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I am plotting against you.. I am a writer it is what I do. Writing gave me the world. There is nothing to writing, All you do is sit down at the typewrier and bleed. Ernest Hemingway

Being a merchant space marine has its benefits at times. Roaming the galaxy in a heavy armored mining vessel which takes on some rougher work in the outliner planets newly discovered on the horizon of a white hole was dangerous work. However, the pay and forced retirement after reaching a certain grade along with seeing new worlds, and star systems every few months were perks that no one else in the galaxy except maybe pirates and the empire’s navy had.

I had served the empire’s navy for 15 years getting out at 30 my pension was enough so that I could live nicely on a third rated backward planet without much effort. After several flings with the local women venturing off into their jungles, looking for adventure, I ended up at a job service booth ran by the corporations after seven months.

There were plenty of job openings for analyst types, and financial type due to the regional universities running an official master of an international galaxy business degree program. I had taken my business courses in the navy, so I could have gotten a nice cushion job at their consulting firm. However, I really got interested in listening to their new openings as mercenary solider for the corporation.

The recruiter if I had to recon was an old pirate who had made good and turned into a corporation enlistment officer. His tale of seeing an unknown world was effective in my decision to sign up right then and there. The chance to see the galaxy before it was civilized again made me realize that someone had already seen everything, and that I was still as a new explorer was going to re-seeing it.

The first ship they sent me out on was a cargo ship taking a long time to get there and back. The reason they actually needed a gun on board was unclear because anyone could pick up the cargo items being shipped for a cheaper price than the cost of fuel for a boarding party. That was a basic rundown, and the gig was more of a chance for corporate to ensure that I and two other new recruits would follow orders and be patient. The eight-month travel time to and from a next to nothing mining place was boring to say the least. For fun, the crew and security took turns watching the space warp windows as space flew by. The whole gig I did not understand, so I started asking questions. No one seemed to recall why security is needed on this trip.

Anyway, the trip happened, and they transferred the three of us security people to another run on a faster ship this time. This time we three were part of a squad of 10. The sergeant was an older veteran of some more vicious wars, and corporate hired fighting in the sector. Since we were the new guys, we were given the left flank and completed a three-week course along the flight trip on how to capture an enemy base in a small confrontation.

The big adventure on this trip was seeing a real second class planet where people are civilized, and the women were beautiful. The entire squad went out for drinks. This time we did some rough housing at a local bar. The bar had the locals, but also when we entered we could tell there were some space pirates, they’re having fun with women, chicha a local brew, and trigo a wine reheated and distilled three times, which puts hair on one knuckles along with the chest.

The sergeant was not having anything to deal with the pirates. I think he recognized that we might have to fight them soon. Myself and my two common corporate guns sat down and started a drinking game with two of the pirates. It ended with all of us dancing with some local girls, and out drinking each other over a sunset that was purple and sapphire from a white and blue double sun three of the world.

The next day all three of us returned to our base. The other seven of our crew were missing. We reported to corporate and found that they had fought the pirates in the bar, and all of them were now in the local jail awaiting charges from murder to destruction of property.

We three, were to report to corporate storage holdings and start guarding a shipment classified as unknown and make sure that it got to another planet as soon as possible. When we got to the storage area, there was a squad of 10 there, and they looked spooked. Evidently whatever they were guarding was alive and had torn through its cage once already and had been recaptured. I was being the only navy man within the group the squad leader handed over the command of the location to me. I asked the silly question if they were not supposed to stay with us or if there were more people coming. The sergeant just laughed and said we were all that was available. Then he and his squad literally ran out of there.

Now, being in command made me feel a bit responsible for the situation. So I ordered and helped move the crate to a different location. I after that pulled another crate into the old location and set up some of my old uniforms as dummies around it. Figuring might as well let substitute my clothes for target practice if shooting started, then myself.

Around midnight, the dummy uniforms met their doom. Who ever had planned the trap evidently was not paying attention because those dummies had not moved in hours? However, their firepower was greater than the three of us. There were at least a dozen shots which went right through the dummies. I told my two to be quiet and let us watch and wait. The pirate group moved in and found nothing. Since it hid us, I watched as they tore through my old uniforms and stormed over to the box to open it. Finding nothing, they ran out of there.

The next day corporate sent a whole new squad and some financial people. Seeing the destruction at the old site, they thought we were dead when I walked over and showed them their crate. Me and my two squad mates got bonuses and sometime off paid leave. And that was my first encounter with pirates as a space mercenary.