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by Pete
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Sci-fi · #1598848
Looking for help for ending...
I wrote this about 3 years ago and still don't have an idea for a  decent ending... any suggestions?

Crunch time. Arn'd knew it. The chrono in his head told him that it was 6 minutes until the star would go nova. Well, it didn't tell him, a bio-memtic computer told him that, but he alarmed the time in his chrono to let him know when it would happen.

He'd been harried out to the I594 star cluster over a week ago, and had been fuming about it the whole way. The crew avoided him, the captian berated him, and the damn psych nurse kept wanting him to "unfold" and "express his feelings" about the whole affair.

Crap, "Express his feelings", He'd snorted the hundreth time. OH, he'd like to express his feelings allright. WHAM! down goes the crew. BLAM!, down goes the captian, POKE! the psych nurse runs screaming from the room grasping a really sore eye socket.

But noooooooooooo, here he was. Hauled out of a perfectly good bar, having a perfectly good drink and trying to pick up a perfectly good prostitue for the night. His arms still hurt where the flat-top marines had hauled him out by. Leather-neck... they had earend that title that night. Some of the insults he had winded their way, he was sure, were going to make their children green... if they lived long enough to have any.

And for what?

A meeting

A friggin, shit-can, waste of time meeting in the asshole end of the universe.

20 years, he screamed at the man in black. 20 years he'd been working for the military, and they brought him back on a fucking technicallity? He was sure that the marine that hit him from behind was just doing his duty protecting the stiff. He was also sure that the last thing he saw as the thick black of unconciousness took him over was that same marine smiling.


Fuck-it there and back again.

He woke up, days later... the drugs were good with a mighty big hangover, a bruise at the back of this neck that resembled the butt end of an assult rifle, messy clothes, very very messy clothes, and a rash the size of a football where the injector had forced the very, not so plesant drug into his system.

At week 2 he decided to make everyones life hell.

At week 2.5, they tied him up and left him in his room for 2 days.

At week 3 they told him why he was out here.

At week 4 he still didn't believe it, but has spent the whole week in his cabin reading up on the material that the military had.

There was no alusions as to why he was here. He was indeed expendable. But he had talents that were unique in this situation.

Military trained. Black-Op tried and tested (and Top Secret secured; the blasting cap at the base of his skull was a part of the re-activation clause he still didn't believe), Flight tested in several of the launch and fighter vessels that would be on the star ship, medical trained, hardwired with enough tech to make him usable, but not enough to make him dangerous enough to freeze him between wars like the Cyber-Samuri were. Medical trained, and best of all, empathic. Oh... he rued the day he let the Psych group he could tell what others were feeling. At the time it seemed like a good thing to do. Got him more pay, less control ( or so he thought), and all the cute psych nurse babes. Instead it got him a hip full of metal, a stomach full of butterflies and memories that still woke him up screaming at night.

Appropriately qualified my left ass cheak

He'd read all the material. Read it again, and then just to be sure, read it and highlighted all the juicy parts. He sat back in the zero-g chair, his face numb, and his mind realing. It had to be true. the amount of money spent, just to find him was enough to pay for a house, on a lake...literally. But the amount spent on getting the right crew together, secreting a Gap-ship away from the mainstream, and spiriting them out to the most secluded start cluster in the spiral arm was just staggering. And it was done without any one knowing.

How could they. The bio-weapons division would have gone; no check that, they did go ape-shit. It was the reason he was pressed back into service. Suddenly it all became very clear to him. It was a clarity that he never knew he had. He was in a very unique and trecherous position, and he had very little time to deal with it. If what he was reading was true, and confirmed then he and everyone on the ship were expendable, and would be expended as soon as their use ended.

He shifted through the star charts and found the one he wanted. He ploted a safe route out of the cluster and back to the rendevous point they had asked him to in his briefing. He memorized all the charts, and recorded the possible dangers, including magnetics, and dynamic rock movement. when he was done, he took the whole she-bang, and dumped it into the refuse disposal, and kept the button pressed until the door started to glow from he heat.

Then went into the bathroom. He left the lights off and closed the door. He put cotton in his ears,  took out a small tool that resembled a nose hair trimmer, but had a far sharper and stronger blade. 10 minutes later, two pieces of metal were in the sink and he was spraying the holes in his head and temple closed with autosealer. He took the metal fragments and put them in his mouth, securing them in each cheak.

It'd take a day for the holes to heal, his internal cybernetics stitching up and replacing the lost tissue and blood. He hoped that the monitors didn't catch the amount of pain he was in, as he dug into his temple and took out almost a full gram of skin and tissue. The pain killer in the scalple helped but it took time for it to fully kick in, and with the monitors out of his head, and the explosive disarmed, he was now the most dangerous man in the universe.

The Gap-ship broke out of it's final leg of the journey, .002 parsec from their target. The captian was impressed. less than 10% off the mark. Gap Jumping was still in it's infancy and the accuracy was typically off mark more than it was on.He leaned over his instrument bank, and continued to monitor the gearing down of the engine, as his eyes flicked over the ion engines as they were warmed up. less than 8 minutes and they would be mobile again. Excellent. His crew all earned some extra pay when they got home. That thought brought a smile to his face, as he pictured his wife in his head. 8 weeks was too long to be out bound but he was given specific instructions to take a very staggerd trail out.Secrecy was the word here, and he was not going to be one to deviate from it. He had been given a very important role here, though due to concerns with information leak he hadn't been given his final destination until they were 3 weeks out. It was about then that he finaly got their passenger in order. He'd been wreaking havov with everyone in the ship, until the crew finally had overpowered him and left him trussed up like an animal in his cabin. The captian had ignored the passenger until the very last moment, when he had to hand over the case that his superiors had given him. He was very curious about the case, but he was a good soldier, very trust worthy and he meant to make sure that they kept that in mind when he got back.

Though his curiosity did pique when the passenger suddenly became very quiet and hadn't come out of his cabin for a full week. When he finally did, he was pale, and had made a bee line to the mess. The captian hadn't seen anyone eat that much before. It was all very cloak and daggerish. But not for him to worry about. His job was to get the man to the cluster, then pull back and wait for his signal. The launch that the flight crew were checking was about as basic  as they came, an engine, altitude controls and a dynamic, convertable docking ring. Apparently the stranger was going to check something out.

The captin had heard rumors that one of the old line ships had been found. Several were lost in the Man-T'Kik war. It was the first time Gap-Drives were used and several of the larger ships just up and disappeared. Something to do with the energy to mass ratio, or other. The techies knew. Well that was their job, not his. He knew how to run a ship. That was his. He did it very well. Well enough to be given a big fat bounus and this ferry run.

He leaned to the left and directed is request to have the stranger notified that they had arrived on station and would be in position in about 6 hours. He barked to his nav team to engadge the ION engines to 1.5 g, and begin spin, to their final cordinates. Smiling he leaned back into his seat as his well oiled crew made his ship respond in like. Yup, he liked being the captian.

It was only a passing thought that one of the reports indicated that no one had seen the psych nurse in over a week. She had disappared into her room after being released from the medic who treated her injury inflicted by the passenger. She had stayed there over a week, accepting food trays only. Bah, psych nurse. Nothing more than a psychotic nurse if you asked the captian, which, he grumbled at that no on had. ANd had he been just a little more inventive, he may have noticed that the sudden disapperance of the nurse just conincided with the stranger coming out of his cabin, but then he wasn't that imaginative. He was just the captain.

7 hours later, the passenger was going over his final checks. He had gotten into his zero-g suit and was performing the routine checks for seals, thermodynamic moderators and light shields. Satisfied his bright orange suit was up for the challenge, he walked around the launch and inspected the areas he needed to, and to the chagrin of the deck crew, some he didn't. He knew what he was doing; the crew had to give him that. His inspection was thoughtful and well planned. He knew where to look and what he was looking for. He reached into bulkhead and wiggled cables, pulled on connections and made sure that the exhaust vents were free of nicks and debris. The crew was good. The launch was spotless. Inside and out and the stranger said as much.

With all the checks done, he signaled the captain that he was ready, and boarded the launch. In 12 hours he would know if what he had read was true. in 12hours and 1 minute, he would start the course of action he had planned. He just hoped the nurse would stay alive for that much longer. He needed the monitors to continue working that long. In 12 hours there was nothing that anyone could do to stop him.

The launch handled as well as it should, just like the cow it was. It had been years since he had been in one, and he was a bit rusty. One of the deck crew muttered something about pathetic officers under his breath, but said nothing out loud as the passenger scraped the paint on the exit. When he was clear of the dock, he maneuvered the ship roughly to point toward the coordinates he had been given. He advised the captain that he was ready and they should meet back here in 30 hours.

Thankful to have the disruption off his ship, he agreed, and spun up the ship to .8g's, and pressed forward, arching back to his required station. The passenger started the chronometer counting; and did a few calculations. Under normal conditions, he'd be at the coordinates of the star in 12 hours and a few piddly minutes. That was at a normal .6g burn from the engines. His system could handle that with ease. With the implants he could almost handle several seconds of 15g’s without blacking out. He’d need that now. He needed to keep to the timetable.

He started the initial burn routine, but when the star ship was out of scanner range, he wiped the program and entered in the backup he had made. In seconds the ship was running at a burn of 6g’s. The warning alarms screamed for only a second about “personal safety” and all that crap. The panel squeled in pain as a quick jab silenced the alarm.

At 6g’s he’d be at the corrdinates quicker than expected. In less than an hour, he’d be in visual distance of the scope. Timing. It all came down to timing. He’d been with the military enough to know about the timing. He’d been with the Psych division long enough to know about paranoia, and that he could not anticipate everything; but now everything was started and in play. He couldn’t change a thing; even if he wanted to. Things were set in motion now.  All he could do was move the acceleration chair back, and catch some sleep.

In an hour, his internal chrono kicked off and woke him from a light daze. He moved the chair into an upright position and scanned the panels around him quickly. Everything showed as it should. He cleared the main screen from it’s external monitoring and turned on the long range scope. A few seconds later, the image started to form on the plasma screen. A few seconds of pixilation and the star appeared as a brigh blue ball in the middle of the screen. Little detail was visible, but that would slowly get better as the scope gathered more and more information. At these distances, the computer had to gather data and extrapolate it from light that was reflected and projected off of images hundreds of thousands of kilometers away.
© Copyright 2009 Pete (peteleeb at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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