tape. Looking behind himself, he saw that he was indeed where the scientist had been when the signal was sent. Zeke worked his way up to the camera to take a closer look at it.

The camera was not just shut down due to lack of power, like Zeke had assumed would be the case. It was smashed in by bullet fire, destroyed maliciously. Curious as to whether there was any other damage, Zeke turned on his flashlight and looked around the room. Sure enough, the entire room was covered in bullet holes, and blood stains on some of the walls. Something had attacked, this was not just an accident.

Continuing his search, Zeke drifted to the power room, where electricity was generated and used throughout the station. As he arrived, he noticed that the main generators were still intact, but a number of the major wires had been severed. In addition, he saw that the fuel tank where the gasoline was held had been shot multiple times, allowing the fuel to escape into space. As he floated around the room, he realized an idea that had not occurred to him.

He pulled himself back to his ship along the tether, then reentered. After a few minutes of repressurizing and depressurizing, Zeke had what he was after, so he returned to the generator room.

He remembered from his days in training in the academy that all space stations came with a power terminal in case of power failure, and that small generators were available, generally providing about fifteen minutes of electricity. He also remembered that he had one of those small generators in his ship.

Looking around, he found the terminal again, and attached the generator. He activated it, allowing the powerful batteries inside provide the station with 120 volts of power, enough to power the station for a brief time.

Slowly, the lights flickered on, but not the extent that they would have under the main generator. Still, it was something, at least the circuits remained intact so that he could power the station at all. He drifted back over to the terminal, and turned it on.

After the computer loaded, Zeke made his way to check damage reports. The screen filled with data, so he decided that it would be best to simply put the data on his disk for later review. He also told the terminal to output a second disk with mission data on it. As he floated over to where the disk slots were, he noticed that one drive in particular had a disk in it. The coordinates drive.

Zeke had long known that many space stations were equipped with minor engines for transportation, but never had he seen them in use. He pressed the button to eject the disk, and took that disk with him too.

Thinking of nothing else to do in the station, Zeke slowly made his way back to his ship. Following pressurization, he entered his cabin, and inserted the coordinates into his own coordinates drive. The right screen flickered on as the computer pulled up a map. Data on the destination flooded the screen.


A planet, the third from the sun in the system Gorash, and only 1.4 lightyears from that massive black hole called The Maw. Zeke inserted the other disk, the mission disk, into his drive in the hopes of finding out why the station was headed to such a remote destination.

He read the information for a short bit. It seemed that the scientists were investigating the rumors of an ancient alien race. According to the information that Station Mnemosyne had deciphered, it seemed that they called themselves the Riilan. This planet, Gorash III, a jungle world, appeared to be an ancient home of the Riilan, so the scientists were traveling there to find ruins and decipher them. Feh. Maybe there was some truth to those alien rumors after all.

Go where the facts lead, an old bounty hunter's creedo, echoed in Zeke's mind. He set the computer to travel to the world. He fell asleep a few minutes later, until an alarm woke him up. The middle screen flooded with large, bold words in a red font.



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