Bendor (2336), Glisten
Enter Miranda Clontarf, niece of Rogan Clontarf, doctor and party girl. After disembarking from the retirement cruise ship Elysium Fields, Miranda is thrilled to say goodbye to her chaperone, Jill Holiday. A former repo-person, Ms. Holiday is now employed by Rogan Clontarf. Miranda now heads off to find the ship, Red Queen, that will take her to her new position as the Medical Director of the CT End Route Facility at Colony Six. A Bendorian dockworker escorts her to the docking bay holding the Red Queen, but when she sees the weathered tramp freighter she is not amused. Even less so, when she sees the pool of blood at the bottom of the personnel ramp and a trail leading inside. The dockworker seems skeptical that it is indeed blood, after all, such things do not happen on Bendor. Miranda warily ascends the ramp and activates the ships intercom. A frantic Jatta answers. After discovering that she is the niece of Rogan, and a surgeon, he begs her to join him in the ship’s sickbay. When she gets to the sickbay, she finds a man with multiple gunshot wounds bleeding out on the examination table and an anxious Jatta hitting buttons on the medical console. Miranda quickly takes charge of the situation, begins stabilizing the patient and directs Jatta to prep for surgery. She also suggests they close the ramp, so who ever shot this man doesn’t come on board to finish the job. Jatta tells Tam to go to the bridge and activate the internal security program. Shortly thereafter, alarms go off in the infirmary, warning that the low-berths have begun reviving their occupants as part of a “Frozen Watch” emergency protocol, initiated by the internal security program. Miranda sends Jatta to deal with the low-berths, while she handles the surgery on her own.
Lyta and Artur arrive at the Red Queen’s docking bay to find three men loitering near the bay doors, wearing Bendor dockworker jumpsuits. Both notice that none of the men sport the characteristic faux-hawk hairstyle so popular among Bendorians. After Lyta spots blood at the base of the ramp she and Artur make a beeline for the ship. Two of the dockworkers follow, and as Lyta and Artur reach the personnel ramp, draw body pistols and demand access to the ship. Artur turns to the would be high-jackers, with his arms raised and his hands clenched, in feigned surrender, blocking most of the ramp. Lyta quickly dashes up the ramp to get to the interior doors. She’s quite surprise when they fail to open for her. One of the assailants becomes suspicious of Artur before advancing up the ramp and demands he open his hands. To punctuate his demand, he fires a round into the ramp. The slug from the modified body pistol slams into the deck near Artur’s feet. As he watches unflinching, milky-white tendrils spring forth from the impact point, they almost seem alive as they reach out from the impact point, before collapsing back on themselves and dissolving. Artur recognizes the special ammunition as the deadly assassin’s weapon, “Spider Web.” A “Spider Web” round delivers a genetically engineered neural parasite that moves rapidly through the body, voraciously consuming every neural pathway, until it reaches the brain. Death is almost certain and extremely painful. Artur opens his hands, letting two large ball-bearings fall to the deck. Lyta completes overriding the inner door as Artur and the two hijackers crest reach the top of the ramp. As she leaps through the opening door, Artur tries to block the hijackers view of his crew-mate. One of the men opens fire on Artur, while the lead man dashes past Artur in an effort to catch Lyta.
Ryre’s Legal Advocate, Iain of Dermott, informs him that the charges have been dropped by the opposing party. It appears that Ryre’s two attackers were not in fact employees of Quine Corporation and were on Bendor high-port illegally. As a part of a plea for deportation leniency, they agreed not to bring charges that would appear on public record, hence the charges against Ryre have been dropped. Though Ryre is a free man, he is not given back his equipment. Iain states that they will be sent to the ship later that afternoon. Ryre will also have an escort back to his ship, and is advised to stay out of trouble for the remainder of his stay. At first Ryre mistakes his escort as a special security robot armed with a long sword and a pistol, but when it strikes up a conversation, he soon realizes it is a Bendorian Landmate. A Landmate is a sophisticated robot body, controlled remotely by a Bendorian security officer, through the Grove. But, unlike the telepresence inputs, its physical actions are created through a direct linear motion capture articulation frame that the security office wears. Ryre and Security Officer Heith of Katterson exchange fight stories on their walk back. It becomes evident to Ryre that physical violence is a rarity on Bendor and the Bendorians lack a true understanding of it. While Heith is an accomplished combatant, Ryre is not convinced that Heith would do as well in a face-to-face fight. Regardless, the security officer seems completely enamored with Captain Ryre and his hair-raising exploits.
Jatta returns to sickbay exasperated. He explains to Miranda that the six Imperial Marines are no worst for wear for being revived early, and that they are settling in nicely in the passenger lounge. With out looking up, Miranda demands he change in order to assist her in surgery. Despite his initial protests, Jatta quickly slips into some surgical scrubs.
A volley of bullets arc across the wall missing Artur. The second gunman, with the Spider Web gun, slips through the doorway after Lyta. As Artur turns to pursue the second gunman he’s struck in the hand by a bullet, fortunately is not enough to penetrate his vacc-suit, but it stings none the less. Lyta’s assailant is surprise by a sudden compulsion to relinquish his weapon the woman standing before him. He lacks the will to resist, and drops the deadly weapon into her waiting hands. Realizing the gravity of his position he retreats back out the doorway, slipping past Artur who has come through behind him. Artur punches the door control switch leaving both assailants trapped outside the inner door. Lyta accesses the ship’s computer and uses sleepy gas to render the two hijackers unconscious.
Having heard the sounds of gun fire coming from one the audio pick-ups, Tam panics and starts the maneuver drive ignition sequence. Normally he would be locked out, but is now recognized by the internal security program as an authorized user. He closes the personnel ramp and soon the maneuver drive engines fill the docking bay with the roar of thunder.
Captain Ryre and Security Officer Heith enter the docking bay to see a dockworker with a assault rifle readied, watching the Red Queen rocking on her landing gear with the maneuver drives blazing a way. Ryre motions for Heith to wait by the bay doors as he moves up behind the gunman, who is unaware of their presence due to deafening sound of the ship’s engines. Captain Ryre tries to distract him, by throwing a large hydro-spanner across the man’s field of vision. Unfortunately, the gun man simply spins and levels his gun at Ryre’s face. But before the gun man can fire, Heith cleaves both the man’s arms off with his vibro-sword. Ryre is covered in a spray of blood from the severed limbs.