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One Man's Treasure - Part 1/3 (The Beginning)

ButonflyDec 1, 2018, 10:52:24 AM

**Foreword: This is a short story based around the idea of making fictional characters inspired by Minds users. It's a bit of fun but I assure you it's crafted with the full weight of my ability. It's also the first piece I've written in a sci-fi setting. Don't get used to it. Enjoy! Please support me on Patreon or Subscribestar**

Aragmar tapped away with his fingers, each press denoting a heavy clicking sound that punctuated the air and soothed the creative soul. The typewriter was a relic from a distant age, modified to function with the practical demands of the year 2218 in mind. It no longer relied on the ink soaked ribbon, or scores of self fed paper, both of which were features from the century in which it was designed. Instead it replicated the process with a digital visual representation, and stored all keystrokes on a detachable micro hard drive that the Admiral had customized to attach conveniently to a chain about his neck. Neither the chain nor micro-drive passed as acceptable standards of dress upon the I.G.F Dreadnought- of which he captained- but if the commanding officer of a fleet couldn't afford himself the odd trifle in life, what was life truly worth living?

He thumped away in his private quarters, a spacious room of impeccable design, filled with hard lines but decorated with a handful of personal pleasantries. There on the distant shelf, a photo frame containing a picture of his loved ones; on the opposite side of the room a self-contained fish tank with an alien breed of octopus that only ever grew to a fraction of the size of earths; on his dresser a baseball-mitt and ball passed down from his great grandfather; and a rare copy of a hardcover printing of his favorite 21st century author known only as The Dark Knight.

It seemed a quiet life up here on his personal time, working away at his hobby that he one day wished would become the hallmark of a long standing legacy. His own masterful work of fiction that could be added to the never ending expanse of humanities digital-library. For his was a life of service in all aspects; from his service to the Interstellar Galactic Federation; to his hope for the betterment of society in its most basic artful forms. He would see his legacy live long and prosper.

The last six characters completed the book. Aragmar sat back in his chair and laced his fingers in his lap, ruminating on what he’d just completed, and seeking satisfaction in a few long deep breaths of reconstituted air. It was done, it was a rough copy, a little better than a draft by his own estimations, but nevertheless done. He considered the time and decided a walk was in order, a check in with the crew, and a hot mug of coffee to settle the nerves. Leaving his typewriter behind with the cursor of the digital impression blinking at The End- he made his way down to the bridge.

“Officer on deck!”

The door to the elevator that lead directly from Admiral Aragmars quarters opened and he walked briskly onto the floor. The surrounding crew, brimming with pride at his appearance rose or saluted, surprised to see him so soon. He dismissed his crew with a single word and made for the ‘dread-caffeinator’- a quasi comical name his crew had given their coffee replicator. Before long a steaming cup of hot joe was held tightly in the Admirals hands, and he stood before the decks window staring out at the grandeur of his fleet as it sailed lazily into the stars.

‘WERP-WERP-WERP’ An alarm sounded from one of the desks of his nearby crew. The crewmans brow furrowed and he scanned the contents of his screen.

“Status report.” Aragmar turned, stepping over to join him.

“This doesn't make any sense, Captain. The alarm is suggesting the shields are down, but system analysis is telling me they’re at one-hundred percent.”

Aragmar leaned over the panel to see for himself when an explosion roared from a distant part of the ship. The deck shook, sending coffee spilling over the control desk and scoulding the stationed crewman. The room erupted in sounds and lights worthy of a 2118 Mars nightclub, with the assembled crew scrambling to assess and take control of their systems. Aragmar composed himself, standing to his full height, and looked over the surrounding chaos with his professional gaze.

“Son? Stow this.” He said, handing the scolded crewman his coffee.

“What the hell is going on with my ship!?” Admiral Aragmar barked over the din, sobering the minds of his crew and drawing the particular attention of one of his men.

“Sir, engineering is reporting multiple detonations across key systems.”

“Were under attack?” He quirried, as much for himself as for the crew. ‘Who would be mad enough to hit the flagship amidst an assembled fleet?’ He wondered to himself. “Where did the shots come from?”

“Sir, the shields were never breached, Sir. It appears the detonations came from inside the ship, Sir.”

Aragmar whirled on the balls of his feet, peering out hard into space as he watched the distant ships slow and adjust their course. ‘What the hell is going on?’

That’s when he saw it, long strips of thick lumber mixed with patches of solid steel, the hull of an unidentified vessel lowering into view with a swiftness that threatened to tear the crotch out of the nearby pilots pants.

Aragmar turned to give an order, a syllable of a word that came from a place of pure instinct more than conscious thought. The blast of a rip roaring explosion tore the viewing deck apart. Aragmar and the nearby crewmen went flying, many of whom were dispatched to a distant world never to return. Bits of the viewing deck, large and small, were now spread across the room like shards of shrapnel from a grenade. Small fires clung to surfaces, in particular surrounding the large opening in which the attackers had opened. The crew was stunned, the ships systems were struggling to respond to the most basic of needs, and all the while Aragmar crawled for a moment's reprieve to collect himself.

An airlock opened and a cacophony of shouts tore through the air, a score of pirates, two score, or more spilled suddenly onto the deck. A barrage of laser fire mixed with carbine flitted through the room and was promptly met with a counter attack. Bodies poured through the carnage, drawing melee weapons of both crude and sophisticated design as men wearing a ramshackle of eclectic outfits faced off against men in pristine military uniform. Aragmar drew his own weapon, nothing but a handle in its sheath upon his side that quickly extended into an electrified sabre that he produced just in time to impale a descending pirate. The man squawked, gushed blood, and died.


“Get te’it ya skellywags!” The voice boomed from the back of the rabble as a man in a stiff leather coat with a high collar, long green dreadlocks, and a broad brimmed hat sauntered through the breach. “End any man dressed inappropriately, and make away with any worthy goods!” He yelled his orders, unconcerned if anyone should be listening or not.

Captain Garbage turned to his second and leaned close for a quiet word in his ear. “Ye know what ta’do, Mr.Vigil, and ye know to get her done quickly.” The two exchanged a look of acknowledgement before Vigil rushed off, tapping two scallywags on the shoulder and drawing them along with him.

Another explosion roared by the main entrance to the bridge, destroying the control panel and causing a blockade of wreckage to form. Captain Garbage spied an unassailed crewman attempting to communicate with someone over the comms and promptly drew his flintlock to put one between his eyes. The man went down, a plume of smoke filling the air which Captain Garbage drew in satisfactorily through his nose. He knew the flintlock to be a poor choice of weaponry given the times, practically garbage by any standards, but the thing was an antique and came with a sort of prestige that couldn't be replicated outside of its time. If nothing else it had become a hallmark for his notoriety, a namesake if he pleased. Which, as things tended to do, had grown on him.

The sharp bite of an electric shock caught him across the back of his hand and the flintlock went tumbling across the deck. Captain Garbage gasped and reached for his blade as an older gentleman in a stiff, serious looking uniform squared off against him with a crackling blue blade.

“Admiral Aragmar, I presume.” Captain Garbage greeted, his feet suddenly dancing into striking position like a half drunk courtier.

“You’re in violation of I.G.F law, Pirate. Stand down your men, surrender, and resign yourself to a swift death!”

“I’m all for negotiating, Admiral, but I don’t find your position a favorable one, wouldn't you agree?” Captain Garbage took a cautious step back with his blade extended and flicked his eyes over the room. The possibility of reinforcements was out of the question and with his pirates fully engaged, Aragmar's crew were overpowered.

Aragmar advanced, looking for an opening to strike, attempting a thrust or two, but finding no purchase. “And what about out there?” The Admirals head flicked toward the now destroyed viewing deck, blocked by the mass of Captain Garbage’s ship. “You’ll never make it beyond the range of my fleet!” He scowled, making it sound more a heartfelt promise than just a thing assured.

There came a whistle from across the room as Mr.Vigil stepped out of the private elevator that lead up to the Admiral’s quarters. Captain Garbage gave him a glance and turned back to see the shocked expression on Aragmar’s face. “We shall see, Admiral.” Captain garbage answered quietly, barely audible over the din and chaos of the room. “Come on ya scallywags, tis past time ta leave!” He yelled.

“No!” The Admiral shouted. He raised his sabre to strike but went down under a hard blow to the back of his head. The returning wave of pirates rushed passed, stepping over the dazed Admiral without much thought. Through the fire, smoke, and cheers of victory, Captain Garbage sauntered back through the ruined viewing deck and onto his ship.

The vessel pulled away, whatever had been holding up the Dreadnoughts systems seemed to come back online, and the viewing decks blast screen snapped shut between them.


On the deck of the Gar-Barge the assembled pirates gathered around as Captain Garbage and Mr. Vigil met at opposite ends of a small table.

“Mr. Vigil, tell me some good news.”

Mr. Vigil set a sack down with a heavy clunk between them. “Captains honor,” He said, letting the sacks mouth fall toward his captain.

Captain Garbage drew up the sack and let it fall away revealing the prize inside. An artifact from another time, an ancient typewriter customized for a modern era. Plugged snugly into its micro port, a detachable micro drive containing the life’s work of the Chief Admiral of the I.G.F. He unplugged it and held it up for inspection. “Not but a meager trifle to men such as us. But as I like to say- One man's trash tis another man's treasure!”

The Garbage Man laughed, and so too did his crew.

(Part 2)

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