The Vista Trade Corporation subcontracted with Salvage Collect to do salvage of the Six Lights hauler, a massive cargo ship. It had a life support critical malfunction, and triggered the distress beacon. The crew escaped in life support pods and are awaiting pickup, they will be dangerously low on supplies when help arrives.
The Graamin mutant scavengers were headed to the site and they had a head start, so Salvage Collect were hoping to even the odds with superior firepower. They hired a number of additional spacers to assist in the operation.
Emily Taylor (Iris) is a doctor with fast reflexes. Faden Ren (Simon) is a mutant telepath with fast reflexes and a melee focus. Torque (Ben) was a salvager. Don Coup (Jordon) was a mutant spacer. Ayar Aichitzi (Matt) rounded out the team of tough spacers.
The battle group was 3 Starlaunch assault ships, each one supported by 4 Starlaunch Interceptors. They jumped out on a 2 day tesserarch departing from Synobeth Station. During the jump out the interceptors were stowed, so spacers have some freedom of movement aboard the assault ship.
Torque and Emily stayed on the assault cruiser (with Emily as the team captain.) Faden, Torque, and Don headed out in the interceptors. Ayar immediately drew some interceptors with a grudge to take him down, but he managed to survive. Don was cut away from the herd, and probably blown to stardust; they didn’t find any remains later. Faden got shot up, and decided to dock and go into the ship for the last interceptor. He was going too fast to dock, and when Torque tried to help with the tractor beam, the ship got broadsided by one of the enemy interceptors, and Faden barely hit the ejector seat in time–but his aim was perfect, and he hit the airlock. The cockpit crew of the assault cruiser manipulated the airlock to get him in and to the dock to board the last interceptor and rejoin the fray.
Working together, Faden and Ayar pushed back at the aggressive interceptors while Torque and Emily stopped firing on the interceptors and sent missiles streaking at the other cruisers the mutants were using, destroying two of them! The spacers were armed with fine missiles that ignored energy shielding, and they made the most of them.
Meanwhile the mutants called back their fighter screens (in part to shoot down missile volleys before they reached the support ships.) They tried to get clear of the hauler with their loot and escape, but the spacers managed to target and disable the Nurat cruiser with missiles to the engines and gun systems.
Two of the three Starlaunch assault cruisers survived the assault, driving the enemy interceptors to flee and hope for pickup later after the Starlaunch ships left with their prizes. The spacers found the escape pods, and Emily treated any wounds among the survivors, then they turned them over to Captain Williams of the other Starlaunch ship (he insisted.)
Long Road Home
The spacers turned their attention to boarding the Six Lights hauler and getting it ready to limp home. They would look after the hauler, and Williams would look after the captured Nurat cruiser with loot from the hauler.
The spacers explored the engineering section, finding it somewhat messed up, but nothing they couldn’t rebalance with time. Then as Torque and Ayar were walking the spine of the ship (which was loaded with prefab buildings and an atmospheric processor to make a colony) they found some emergency automatic hull sealant.
Calling in the assault cruiser to scan from outside, they realized that there had been a hull breach from a tumbler. Tumblers are bioweapon mine fields, dormant in the void until something brushes them and they climb aboard and hunt spacers. Back in the day, centuries ago before they were outlawed, there were proprietary blends and flavors of the monsters. But, they were all smart, sneaky, scan resistant, and hungry for human flesh.
The cockpit had been pretty thoroughly looted, but the spacers set up a temporary base, and got the Six Lights hauler ready to go.
Over the following week, they patrolled and looked for the tumbler, but it eluded them (though it did snatch Ayar and devour him messily.) They dropped off the hauler and assault cruiser, and report, and got enormous bonuses for returning some of the interceptors and the assault cruiser, as well as the hauler and the captured disabled mutant ship with captives and all the loot! Time to party! And also to get that signing bonus to Ayar’s beneficiary.