S T A N T O N O U T E R R I M U E E T E R R I T O R Y 2872 - 08 - 22
On an Outer Rim patrol in the Stanton System, the SS Gatsby was orbiting Delamar when it picked up a distress beacon. A UEE transport vessel, a Caterpillar known as the “Cole Train” was reaching out for immediate assistance after a pirate hit and run. Life support was critical and they lost the majority of the crew on the bridge including the captain. It was a rather quick skirmish. Four Redeemers swarmed the Caterpillar and started rendering it useless with their distortion cannons. Once Cole Train was immobile, an Inferno came about and deemed their bridge a broken jaw with the power of several uppercuts. The size 7 weapons on the Ares have recently been causing issues in the system as the pirates get their hands on more and more of them. Around the Caterpillar were several wings and parts of various Redeemers. Did not seem like all of them survived, but there was no sign of the Ares. The Caterpillar also suffered any casualties, with a skeleton crew to remain behind to tell the story.
Commander Chars of the SS Gatsby grew up on the front lines of the war and loved suiting up for battle. He led the charge for his ship whenever it dealt with boarding parties and anything alike. He was a man known to get his hands dirty, and he was not going to sell himself short when it came to boarding the Cole Train for further inspection. Strike had been included to join all boarding parties as an attempt by CMDR Hemly to hopefully put Strike in the frontline of a firefight eliminating him.
The boarding party now EVA’ing their way to the hole in the bridge of the Caterpillar. When they reached the bridge, they were surprised by a welcoming face. StarLord was not as intimidating as many made him out to be. Not that he wasn’t, but he didn’t seem to radiate hatred as everyone portrayed. Strike was the first to actually recognize him because of his past dealings with Blacklayne. He encountered StarLord on one occasion, but never got the chance to get up close and speak with him personally. All the messages he snagged between Blacklayne and StarLord were always in a cryptic language and never showed faces.
Strike suddenly feels more weight on his shoulders knowing that not only StarLord is here, but also Blacklayne. He doesn’t want any chances that Blacklayne will recognize him and alert the others. Amid the rambling between the two groups Strike sends off a trooper to begin going through the ship log while everyone has their attention on each other. If StarLord and Blacklayne are here with a crew attacking a lone Caterpillar, then there’s something on this ship he’s looking for.
After a few intense stares and words exchanged between each other, StarLord’s men came to the bridge with Strike’ trooper in hand, dead. For Strike, this confirmed the rumors that StarLord is the real deal. He does what needs to be done. StarLord began to speak, telling Strike and company why he was aboard the ship. As he spoke the leftover crew of the Cole Train showed themselves to be Nine Tails in disguise. StarLord began a long monologue touching on his youth and his father. He spoke of the atrocities the UEE committed not so long ago to their own people. The senate and everyone that revolted betrayed the Messers and his father, and countless other lives that were lost that day that didn’t need to be lost. There could have been another solution. “If they wanted change, then they should have stood up long ago and used their voices' ' said StarLord. My father along with many others died for the sins of the few. My father was a good man.
As Starlord continued his monologue about his fathers death, Strike noticed the data stick in his dead comrades limp hands. It was hidden as a ring on his finger, standard data sticks his team used to stay light and hidden in plain sight. He had to make a move, the ring being on his left hand meant the data transfer was complete. Strike trained his team, right hand meant data had not been transferred and left hand meant the data was secured, for scenarios like this. Strike decided to gamble and asked StarLord if they could recover their comrades' bodies to send back to his family. StarLord chuckled, “We already swept him for his data cards, we know what he was pry’ing for back there. But you're more than welcome to take him back”. Strike and a trooper grabbed the body quickly, transferring it to their side of the bridge. As he grabbed the arms of his fallen friend, he slowly pulled the ring off his finger. On the rise up from the ground, Strike stuck the data stick into his mobiglass to begin scanning whatever was pulled from the logs, and he wasn’t disappointed. It wasn’t anything physical that StarLord was here for, it was digital. Records, files, holo recordings, and other news and information on the entire Messer family and all its past rulers. The senate was trying to wipe the Messer’s clean from history. It was a total sweep of the records. Not all the Messers were bad, but the majority rules and the last reigning era left a sour taste in the public’s mouth that called for a rinse. They would not only purge Linton’s legacy, but any Messer that came before as well. The senate would take credit for everything accomplished under the Messer name, and leave the rest to turn to ashes.
Strike inserted himself into the conversation by telling StarLord how they came about the CAT while on a patrol aboard the SS Gatsby. The mention of that ship sent a ripple down StarLords spine so cold he thought Strike injected the chill himself. StarLord gazed at the SS Gatsby through the window. She had a lot of restorative work done on her. She’s only a fragment of the ship she used to be, but the potential is still there with some good engineering work done. StarLord still couldn’t believe that he was looking at his fathers ship. His mind was flooded with memories of his father, of himself on the ship running sprints. Sitting in the captain's chair. Eating in the mess hall with the fighter pilots and troopers. Then in the blink of an eye he watched the ship explode again as if he was watching the holo video again as a 15 year old. Strike saw his empty gaze and took the opportunity to make a move.
Strike and his crew were the first to reach their blasters and made quick work of the Nine Tails in the room. Checking all the bodies, 3 were missing and two of them were Blacklayne and StarLord. StarLord must be captured and taken in for his war crimes against the UEE.