Waystation Capaneus, Northwestern Fringe
As Tomas fiddles with the tools on his belt, he feels an itch develop on the back of his neck, an itch he can't reach due to his void suit. He presses through the irritation and focuses on the task at hand, eventually finding the data-slicer on his belt. Kneeling down at the console, he cycles through different inputs to try and find the suitable adaptor to get himself into the Waystation's network.
His boss, Vinnie the Breaker, had told him stories about this place. Waystations like Capaneus had been where fleets of ships would stop before making haste to whatever planet had been picked out for terraforming and eventually colonization. That had been, as Vinnie put it, when the Coalition did things, something Tomas didn't quite understand. The Coalition still did stuff, like issue warrants, which Tomas had three of.
"Back in my day!" Vinnie would say, the servos in his augments whirling as he threw his arms about angrily, spilling his drink everywhere, "We did shit! Real shit! We built things! Made things better! Nowadays, you can't take a piss without one of the Big Five bitching about it!"
Tomas shakes his head, the smell of cheap alcohol reminding him of the last rant, which ended with a good part of a glass ending up in his suit. Perhaps it was a different time back in the day, but Tomas only knew the 'right way.' The pirate way. People outside the Core had three things they could rely on: themselves, their void suit, and the gun at their waist.
'If only I could depend on my tools,' Tomas thinks.
"Hey! Kid!" Vinnie's voice crackles over the com, "You in yet?"
"Almost, sir," Tomas says with a sigh, "I'm just- Ah! There we are!" Tomas says, finally finding the correct port.
His visor turns into a screen, his augs allowing him to interface with the abandoned station's systems with a mere thought. The pirate goes to work, finding and activating the station's auxiliary power systems, allowing him to reactivate many of the station's old mainframes. Which is ultimately what the pirates were after - the creds left on the mainframe. Stations like these typically had a cash reserve in case of a hostage or financial crisis. Still, when the station got caught in the crossfire of a pirate war, no one had the time to empty the bank.
"Good, good kid, proud of yeah even," Vinnie says before hiccuping, "Now, g-get those creds out of there, and we can be on our way."
"On it, it's gonna take some time to break the ice," Tomas says as he gets to work accessing the digital vault. "Probably half an hour if we're lucky." He says as he watches his system starts running through every imaginable cipher to get past the various security checkpoints.
Suddenly there's an alert on his HUD, 'WARNING! UNRECOGNIZED SHIP PREPARING TO DOCK!'
Tomas sighs, realizing that his deck had already cut through the security ice, allowing him access to the automatic alerts. He checks it, assuming it's about the ship the gang used to get to the station. Although for a moment, he's disoriented as his whole visor is overtaken by the image of space, cursing and shrinking the image. After taking care of that, it takes another moment to realize what he's looking at. Instead of seeing Flametrail, he sees a new ship. A bulky Pony Freighter, Tomas notices it has guns on it as he zooms in a bit more.
"Oh," Tomas says aloud.
"Oh?" Joda, the Toak bruiser on the team, chimes in now, "What's up, meat?"
"Uh, shit." Tomas collects himself, "Boss, we weren't expecting company, right?"
"Hell, we ain't?" The sound of Vinnie lumbering to his feet can be heard over the com, "Why?"
"Um, 'cause we got a ship coming in." Tomas watches as something hurtles out of one of the cargo bays of the freighter and bolts towards one of the open hangar bay doors. "Shit! They launched something!"
"They're trying to board?"
"Don't know- Uh, trying to get weapon systems--"
"There ain't no fucking weapons on this rust bucket!" Vinnie says condescendingly, "Joda! Get your ass down there! Take some of the less important fellas with you!"
"No need to tell me; where am I going, meat?" Joda asks; his razor-sharp teeth clicking together puts Tomas on edge.
"Hanger 04. Should be--"
"I know where it is!"
Tomas switches his view to the hallway outside the hanger bay. He sees the form of several other pirates take a position on the edge of the doorway. Their blue and white environment suits with extra armor plating make them stand out in the decaying halls of the station. Marching directly towards the door in his black and blue void suit, Joda towers over the rest of the crew by nearly a meter. The giant holds his massive ion-repeater lazily at his hip, waiting for whatever lurkedon the other side of the door to come out.
A burst of light and sounds is all the warning Tomas gets before the bulkhead door flies off its hinges and smashes the camera. Though Tomas was robbed of his sight, he can still hear the battle.
"Fuck is that?!"
Joda growls, "Weaklings! I'll gut you--" There is a crack and the sudden sound of air being sucked out of a suit, "--Can't kill me that--" The line goes cold.
"Joda!" Vinnie curses, "Fuck, fuck, fuck! Anyone with a spine that kills that thing gets Joda's share!"
Desperate to keep his eyes on where the thing is, Tomas switches cameras. In the dim light that the emergency power provides, he sees a hulking figure striding down the halls, using the zero-g environment to rush down the aisles at strange angles. Three more pirates appear at the opposite end of the hall. Bright blue lances of energy pierce through their void suits, ending them. Finally, a fourth pirate, boarding shield and plasma blade gripped tightly in hand, tries to make a stand. He strikes at the hulking figure, who dodges the blade and smashes the poor soul with a maul that crackles with energy.
That same body flies right over Tomas, spiraling into the wall behind him with a meaty thud.. Realizing how close he is to the battle, the pirate pulls himself from the console and starts running. The thing about running in zero-g is that once you start going, it's hard to stop. So when Tomas bolts and flies visor first into a giant, steel humanoid, he nearly bounces in a new direction. The only thing that prevents him from doing that is the hand that grabs his arm and jerks him back.
His visor meets the visor of a giant—armor black as the void, and a bright red arm cannon to match. The faceplate of the giant's helm has three eye ports and a stylized maw of grinning teeth painted where its mouth should be. Tomas registers briefly that the armor looks old and beaten, with rivets and welds holding plates together here and there. It takes the pirate a moment to realize what's got a hold of him, but then it hits him.
Bellator. He's in the vice grip of a goddamn Bellator. To say Tomas is scared doesn't quite describe it. There is a level of awe to be had while staring into the three-eyed gaze of the Bellator. They were the stuff of legends, terrifying to behold but awe-inspiring nonetheless.
"Your boss," The Bellator's voice comes to him over direct com, their networks linking due to direct contact between their suits, "Where is he?"
"W-Who?" Tomas forgets how words work.
“Vincent Hompfree, goes by Vinnie.” The Bellator reiterates, "I have a warrant for him."
"Fuck..." Tomas thinks for a moment, "He-He's probably on his way to his ship. Bay 2. That's where we parked."
"Dell?" The Bellator looks to the left, Tomas realizing she isn't talking to him, "Right." The giant brings Tomas closer, their visors nearly touching, "Get lost. Find a better way to make a living."
Tomas is thrown aside like an old toy, tumbling for a moment before a wall stops him. Paralyzed with fear, the screams and calls over the com become white noise as the pirate starts to seriously consider what career choices he has available to him.