Saturday, June 27, 2015

Bug Out

Episode 5 of Plans Go Awry

Last episode, Tee was shocked senseless and Rugen had to fight a "bug" drone. As Rugen stood breathless over the defeated drone, he felt a hand grip his shoulder.

Rugen, leaped forward, away from the hand, and spun, bringing his stunsword to the ready.

"Tee!" he shouted, surprised to see his friend recovered. "I thought you were still deactivated."

"Whatever you did rebooted my internal diagnostics. It did the rest, and I am now functioning properly."

The duo checked the bag it was dragging. They found a human child, unconscious and bound.

"I would say that these creatures are harvesting humans. For what end, I cannot say," opined Tee. He managed to revive and free the child. They placed him in a safe location, promising to return. Then they continued to make their way down the corridor, heading toward the A Wing docking platform.

A little further on they heard the sound of footsteps. Before they could react, two more "bugs" turned a corner. These bugs were armed with laser blasters, with stunswords sheathed. They immediately spotted our heroes and rushed forward, blasting away with abandon.

One shot grazed Rugen, who spun and fell to the floor. Tee flattened himself as much as possible against the wall and began to return fire. One of his shots fried an "arm" of one of the enemy, but it still charged toward our heroes.

Laser fire arced through the corridor. Another shot struck Rugen and he fell back down, wounded this time. As Tee fired, his pistol suddenly jammed. He tried to fix it, but the warrior bugs were upon them. They drew their swords. One swung, hitting Tee in the chest. He staggered back into the wall. Both bugs attacked him.

Seemingly from nowhere, a blade stretched out and deflected the sword that was near to penetrating Tee's chest. Rugen had recovered and had parried the blow. He then knocked the opponent's blade away and struck. Rugen's thrust penetrated the armored carapace and buried itself into the bug's innards. It fell to the ground.

The other bug turned and engaged Rugen. Their swords struck against each other, throwing off sparks into the otherwise still corridor. The bug was too strong, though; its blows kept forcing Rugen back. It beat aside Rugen's blade and raised its sword for a death blow.

Suddenly, there was a sickening crunch as two robotic hands grabbed the bug's skull and crushed it into a pulp. The bug's torso fell lifeless to the ground.

"Thanks, Tee!" gasped Rugen.

Our heroes continued down the corridor. They reached another security door. After a few minutes of delicate work, Tee bypassed the protocols and opened the portal.

Just then a voice echoed from Rugen's comm link.

"See ya, suckers!"

Rugen checked the link and saw Captain Nat Crowe.

"What?" began Rugen, but Crowe cut him off.

"I'm on yer ship, priest. And we be headin' outta this system."

"How did you manage. . ."

"Never ye mind, priest. There's never bin a jail that can hold me! Anyway, enjoy yer permanent stay on bug central!"

With that, the screen went dark.

"Blasters!" swore Rugen, "When I get a hold on that pirate. . . "

"Hold on," Tee responded, "we have more important duties for the time being. Let us continue our mission."

Although still steaming, Rugen agreed. They made their way down the corridor, eventually arriving at a door marked "A Wing Docks."

"This is it," stated Rugen. "We don't know what's behind the door, so get ready."

Our heroes gripped their weapons. Tee punched the keys of the control panel, and the door slid open.

Learn what they find on our next episode!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Shocking Turn of Events

Episode 4 of Plans Go Awry

In our last episode, Rugen and Tee defeated the pirate captain and his crew.

"Well Captain, what IS going on?"

The pirate captain appeared frazzled. "Enough! I'm jest tryin' to survive. The station's been invaded. Bugs, I tells ya. Big 'uns. Smart, too. They came in ships and carry lasers. "They're roundin' up every person on board. I don't know why, and I don't want to find out!"

"Bugs, eh? Well, we'll deal with them." The captain gave Rugen a skeptical look.

Now, have you seen a man named Jacinto Barik?"

The pirate captain winced.

"Speak!" commanded Rugen.

"All right. All right. I was set to rendezvous with him. Didn't show up. I'm bettin' that the bugs got 'im."

"Well, just in case you DID meet him, I'm going to have to search you. Come on, Tee. Let's get to it."

Rugen and Tee cared for the wounded then found an empty airlock. With a little jury-rigging, they turned it into a prison cell and locked up the pirates. None of them carried the Templar secrets that were the focus of their mission. The duo then decided to look for Barik, even if that meant facing the "bugs."

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Last Stand - Part 3

Episode 3 of Plans Go Awry

After the defeat of the pirate crew (see Part 2), Captain Nat Crowe personally challenged Rugen. Rugen dropped his laser pistol and advanced with his stunsword at the ready. Crowe rushed forward, his blade raised above his head, ready to strike death upon Rugen. As the pirate's blade slashed in a downward arc, Rugen neatly sidestepped. The Templar's riposte struck Crowe's left arm. The pirate backed off.

Crowe snarled at Rugen and said, "Ye'll pay fer that, dog of a priest!"

Crowe launched into a spin move that caught Rugen off guard. The blow struck Rugen's leg. He stumbled back and fell to the ground. Crowe rushed forward, slashing down again. Rugen just managed to get his sword into position. The two blades sparked with electricity when they met. Rugen kicked with his leg. Crowe exclaimed in surprise and momentarily lost his focus. Rugen rolled away then leaped back to his feet.

With Crowe momentarily dazed, Rugen lunged at his foe. The pirate recovered, parried the attack, and countered. This time, the blade of pulsing energy tore into Rugen's arm. He grunted in pain then jumped back, out of reach of his foe.

The captain advanced again, more cautiously this time. He rained a series of blows on Rugen but the Templar parried them all. The two began to circle, looking for an opening in the other's guard. Then like a cobra, Rugen struck. But Crowe was quicker and dodged the attack. The pirate followed with a sudden counter. Rugen just managed to get his blade into position. Again, sparks flew as the swords met.

Another round of circling. This time, Crowe broke the stalemate with a sudden slash. Rugen parried, but his riposte left him unbalanced. Crowe snorted triumphantly, swinging his blade in an arc that looked sure to decapitate our hero. Rugen leaped, somersaulting over and around his foe's blade. Landing on his feet with his back to Crowe, he then reversed his grip and thrust his blade backward. This time it struck true, right in the center of Crowe's chest. A visible pulse of energy rushed from the blade and engulfed the captain. He froze as if electrocuted, then crumpled to the ground.

A few minutes later, Crowe awoke. Kneeling beside him, a robot was tending to his wounds. He looked up, and saw the tip of a stunsword pointed at this throat.

"Now Captain," commanded Rugen, "perhaps you can tell us what is going on around here?"

Stay tuned for Episode 4!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Last Stand - Part 2

Episode 3 of Plans Go Awry

With the scout ship's hatch blown open (see Part 1), laser bolts filled the passage. Rugen peeked over the metal box behind which he hid. Several pirates were heading down the gangway, pistols ablaze. Tee raised up and got off a shot, taking out a pirate. But he exposed himself and a shot glanced off him. Rugen could smell the odor of burning metal.

Rugen and Tee began firing wildly into the mass of enemies, and they dropped like flies. Rugen drew his stunsword and used it as defense, deflecting the pirate's bolts. He managed to managed to knock a laser shot back at the target, knocking out the shooter.

Another shot struck Tee, but his return fire dropped the last enemy.

Tee and Rugen ducked back behind cover. Tee began to tend to his wounds.

"Are you all right?" Rugen asked, concern in his voice.

"I am fine. I was grazed a couple of times. My systems appear to be fully functional, however."

Another volley of lasers traced through the air above them.

"Here they come again!"

This time, the pirates, led by a tall, imposing figure, approached more carefully. They hugged the walls or crawled forward, using their downed comrades as cover. All the while, they kept up a steady fire.

At a word from the leader, they concentrated their fire on Rugen. He dodged, squeezed off a shot that took out one pirate, then deflected a shot from the leader.

The pirates hit the deck. Tee's marksmanship kept them pinned until Rugen was able to finish them off. In frustration, the leader starting blasting shots at Rugen. He whipped his sword in the laser's path, deflecting it back to the shooter. The leader dropped like a dead weight.

But the pirates were not finished. More shots echoed through the passage. Then, a massively built human, stripped to the waist armed with a blaster and stunsword rushed forward. Both Tee and Rugen hit him. He shrugged off the shots and continued forward!

The pirate fired. Rugen parried the shot. It struck the pirate who was stunned for a moment. Tee and Rugen used the opportunity to pour shot into him. He went down.

Through the smoke that filled the passage another figure appeared. An elegantly dressed man, stunsword in his hand.

"Ye've taken out me men," the pirate sneered, "but do ye think ye can best Cap'n Crowe with that blade of yers? Or are ye chicken?"

"He's mine," Rugen whispered to his friend. Then Rugen stepped out from cover, his sword at the ready.

Stay tuned for Part 3!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Last Stand - Part 1

Part 3 of Plans Go Awry
In our last episode, our heroes stumbled upon a band of pirates. Although they were victorious, Rugen was rendered unconscious.

Now to continue with our story.

Tee picked up his friend and began to make his way back to their scout ship. Soon, he heard the sound of pursuit behind him. More pirates! Tee began to run, his mechanical muscles easily handling the weight of his unconscious friend. Yet the weight slowed him down; he could hear footsteps grow closer behind him.

A flash of light passed him.

Pew! Pew! Another sound rang in his auditory sensors. Laser fire. He turned to look and saw pirates behind him.

He was nearing their ship, though. Soon they would be safe - temporarily.

Pew! Another shot passed dangerously close! Almost there though!

Shouts sounded behind him. "Stop or die!" Tee ignored them, ducked into the scout ship, and hit the controls. The hatch snapped shut just as a laser beam struck. The sound reverberated through the ship.

Tee grabbed a med pack and applied it to Rugen's wounds. His friend's eyes snapped open.

"Thanks, friend," the wounded Templar said.

"Unfortunately, we are not safe yet." At that second, a laser blast hit the hull.

A  moment later, their comm panel began to beep, Incoming message. Tee clicked it on.

"Federation ship. Consider yerself confiscated. Surrender and ye'll be allowed to leave the ship unmolested. Refuse and ye shall face the consequences."

Rugen, weak but regaining his vigor, responded emphatically: "Never! We know that you are pirates. We will not allow you to escape and continue your reign of terror on the peaceful citizens of the galaxy!"

"Tut. Tut. So hostile! Would ye risk yer own skin for the 'citizens of the galaxy?' Be wise, and ye'll live."

"We are Templars! It is our duty to defend the galaxy."

There was a moment's pause. On the other end of the connection, Rugen could overhear a heated discussion. Then, the enemy's voice responded: "And I be Cap'n Nat Crowe - scourge of the seven systems! We be needin' yer ship so we're gonna take it - over yer dead bodies!"

Another laser blast struck the side of the ship.

"Let's get out of her!" commanded Rugen. He jumped into the pilot's chair, but immediately muttered a curse.

"They've engaged a tractor beam. We're stuck!"

Rugen fiddled with controls, trying to disengage the lock on their ship. Tee began to stack some heavy metal boxes in the hatchway.

"I think we need to prepare to repel boarders." he calmly stated. Rugen turned, nodded, and joined to help him.

After a few more laser blasts, the hatch shuddered and blew in. Laser bolts filled the air as Rugen and Tee, armed with laser pistols, ducked behind the boxes.