The War Criminal (Open Ended)

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“Hey, cut it out!”

Eva was promptly snapped out of attention as a guard slammed a baton on the glass separating her from the outside world. A quick glance at the guard and she shifted her attention to different person just behind the guard. He was dressed in similar uniform, and stared back at her with a gaze that told her that he was terrified.

Shrugging, Eva continued tapping on the glass, ignoring the guards’ protests. In all honesty, she couldn’t give a single fuck about anything, she was destined to be executed the following month. Might as well irritate the hell out of her guards.

The guard having enough of her antics, opened the door to her cell. A glass room in all honesty. And raised his baton while stepping closer to her.

“I said cut it out you bitch!” Eva could only cower as the guard repeatedly hit her with his baton, in all honesty, she could just kill him right here and now. But she opted not to, as it’d just be a huge waste.

As the Guard finished beating her, he proceeded to walk out and handed the keys to the second guard, ordering him to guard her.

As the first guard left, an announcement came over the ships’ PA system:

“Attention all crew: We are about to warp to Uvia in T minus Thirty Seconds.”

Eva crawled towards the second guard, and pressed her face against the glass.

“Please…set me free…”

Ten seconds left.

“Please…” Eva placed her hand on the glass, she was battered and bruised, a result of the constant abuse done to her by the guards. It was all an act however, luckily, the young guard couldn’t see through it.

It worked.

The second guard, out of pity, slid the key card through the card reader, and the door promptly opened when the ship entered warp.


Bridge

“Sir, we’re detecting a strange spatial anomaly in our path. What do we do sir?”

The Captain thought for a second and gave the answer: “Fly through it, I’m sure it’s nothing.”

As soon as they reached the anomaly however, the ship shook violently, and warnings blared through out the bridge. Whatever happened next, nobody was sure, as everyone knocked unconscious.


Schatten V

The occupants of the Abendrot regained consciousness.

Systems were down, the few who had recovered on the bridge were panicking as they have seemingly warped into a different galaxy, not a single star around them was in their database, and they didn’t know what system they were in.

In the deeper parts of the ship however, Eva had recovered first, and had promptly locked the guard who was setting her free in her cell. Right now, she was in the armory, dressing herself up with her uniform. She was grateful that there were some members of the New Empire’s parliament who viewed her as a hero, and had secretly transported her uniform and equipment on board.

Holstering one of her pistols after wearing her uniform, Eva proceeded to walk outside, coming upon three guards running towards her.

Three shots, three bodies.

And so, the firefight in the Abendrot commenced, and within the next 30 minutes, the entire skeleton crew of 30 was dead. With Eva not having a single drop of blood on her clothing.

She now stood at the bridge, surrounded with the dead bodies of the bridge crew. Not noticing the blinking of the distress signal on the Navigators console. Not like it mattered anyway. Walking towards the Engineers console, she pulled out a lever and pulled it downwards.

The ships’ engine shut down, followed by the main computer.

And so, she was left alone, in orbit above an unfamiliar planet in an unfamiliar system. Inside a dead ship. Pressing a button behind her right ear, the gas mask materialized around her head and sealed the neck area. Eva then proceeded to sit down on the Captains’ seat. Awaiting her fate.

What happened next, well lets just say that no one expected it. The Galatine and the Zealot Star had responded to the spliced in vessel. When the vessel initially spliced in the Captain of the smal skeleton crew had made conact after sending out a general distress call signaling that they had a prisoner on board and requesting assistance. Admiral Thomas himself had responded and immediately deplyed fighters around the ship, in mid conversation with the Captain the signal went dead. Lance himself had all he needed to know really, he sent a signal to Nimbus informing them of the status and situation. Meanwhile, he didn’t have any doubt in his mind that the prison ship was going to be a headache for a long time to come.

The Galatine locks a tractor beam onto the ship while the Zealot Star deploys the STMC to the ship, just one squad of 10 fully geared up for combat, their orders… Assess the threat and neutralize. TACCOM and STS were also preparing to beam over to assist and secure the bridge, engineering, or anywhere else in accordance with what the marines reported. This wasn’t the first time a prison ship had appeared in the star system. They were from the 1st Regiment of the Belleau Wood Company, Squad Tango-6 to be exact. Some of the first to br trained as STMC, there was’t much that Apollyon, Aytise, and the rest had not trained them to handle. Each member was an expert with years of experience prior to joining the STMC, each one had seen serious combat in their time, and each one was perfectly happy to kill anyone who threatened them or their mission. It was quite simple.

Eva wasn’t even surprised when she saw the fighters, nor was she surprised when she saw the other ships drop out of warp. She was expecting this, having entered the Bridge when the Captain was talking to someone. Quite unfortunate really, especially when the tractor beam was activated.

Might as well converse with everyone.

Flipping a switch, Eva opened communications, and by ‘opened’, meant open broadcast. So even the people inside the ship could hear and intervene in the conversation. Something she often did when she was still in command, casually conversing to other captains about daily lives. A policy she adopted.

She recalled walking into the room while the captain was talking to someone. She sighed, can’t people just keep their mouths shut? Taking a deep breath, Eva tapped a few more switches, a hologram of the ships’ decks appearing in front of her. There, she could see where the boarding party were.

They were also close to Brig, remembering the unfortunate guard that she had locked in her cell when she had escaped. Swiping the hologram a bit, she smiled in glee as she saw what was in the ships’ cargo hold: RX Nerve gas.

Originally a riot control gas, it was discovered that exposing a person to a huge dose of it would result in blindness, unbearable pain, cancer, hemorrhaging, necrosis, internal organ failure, vomiting, loss of sanity, shut down of higher brain function, and finally death. All in under 3 seconds. Essentially killing the victim before they even hit the ground.

There was only enough for one person, good news was that it was all she needed.

Opening the doors leading to the Brig for the boarding party to follow, she redirected the ventilation system leading to the cell, allowing her to instantly release the Nerve Gas on the now conscious Guard on her will.

Remembering what she walked in on earlier, she picked up the mic.

Over the open broadcast, she spoke:

“What did the Captain say?”

The marines didn’t answer at first, though they hit their adaptive camouflage which reduced their energy signature and life signs to be less detectable, the team lead signaled back, “We have a contact, only life sign left, possibly the prisoner, please advise.” Finally Lance says on the COM, “Stay silent for now, see if you can access a computer terminal to check the internal sensors.” The team lead responded simply, “Rodger that.” And goes to see if they can find a working computer terminal.

No reply.

“No? Okay then.”

Eva, in her moment of boredom, decided to shut down all of the ships’ remaining systems (exception being the communications). Her gas mask switching to ‘Respiration Mode’ as the air pressure dropped. Leaving nothing but a vacuum, the artificial gravity was also shut down. Leaving anything unsecured free to float inside the ship.

“I apologize if the boarding party is going to be discomforted by the lack of gravity. I’ll be opening a route straight to the bridge. If you don’t mind.”

Temporarily turning on the systems needed. Eva opened one of the elevators and the respective bulkhead doors leading to the elevator and the bridge itself. While she could just sit there and enjoy herself, opening and closing doors, confusing the boarding party. It wouldn’t take long for it to get boring.

So might as well give herself up early. Connecting the mic inside her gas mask to the ships’ communication system. Eva spoke over the open waves.

“Comms systems are wide open. Who’s the commanding officer of this squadron?”

Indra arrived on site next to the the zealot star and the Galatine, he’d gotten the report of the splice ship and arrived in the newly repaired Barbatos lupus rex and wanted to test it out but of course he couldn’t unless ordered. He opened comms to the ship and spoke
“What’s the situation?”

Sal opens a channel to Indra, “We’ve got an unknown prisoner on this ship here… STMC unit is on board, she’s turned off life support and gravity and continues to attempt to make contact. We have the ship secured in a tractor beam.” He puts simply, “Admiral Thomas has opened for radio silence on the part of the Marines on the ship.” And then Sal patches Indra’s COMs into the channel for the operation, so he can hear what’s going on.

The marine squad opens a channel back to the fleet, “Admiral, stans detect that a path to the bridge has been opened, life support and gravity are shut off in all other regions. Feels like a trap sir.” Lance thinks about this for a moment, then… “Agreed, split into two teams, each one to find an alternate route to the bridge that is not cleared. We’ll beam over reinforcements.” Lance then signals transporter room, “Get a lock onto any and all life signs on the bridge.”

“Should I standby Incase I need to blow anything up or do you want me to push closer for close support” Indra asked as he checked Barbatos current armaments

Sal responds to Indra, “Your choice, feel free to pull in close.” It was a short reply, but to the point. Transporter chief reports to Lance, “Sir, I have a positive transporter lock for one person, on the ships bridge.” Lance chuckles, “Beam her directly to the brig, makes sure there is a full STS team waiting for her, maintain her weapons in transit.” The transporter chief confirms and energizes.

First thing, she was sitting in the bridge, waiting for the boarding party to reach her. Which was obviously boring her to the extent where she wanted to just shoot someone.

Nex thing she knew, she was somewhere she didn’t know, a large opening with lights surrounding said opening, a single bed behind her.

A brig. She remembered it, the later brig designs used in prison ships were the same design as the one she was in. Albeit with the back up doors in the event the force fields were down.

Stepping back a bit and sitting down on the bed, she spoke: “So…who’s the Commanding Officer of this ship?”

In all honesty, with her in a brig without her weapons, she was pretty much left with nothing else to do.

The security officer in charge had a full squad there, a total of 10 people, in various tactical positions but all relaxed to a point. They weren’t not expecting a fight but they were rigid and ready to explode either. Relaxed, calm, experienced, Lance wouldn’t have it any other way. The one guard said, “Fleet Admiral Lance Thomas command this vessel.” in a very official but slightly smug tone, “Please be advised the force field may pose a health risk if you come into direct contact with it.” It was hard to tell if he was being sarcastic or not really, there was an edge to his voice but one could also not mistake the humming sound coming form the high intensity field generators.

This is the brig…

The holding area has several of these but she can only really see the person at the controls in front of the force field.

“Fleet Admiral Lance Thomas…” Eva trailed off, reaching for her back. Her replicator having produced an object curiously shaped like a Swiss Army Knife, but was relatively featureless.

Placing on her palm, not even bothering to hide it, she spoke: “Is he here? I wanna talk with him.” Twisting the object around her hand, she added; “He should start the conversation first though. I’m a horrible conversation starter.”

She stared at the operator, a sly smile on her face. She didn’t plan on escaping, she had undoubtedly deserved this, she knew…but she didn’t want to die either.

Looking at her sleeve, the a series of dashes lined the Location, Time and Date being shown. She didn’t mind, having noticed it earlier, her attention was focused on the timer, counting up.

And so she waited, waiting for the Fleet Admiral to meet her.

Of course the location information on her sleeve was meaningless, as there was no location database that she could access which had any idea where she was, any meaningful distance and bearing from even inertial sensors would be lost by the transport. Still, it thought it knew where she was, thinking she was still on the bride of the other ship unless it had some reason to know otherwise. The operator just nodded, “That’s a nice trick.” he said looking at the tool, “I urge you not to make us erect a dampening field.” With that he touches some controls and the tool vanishes being beamed out of the cell, “We respectful require that you adhere to a strict protocol of no weapons or tools of any kind during your stay in this cell. Should you breech that protocol we will be most unhappy.” He smiles a cold but professionally detached smiles, not addressing her request for Admiral Thomas to come by at all.

Meanwhile Lance contacts Indra and the Zealot Star at once, “I’m going to have the marines secure the ship, she’s in the brig. Feel free to join me for her interview if you’d like.”

“Indra here, think I might join you for the little party” he said with a laugh as he maneuvered Barbatos to the nearest area he could land. He then jumps out and takes off the required piloting suit needed in space and goes shirtless with his signature Tekkadan coat before heading off to the brig

After long enough Lance waits for Indra and they both head to the brig. Once there, he confers with the security staff to find out if Eva has been a problem. Either way, however, he eventually heads over to the brig where the woman is imprisoned, “Hello there.” he says with a nod, hands behind his back, standing tall and very comfortable with the situation.

Eva could only smile. Whether it was delight because she finally had someone to talk to, or for whatever other reason didn’t really matter. The fact that she was actually smiling…if her co-workers were with her, they’d take it as a bad thing.

Today was a different case however.

Guten Morgen, Admiral.” Eva replied, standing up from the bed and saluting; Her right hand raised above her head, her arm forming an ‘L’ shape. Palm open. Her posture was stiff and straight, an aura of discipline around her.

Lowering her arm and easing herself, she took small steps toward Lance, getting closer. Stopping a few feet away from the force field, slowly buttoning her trench coat as she did so, she spoke: “I’ve been waiting for the past 15 minutes.” She chuckled, as if remembering something; “If you were in my home, 300 years ago, I’d have you sent back to Officer School.”

She sighed, putting her hands inside the pockets of her -now closed- trench coat.

“I assume you came here of your own volition? And are here to interrogate me?” She asked, raising her eyebrow. Her gaze drifting to Indra for a split second before returning to the bridge of Lance’s nose.

Indra stayed quiet as he walked in with lance, taking off his jacket and tossing it over is shoulder leaving him shirtless like he always was. He stared at Eva slightly interested at her looks and attitude.
“Interesting one”
He thought to himself as he looked to lance then back to Eva simultaneously catching her look at him making something in his chest pound

Having cybernetics he noticed the quickening pace of Indra’s heart but paid it no mind, his multi-optic eye and his positronic implants were tied into the ships sensors. He just looked at her and finally looked back at Indra, “Yes, I agree.” then looking at her, “I do not wish to banter with you, nor am I necessarily interested in interrogating you. We are in a unique situation and I came to discuss that situation with you. Interrogation could follow, but it may not, I fail to see what critical information you’d have that I would need.”

Nodding, Eva clasped her hands behind her back, her feet closing and forming a V at a 45 degree angle. And asked: “What’s the situation then?”

She was genuinely curious, if the situation was about something she could help with, she would. That is, if they allow her to.

“Oh you can hear my…Anyways Whatever” Indra said as he looked at lance before looking back to Eva and sighing. He then thinks to himself since lance can hear him
“I’ll interrogator her of needed, Tekkadan has some nasty ways”