Pandora 23

Below the Surface

... or How to Build a Shuttle in Four Days.

Liska, Bobby & Aurora returned to Deck 48 leery of more rogue skutters, but eager to pull together the shuttle they need to complete their mission.

But, first, now that they have an inventory, they need a place to build the shuttle, not to mention a way to move the extra large pieces and tools for disassembly & reassembly.

Fortunately, the old dust coated Recycle Deck provided. Exploration of the deck found a large space hangar, fuel tank storage, a room for mech recycling (with lots of tools) and another room with heavy moving equipment, even more tools (welders, hydraulic cutters, etc.) and lots more fuel.

The team cut, moved, welded and assembled a new (mostly) space worthy vehicle in what seems like record time; a mere, short, four days. Unfortunately, paint was a problem. All that could be found were white and red primer. There were fears the two mixed together would produce pink. Instead, it produced a searing bright red. The new shuttle was dubbed (perhaps temporarily) the SS Civilian Casualty.

Aurora took the Casualty out of the bay … or tried to – she pulled right, the ship lurched left and removed a landing stanchion. Who needs those, anyway?

The location devices the team received earlier led them out into the wilds of the Pandora System, where the He3 slush, blown by the powerful solar winds, kept visibility to a minimum. Eventually it was determined that they were heading directly into a fire fight. A Space Corps vessel, Fighter 359, was in a laser cannon battle with the pirate cutter the team was seeking.

The pilot of the Space Corps fighter contacted the Casualty, informing them that the shuttle would be fired upon if they entered the area near the fight. A quick thinking Aurora opened a video channel, flashed her ta-tas at the stunned pilot, then maneuvered the shuttle to the protected side of the besieged pirate cutter.

The team found a docking port just over the starboard engine nacelle. Aurora made for the dock, at the same time the fighter delivered a hull crushing blow to the cutter! The pirate ship lurched starboard as Aurora slid forward. Seeing the danger, Bobby grabbed the stick and pulled. The shuttle bounced off the hull of the pirate ship, but not without issues. The emergency pyros fired, separating the forward section of the shuttle from the rest of the ship. This left the team with a dwindling supply of breathable air. At that moment, emergency spacesuits dropped into the laps of the team. Next, the lights and artificial gravity cut out.

The team spent the next minutes struggling into their suits and deciding what to do next. Finally it was decided to again attempt to dock. This docking would actually be facilitated by the loss of the landing stanchion. Things were looking up!

The docking went off without a hitch, just a small loss of primer. The dock led to a room with a strange set of pads on the floor – that turned out to be a short range teleporter! As Liska and Bobby tried the teleporter, with mixed but fruitless results, Aurora opened the door – to find two armed pirates playing cards. Aurora again flexed her erotic charms, which seemed to work quite well on the not terribly bright pirates. While they drooled over Aurora, Liska stunned the poor suckers.

At the back of a pirate star ship, full of murderous thugs, in the middle of a fire fight, we leave our team … until next time!



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