A Life of Crime - Part V

October 2941
Borea - Home of Martel Kohtour - Drake Executive
Magnus System

"Photeus? Why are you here?" Krag seemed confused, but didn't lower his weapon.

"I should ask you the same," Photeus already didn't trust the burly man, but he didn't have time for chatter, "but we need to get out of here."

Krag stood silent a moment, then said, "I was sent by the old man to assist an operative here. Just didn't expect it to be you."

"Yeah, guess he thought I was crazy enough for it. Thanks for the recommendation." The light was still in his face and Krag seemed to be shifting something around. The light lowered and Photeus' eyes adjusted. Krag was dressed in a suit and tie. It was fitted and looked good. His hair was slicked back and he looked nothing like the pirate Photeus ran with months before.

"Well aren't you looking good!" he chided the big man, "You hit a diamond shipment or something?"

Krag looked serious, "Something like that. Let's get to my ship, it's out front."

Photeus nodded and exited the vault with the big man. He drew his sidearm slowly as he walked. This was not in datapad given to him. No mention of any operative that would assist. Especially strange was that Krag was not acting like he usually did. Perhaps now he's not acting at all.

Krag noticed the move and spun with his weapon trained again on Photeus. Photeus could only hold his weapon at hip position, but was definitely close enough to hit his mark.

"Just what do you think you're doing? I'm here to help!" Krag complained.

"Yeah, but I don't need it. I've decided you should get lost. I have things handled here," Photeus was ready to fire.

"You're not going anywhere," replied Krag as his rifle safety switched off.

A light was shone suddenly on them both and a voice followed it, "Just who the hell, do you think you are? Breaking into my house! I should shoot you both."

The voice of Martell Kohtour was unmistakable to Photeus, and he decided to roll with it, "Martell! Thank the stars you are here! I thought Drake Security brought you to your bunker and I was alone with this brute!"

"Uther? Why are you…," his voice confused, "And who is this other man?"

"Sir, my name is Wilhelm Brusk," said the man known to Photeus as Krag, "I'm with Drake Security. We've known of this plot to steal your artifacts for some time. Now if you'll let me do my job, I'll get this man…"

A warm hum filled the room, Martell had powered up his blaster-rifle, "Ok, now I'm hearing conflicting stories. If you're with Drake, where is your badge?"

"One moment, sir," Krag slowly tried to fumble his hands to get his badge he had hidden from Photeus. He shifted his weapon slowly and carefully so as to not drop his guard.

Photeus noticed Martell was getting nervous and whined, "Martell, please! He has a grenade he hid in his pocket! He brought me here to blast your vault so he could steal your artifacts! Here! He made me carry them!" Photeus removed the satchel with this left arm and threw the bag to Martell's feet where they landed with a thud, a couple artifacts rolling out.

Brusk replied, "Whoever you think he is sir, he's not. He calls himself Photeus. He's a terrorist."

"Lies!" Photeus was quick to reply to the accusation, "That's some children's comic book character. What a stupid lie!"

They noticed Martell brought up his mobi-glass and said into it, "Search, Photeus." Some items came up but Photeus could not see them. He hoped for the best.

Brusk was having success and started fumbling out his badge. Photeus knew the game would be up any second now and screamed, "Martell, save me!" He recoiled and fell to the ground.

The sudden movement caused Brusk to drop his badge as he aimed for Photeus. A blaster fired and Brusk's body fell to the ground.

Martell rushed over to Photeus and grabbed his hand to help him up, "Are you ok? I'm sorry I delayed, I had to make sure..umph," the sentence ended abruptly as the stun blast crumpled the man.

Photeus caught him mid fall and eased him down, "Sorry Martell. You're not a bad guy, but I know some miners who need the proceeds from these toys more than you do."

He searched Martell and found the remote controls for the 300i, "Mind if I borrow your ride?" No response. "Yup, that's what I thought." He grabbed the artifacts and headed for the launch pad.

---Minutes later---

As the 300i ascended through the atmo, Photeus could hear the radio chatter. Maybe Martell was fooled, but the rest of Drake Security was onto him. Luckily the 300i was pretty quick, but at this point it was a matter of time before they caught him.

"At least I'll die in luxury. Maybe there is some wine in the back," Photeus wondered out loud. The computer suddenly responded and confirmed that it was kept 'at perfect temperature for an exquisite taste'.

Concentrating on the task at hand, Photeus looked for options, anything really, that would help him escape the Magnus system. As he was approaching the outer atmosphere he received a hail. He realized it was not from a Drake ship, but they would be in hailing range very soon. He opened the channel.

"Confirm 'Affirmative' if this transmission is clear, say nothing else," a female voice instructed.

"Affirmative," Photeus replied.

"Affirmative. Rendezvous at Magnus III. Move to dark side of the planet and dock with the Idris there. Maintain radio silence." The channel closed, leaving fugitive in silence.

Out of options, Photeus changed position and hit the burners as soon as he escaped Borea's atmosphere, heading straight for Magnus III. The 300i was fast enough that the Drake ships after him were not gaining enough to beat him to Magnus III. As he approached, he realized that there was a Drake force that had been dispatched ahead of him, blocking his path.

At least fifteen to twenty ships were waiting for him. Drake was not playing with him today. He would try to make a run for it, but it wasn't looking good. Out of options and out of hope, he headed for the blockade.

The closest ones began to open fire, his frontal shields took a few hits, but it wouldn't be long now. He banked the craft to absorb hits on the side instead. Several hits caught him mid turn and dropped his aft shields. His radar lit up as he closed distance to the blockade. Many more ships had joined the fray.

He recognized these ships as Strike Hawks. They weren't much of a match for the Drake ships, but there were a lot of them and they forced a hole in the blockade. Photeus made for it. The 300i took several more hits, but not enough to bring it to a halt or slow it and began around Magnus III. He saw an unmarked Idris up ahead and made for it, its bay doors already opened.