written by Fyren
I’m still not sure what I’m doing. I go from place to place, often aimlessly, with no real goal in mind. The universe is a big place and I’ve yet to find where I fit. Looking for purpose in a fulfilling career I continue taking odd jobs. Everything from answering distress calls to running packages to investigation.
This time I find myself speeding towards a random clump of asteroids orbiting the planet Hurston. I’ve taken a bounty contract and the dirty criminal chose this drifting clump of rocks as a hiding spot apparently. The asteroids shift and and spin unpredictably. The info was correct, I see my target pop up on my scans hiding deep in the mass of swirling rocks. I lay in the approach and many of the smaller pieces of driftrock bounce off the ship’s shields. I start to tunnel vision on my target and miss a particularly large asteroid that is heading right for me. It slams into the left side of my ship sending me spinning off into the darkness way off course. I’m lucky it didn’t just take me out entirely. I get back on course and soon I’ve got visual on the bounty. I open fire without asking any questions and without taking any chances. Several streams of energy blasts converge on the smaller ship. Their shields are down almost instantly. “Who knew bounty hunting was so easy?” I wonder aloud with a slight chuckle. The target speeds toward me with clearly nothing to lose. It slams into me at full speed once again sending me spinning and tumbling just like one of the asteroids that are doing the same all around. The last ditch ram that my target decided was a good idea seems to have done more damage to him than me. The smaller ship, now without power, becomes an easy target and quickly falls.
A bit richer and a bit more confident I pick up another bounty contract. For this one I am to remove some illegal squatters from their stolen facility on the surface of Hurston. “The surface? Good thing I have a few guns laying around.” I lay in the course to my destination and begin the long cruise. I leave the ship cruising towards the destination and check out my armaments in preparation for the fight ahead. “Hmmm, 16 bullets for my shotgun and 12 for my pistol.” I double check the contract, there are supposedly 8 hostiles in this facility. “I’ll be fine, as long as I don’t miss.” I say aloud, reassuring myself. As the facility comes into view I am greeted by a hail of laser blasts. Anti-air cannons are trying to pick me out of the sky before I even get close. I return fire from my ship and manage to take out a few of the surface cannons before I decide that it is a fight I cannot win from the air. I land the ship behind a small ridge, which is enough to block the fire from all but one of the anti-air cannons. Luckily for me, the shield generator is more than able to keep up with the rate of fire from the one cannon that still had a clear shot. I give my guns one last check before making a sprint on foot towards the facility.
When I reach the door, I find nothing inside but a large hole in the ground. The dusty hole bored straight into the rock is about 8 feet in diameter and deep enough that a jump into it would not end well. “Am I sure this is the right place? Did I get some wrong information?” I wonder while staring into the pit. I head back outside, heralded by the sounds of the surface cannons continuing their assault on my unmanned craft. I notice the rear shields are down, the absence of the blue glow on impact sending worrying chills through my body. “I should move the ship so I can explore this place in peace.” I begin the sprint back across the open plain. Just as I am about to drop over the small ridge a laser blasts from the cannons send up sprays of dirt all around me. The impacts so close send me reeling and drive me down. I lay face first in the dirt waiting for it to stop.
I wake up in a medical bay counting my blessings that I am still alive. “Welcome back” a doctor says calmly standing over me “You’re lucky to be alive. You took a rather large laser blast in the back. Must have been a mounted weapon of some sort, looks like the blast was too big to be something carried. Do you remember what happened?” I shake my head. I remember it all, but I’m not about to admit that I’m a failed bounty hunter that got shot in the back by an anti-aircraft gun. “Alright, rest up then.” Good thing I had been wearing the best armor money can buy. If I hadn’t I may well have just been vaporized on impact. Maybe next time will be a bit more fruitful.