The Dread Pirate Redbeard
Chapter I: Breaking Ground
Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say. Then again, the shackled captain thought, as he scanned the room, people’s last thoughts were seldom heard. The courtroom stood bare. Walls the cold grey steel only found in Federalé ships. If a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound? The judge was a brick of a man. The jury, not a single one would he call a peer. If the airlock I be damned, the airlock I be damned.
“Please approach the bench Mr.” He shuffled over his paperwork. “Redbeard?” The judge looked over his prisoner. Dressed in a large heavy coat, big black boots, and a bandanna over his forehead, seemed to have very little red in his thick, dark brown beard.
“Captain Redbeard.” The pirate explained as he made his approach. He flashed a quick smirk as he tried to raise his shackled hands to his beard. The chain to his foot shackles stopped them short. “But, I’ve been seeming to find more Grey these days.” He gave a slight chuckle to the stern judge and jury.
“Captain Redbeard.” The judge’s face showed neither laugh lines nor crow’s feet, the man would seem less stoic if he was carved of stone. “You stand here, before the court accused of Piracy. Grand theft of an ARKH Utilities Ship. One Groundbreaker. How do you plead.”
Redbeard stood as tall as his restraints would allow. “Not Guilty, your honor.”
“On which grounds?”
“I’m more of a Privateer than a Pirate, your honor.” Redbeaerd attempted to shrug, but failed his task.
“Privateer?” His Infliction rose as he elongated the tail.
“Yes, your honor. Captain Redbeard, Privateer, at your service.” He bowed.
“Under which Nation?” The only one of which this far into the badlands of the galaxy was ARKH, which currently had him prisoner.
“New Maui.” Redbeard said, Matter of factly. He scrunched his face before adding “Never heard of it?”
The jury shared looks of uncertainty as the judge stared blankly at the Pirate who stood before him. “New.” His mind was set. “Maui?” The jury agreed.
“Yes!” Redbeard rose His index finger and squinted an eye. “We’re a newer nation,” the nearly microscopic earpiece he had smuggled into the courtroom began to beep in his ear. “We’re about to break ground on our first outpost!” His smile widened as the red light began to flash, and the alarm began to sound throughout the entire military installation.
The judge stared at Captain Redbeard and began to mouth the words enemy ship? before it came crashing through the walls with surgical precision. The judge and bailiff’s disappeared into the twisted metal of the freshly breached hull. The judges bench had been replaced with a door, which began to crack open and spill his meager three man crew into the court room.
“Surrender your arms, or surrender your lives!” Jolly Roger, First Mate, pointed his Blunderbuss to the mostly panicking jury, which had began to nearly trample over themselves in the madness.
Next out was the Shipwright, Leon the Buster. Small in stature, Large in heart, lugging a jury-rigged, shoulder mounted, plasma cannon, which he pointed straight at the entrance to the courtroom. Ready for retaliation.
Last, but not least, Scarlett the Wench. Helmsman, as graceful in the sky as on land. She strolled over to her captain. “Seems you could hardly restrain yourself.”
Captain Redbeard mimicked a shrug as well as he could with his shackles. “Well, at least I was able to find a friend for that endeavor.”
“And, where is this friend of yours?” She looked around, hoping to find a key.
“I believe,” He nodded to the front of the ship that had pierced the hull of the station, “it was a direct hit.”
She turned to admire her handiwork. “Damn, I’m good.” She placed her hands on her hips. “If it wasn’t.” She sucked air in, and held her breath. Imagining the vacuum of space, held at bay by the hull of the wrecked ARKH Utilities ship.
“Like a glove.” For a moment He stood, shackled, yet free. “Speaking of, could I get a hand?” He jangled the shackles.
“Oh yeah,” she turned back to her captain while producing her captain’s laser flintlock. “Looks like you could definitely use one.” She shot a laser bolt at the chain of his right shackle, before offering the flintlock to him.
He greedily reached for his pistol. “Ah, There goes the chains that bind.” He shot the chains. Shackles still intact, but he fully regained his range of motion. He drew his pistol to the first juror. “Juror Number One! Your fealty in life? Or your fealty in death?”
The juror’s all stopped in their tracks. A tangled mess of those military personnel types that don’t expect a gun pointed at their heads.
“Well?” Captain Redbeard pulled the hammer of his flintlock, more for show than functionality. “Stand and Deliver! Or the Devil may take ya’”
“Life!” Juror Number One spoke up, but focused down. Down at his loafers. He wasn’t even going to die with his boots on.
The rest of the jurors began to plead for their lives along with Juror Number One. “That was easy.” He lowered his gun and turned to Scarlett. “Seems loyalty was unheard of in the bowels of ARKH. Curr’s the lot of them.” He patted Juror Number One’s head twice. “But I’ll teach these old dogs New tricks.”
“Well!” Captain Redbeard surveyed the room, noting his quickly growing crew. “We’ve got a station to seize, and a nation to build.”